The Yarn Diva Inc.

Last October, my husband Wes and I, took a trip to visit our friends that had moved home to Missouri!  They have lived in lots of places in their lives, and have traveled quite a bit for work over the years too.  It was finally time for them to retire, and they made the decision to move back to their home state of Missouri.  So, we just had to see the Ozarks, check up on them, and meet their dog, Samantha, or as they affectionately call her, Sammy Sue!

While we were there, we got the royal treatment.  They picked us up from the airport in Springfield, and showed us all around their neck of the woods for a week.  We went to the Bass Pro Aquarium in Springfield, we went to Dogwood Canyon, we saw the amazing table rock everywhere but also at The Top of the Rock, we shopped at Branson Landing, and ate lunch at College of the Ozarks!  I KNOW I KNOW get to the YARN!!

So my girlfriend knows all about America’s Knitting because she’s the one who coined my slogan ‘Your Access To Yarn Shops Across America’!  So, we ventured over to Kirbyville, which was just down the road a piece to check out The Yarn Diva!  We were in luck because owner Sharon Werbel was there and we got to meet her, check out the store, and take some pictures.  She was busy with a customer when we arrived, but we did get to visit, and we found her to be very nice.

The store had a homey vibe — it was warm, friendly and inviting.  There was a big table to sit at, and Sharon told us that they did have a sit and knit time each week to gather, knit and make friends.

I follow the store on Facebook, so I know that they had a Halloween Party after I left Missouri.  It seems like a really fun and happy store.  I saw lots of brands I’m familiar with like Rowan, Manos del Uruguay, Berroco, Lang Yarns, and many more.  We talked about Joji’s patterns and all the new needle sets available for knitters today.

Missouri doesn’t have all that many yarn shops (11 state wide), but quilting and other crafts like cross stitch and needle felting are very popular.  I always have to find a yarn shop whenever I travel just because I like to see what other shops are like, and what other knitters are doing.  Thank you Sharon for spending time with us, I really appreciate it!

Branson has a lot to offer from all the outdoor activities on Table Rock Lake, to golfing on their many golf courses. So, if you are ever in Branson visiting…..don’t just go to the Dolly Stampede, head out to Kirbyville and take in The Yarn Diva….and say hello to Sharon for me~

ps – you can click on any photo to see it’s larger form!  Please email me if you have an idea for my next spotlight!

 

 

PopUp Shops

Yarn shops are getting very creative with new and limited merchandise in store.  I am loving this idea.  Indie dyers working together with the local yarn shops.  The Indie dyer gets to be involved in the local yarn shops without having to fulfill huge orders and local yarn shops get to have the indie dyers on site without having to purchase a large inventory order.  It seems like a win win for everyone.

I recently went to see Earl Grey Fiber Company over at Rainy Day Yarns located in Gig Harbor.  It was a planned girl day.  My friend Jana and I planned to go, check out Earl Frey Fiber yarns, have some lunch, do a little shopping, and get in some knitting time, chat and get caught up.  We both really needed a day like that.  It’s so great that the yarn shop can instigate a great day.

As I look out the window, typing this, I am looking at snow falling, but just two weeks ago, it was almost spring like and beautiful outside, with the sun shining.  I had heard of Earl Grey Fiber Company before and do follow them on Instagram, but typically shop at yarn shops.  This gave me an opportunity to go out and actually see the yarn for myself.  I follow lots of folks over on Instagram.  Often times, not always, you’ll see a yarn and love it, purchase it and then when it arrives you aren’t thrilled with it.  I don’t know if the excitement has worn off, or if the picture was enhanced to make it look better than it really is or what.  But seeing all the colorways together really gets the creative juices flowing.  Seeing them all there, made me imagine socks, and all those fade projects that are so popular.  If I don’t get on the bandwagon, fades will be a thing of the past. Heather, owner of Earl Grey Fiber Company was wearing a lovely Find Your Fade, and she also had some bags there.  Jana and I were admiring her fade and we looked at all the bags, and I thought I knew which bag I wanted until Sherri (owner of Rainy Day Yarns) came over and was looking at them too.  Then I started looking at them in a different way — that just wouldn’t happen online.  I suddenly changed my mind to choose a different bag.

So, 2 skeins, a bag, and new needles later, we left the store for lunch.  We headed down to the water and lunched at Tides Tavern.  Tides Tavern is right on the water with their own dock for boaters and a deck for outside dining.  We sat in the crowded bar and noshed on quesadillas and beer.  We visited, laughed and even got a few rows in.  Then, we were off to shop.  I really wanted to go to Ann Taylor LOFT, and Jana, being the one who gets all these store emails, knew that they were having a storewide 40% off sale that day.  Again, so much fun looking around, trying on clothes in the dressing rooms; we both left with purchases.  After our shopping portion of the day, we headed back to Kitsap County for a little coffee and knitting time.  We indulged, and split a yummy cookie, and got some relaxing knitting in over at Cups!

My kids are grown, and I work from home, but I still need a girl day every now and then to unwind and do all the things girls love to do.  It’s important sometimes to skip the housework, and get away from husband and family and work.  Rainy Day Yarns also has other small batch dyers in store like Sunsoaked Sister and Buxom Cat Knits (formerly Hula Hut Yarns) and their own in house Rainy Day indie dyed yarns.

Get out to the yarn shop and just see what’s new.  If you can’t make a purchase, it will surely get you re-inspired to finish that languishing project that needs some of your attention.  You will be glad you did and you will enjoy yourself.  I always say … “you’ll meet your best friend at the yarn shop”!

ps~these pictures can be seen in their larger form by clicking on any of these pictures.  These pictures look a hair fuzzy and the website creator tells me its an issue with the current theme and a new site is being built and will be live sometime soon – stay tuned!!

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*