Cable Fiber Studio

Back in October, Diana Cripe, the moderator of the America’s Knitting group over on Ravelry spent the weekend in Port Angeles, Washington with her husband…here is her story!

While in Port Angeles, for the weekend of Oct. 12-14 for a model RR show that my husband was involved in, I went to this great yarn shop downtown.  I found out the day before, that Saturday was their 7th anniversary and they were having a Yarnival!!  You know I had to check this out.

The owners, MarySue and Beth were very nice and welcoming.  For the Yarnival they had two games to play to find out what your discount would be.  You could either toss 3 stuffed sheep and you got 5% off for each sheep that went into the basket, or you could spin the spinning wheel that had numbers of what discount you got.

I did not do either as I got a great skein of sock yarn from the sale shelves for 20% off, so that was nice.  They also had a drawing so you filled out a slip of paper with your name and email, etc.

They have a very nice shop with a lot of different yarns.  They have a very nice area in the back with a large table and also a nice sitting area.  There is also shelving full of fleece.

After dinner I found out I had won the grand prize from the drawing.  It was a bag of 20 skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash Merino in a variety of colors.  Wow, was I surprised!

What a great store with wonderful owners and lots of fun yarns etc.  If you are ever in the area, please stop in.

Thank you Diana – I really appreciate you taking pictures and telling all about your yarny adventure!

2018 Year End Report

Hello EVERYBODY,

Cashmere Cottage Yarn, Closed 2015

It’s that time of year again where I produce my year end report.  As you know, America’s Knitting went live in August of 2007.  It took me a year to get my bearings start reports, and keep numbers.

Creative Beginnings, closed 2015

After that first year I started a mailer that went out to all the yarn shops every September.  This mailer gives me a chance to ask for monetary support from the shops, but it also allows me to also clean up the map and data base during the 4th quarter of every year.

Beach Basket Yarns & Gifts, closed 2016

During the course of the year, people notify me of new shops opening up, and stores closing.  Some of this data I find on Facebook, some come from customers, and some of it comes from the shop owners themselves, and then the mailer.

Local Yarn Shop, closed 2016

So here we go…here are this years numbers for 2018!  We started the year out with 970 stores across the United States.  As of today, we have 937 stores.  This brings us down another 33 stores.

Yarnhouse Studio, closed 2017

While the economy is much better than it has been, still, knitters are doing a great deal of purchasing online to businesses that don’t have a brick and mortar presence.   All I can do is track the shops, do the math and bring you my findings.  But you know what’s going on.  It’s up to the consumer to decide where and how to spend their discretionary income.

Yarn shops have to keep up and work hard for your business, they have to earn it!   I thank all of you out there who support the small business of the local yarn shop.  I can’t help but wonder what it will be like with fewer yarn shops.  It’s true that you can’t feel fiber and see true color through the computer or phone, but more than that, it’s the community lost.  The personal contact, the friendships made, the relationships.

Yours in knitting,
Mary*

Fiber Arts Fine Yarns

When I started America’s Knitting, I wanted all the nations yarn shops all in one place online for everyone’s convenience.  How boring, it wasn’t enough.  I wanted to know all the yarn shops and talk about all the yarn shops.  So I started doing spotlights on yarn shops every chance I got.

Of course I started local…ones I could get out to for a visit – take some pictures!  Well, I live in Washington – NOW WHAT?  Well, I went down to Oregon and visited some shops in Portland and did spotlights, and my girlfriend Dawn took a trip back home to Connecticut, and shared a visit to a yarn shop for me.  Then I started getting contacted by yarn shops themselves and did a few yarn shops…Maine, California, Montana.  Then some of my readers started traveling and sending me photos and a few lines and I posted those spotlights…Arizona, Alaska!

Well my girlfriend Libbie just relocated to Florida for her husbands work.  She visited a yarn shop called Fiber Arts Fine Yarns in Odessa!  I asked her if she could take some pictures for me…and she did.  Here is what she had to say about the store:

The owner was there and was super friendly. They were  showcasing customers finished projects. Good parking. A little coffee shop cafe in the same strip mall as well as a brew pub next door. (Darin appreciates that!). He was able to taste a few local brews and grab a growler while I bought some locally dyed yarn.  That all being said, I haven’t been back. But, I haven’t really been knitting. In a rut.

Libbie needs to meet some knitters and join a knitting group!  I always say, you’ll meet your best friend at the yarn shop.  All that being said, Libbie & Darin are still getting settled in and are building a house.  Libbie needs her knitting mojo back!!  Thank you Libbie for taking the pictures and getting them to me.  I hope you get back to knitting SOON~

Mariner Socks

Years ago when I first started America’s Knitting, I met a local gal (to me), that dyed yarn.  She did a yarn that had the colors of our local major league baseball team (Seattle Mariners) in it.  Every season the ball club had an event called Stitch ‘n Pitch.  I had decided that I would be a vendor and showcase our website and how it worked.

I had promoted, that I would be there at the game with a booth, and that I would have a drawing for a give away basket, during the 7th inning stretch.  Wendee with Hazel Knits contacted me and asked if I would like to have a skein of her special Mariner colorway that she called ‘Hometeam Baseball’ for my basket.  I thought that was very generous of her, and a great addition to my basket.  When it arrived in the mail, I was so surprised at how much I loved it.  That was my first introduction to her yarn.  She sells her yarn on-line, but she also sells her yarn at a some yarn shops, and also attends different events, and sometimes has pop up shops.  When I saw it, I had to have a skein for myself.  One of the vendors at that Stitch ‘n Pitch event carried the yarn, and after setting up my booth, I went directly and purchased a skein for myself.

I’ve always said that Hazel Knits would be my desert island yarn.  I promptly wound my yarn, and searched for the perfect pattern for a pair of hand knit socks.  Then, cast on and built a Ravelry page for my project.  I just finished my socks in time for this years stitch ‘n pitch.  When I took a final picture and went to update my Ravelry page, I was so surprised to see how many years had gone by…. 10 — WHAT?!?!?!

I worked on these socks off and on throughout the years, all the while being distracted by the ‘cutest’ hat, the current KAL, the occasional charity project, that baby gift, or holiday prezzie!  I know that happens to everyone, but WOW what a distraction.  In the time that it took me to knit these socks, I actually learned all about the various aspects of knitting socks.  When I cast on, I really didn’t know how to knit socks, but by the second sock, I had kitchenered the toe all by myself.  These two socks aren’t exactly the same, but they fit, and I like them and will wear them.  Now, I have many more socks on needles.  I’m sort of a project junkie, and have way too many projects going to get anything finished in a timely manner.  OH WELL, that is how I roll apparently, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

The pattern I used was a Knitty.com pattern called Thuja by Bobby Ziegler.  This free pattern was written for an aran weight yarn, but I just did a math conversion to accommodate a fingering weight sock yarn.  The yarn shop that I purchased this yarn from is now out of business, but there are other yarn shops selling this lovely yarn.

It’s easy to beat ourselves up, or plain laugh out load, at how long some projects take.  BUT, I finished these socks, and love my knitting!!