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*

The Sated Sheep

I love the name of this business!!  The names that the shop owners pick for their business are all different, but some are very clever, and this is one of them.

sate
[sāt]
VERB
sated (past tense) · sated (past participle)
satisfy (a desire or an appetite) to the full.
“sate your appetite at the resort’s restaurant”
synonyms:
satiate · fully satisfy · slake · quench · take the edge off · gorge · stuff · fill · overfill · overfeed · surfeit · glut · cloy
supply (someone) with as much as or more of something than is desired or can be managed.

This is how Allison (owner of The Sated Sheep) surely wants all of her customers to feel, that frequent her establishment!  As all of you know, I live in Washington state.  Sarah Wander, a knitter friend of mine, recently moved to Texas.  This is a store that is near to her, and one that she visits regularly.  When I asked her to help me with a spotlight, this is what she had to say…

“Located in Dripping Springs, Texas, just 25 minutes southwest of Austin is a little yarn store called The Sated Sheep. Run by proprietor Allison, The Sated Sheep aims to provide more than just good yarn and knitting notions.
Multiple sitting areas and cozy knitted throws are scattered through the shop. Unlike many yarn stores, there are no set times for drop in knitting, and no fine print or fees to join. Just sit and knit to your heart’s content whenever you feel like it. Patrons may enjoy a coffee made on site by Allison or a glass (or bottle!) of wine.
All of the yarns sold at The Sated Sheep are ethically sourced, and classes, along with multiple knitalongs, are held monthly.”
I follow Allison and The Sated Sheep on Instagram, and I can tell you, that she keeps up with all the latest brands and yarns that knitters want.  By the looks of these photos that Sarah took, I would be in heaven if this was my local yarn shop.  Thank you so much Sarah for helping me out, down there in Texas.
As with all the photos you see, you can click on them to see their larger forms.  I would love to do a spotlight on your LYS.  Email me with some pictures and all the deets, and we’ll get after it!

A Hat, A Shawl & Some Baby Socks

Carmel started out the year knitting fair isle hats, and she’s still doing that, and here it is November now.  She’s even started teaching others fair isle knitting.  Here is her Epistropheid hat by Kate Davies.  I love the way it turned out, and the pom pom is perfection!!

Next up with Sherri, owner of Rainy Day Yarns in Gig Harbor Washington.  Sherri is a knitting machine, all while running a business and taking care of her family.  Here is her Josephina shawl by Amanda Rios in Hula Hut Yarns Luna DK.  This pattern is free on Ravelry.

Finally, I finished two pairs of Lumberjack socks by Tin Can Knits.  Our employee had identical twin girls.  I had always loved this pattern, and thought I’d start small with the baby size and give them a go.  I used Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash.  One was a variegated and a solid.  I did a reverse on the second pair.  It’s wonderful when you can purchase a pattern, and have so many sizes to knit from.  What a value from Tin Can Knits.

 

America’s Knitting….well, so is Canada!!

Whenever I travel anywhere, I always find a yarn shop to visit.  Also, while traveling, I always have my camera.  Well, in September, I went to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  AND, I found a yarn shop, 88 Stitches!

My friend Jana and I were traveling up to Vancouver, BC to attend Knit City.  It’s an annual event held up there in late September.  We always call it our west coast Rhinebeck.  It really is the perfect venue.  It’s just the right size, not small, but not huge.  It’s got tons of celebrities, or as I like to call them ‘Kniteratti’!  There are tons of booths full of yummies, and tons of classes with all the famous people, and an all around good time.

Jana knows me well, and had heard about 88 Stitches on the Grocery Girls podcast.  Last year, we had visited Baad Anna’s, which was located very close to our hotel.  This year it was 88 Stitches in Langley.  Honestly, it was the first thing we did — even before checking into our hotel!

It was a lovely early fall day, we found the shop with the help of some GPS, then parked the car.  When we went inside, the two lovely gals working, were happy to see us and eager to help.  It was clear that they were busy working, putting up new inventory.  We just wanted to look around, touch and feel, and take some pictures.  I was however, looking for a needle.

Leila (I think) was helping me with my needle situation, while Jana was looking around.  Then I started looking around, and found a rad basket and cute notions pouch and tape measure.  I totally get sucked in.  I made my purchase and took my pictures.  They had a wonderful selection of yarns including Sweet Fiber Yarns, Baa Ram Ewe, Berroco, and Lettlopi to name just a few!

As we finished up, we asked Marilyn for a few lunch suggestions before heading on into Vancouver.  She gave us three suggestions, and exceptional directions into Langley proper.  What an amazing town!!  The shops were amazing and the restaurants, and bakeries, and candy shops all looked wonderful.  We ended up at a brewery called Trading Post Brewing.  The place was rustic on the inside with an amazing covered patio out back with blankets and a gas fireplace.  The beer was good and we had fried chicken sandwiches that were dreamy!

Thank you Marilyn for the great directions, thank you Leila for the help with my purchase.  I still love my basket and bag.  I want to visit Langley again soon!

As always, if you want your LYS featured send us some digital pictures and a few lines and we’ll get them up right away.  Click on any photo to see it’s larger form.

 

Fidalgo Artisan Yarn

Back in April, my husband and I went to Orcas Island to visit my Step-Mom for the weekend!  As the name suggests, it’s an island, so you have to take a ferry boat to get there.  The ferry departs from a town called Anacortes!  As it happens, Anacortes has a yarn shop.  The name of the store is Fidalgo Artisan Yarn.

This store is so unique!!!!!  When I arrived Emily was working.  She was busy winding yarn for a customer, but was so welcoming and happy.  Who could not be happy working in a store full of yarn, fiber and clothes.  Yes, clothes….we’ll talk about that in a bit.

The store is easy to find, it’s right downtown.  We parked on the street, and there are all sorts of fun shops all around, and restaurants too.  This store is “FULL” of hand dyed yarn by owner Lori.  The only brand names you will see in this store is needles and notions and patterns.  Everything in this store is crafted by hand, right down to the Spectator Hats – we’ll get there in a moment.

There is so much to take in, you just can’t be in a hurry!  There is alpaca, silk, wool, bamboo, mohair, even camel.  All weights will be found at Fidalgo Artisan Yarn.  The colors are so beautiful, from clean brights, to neutrals, to soft colors.  Owner Lori came in while I was there, so I was able to meet her.  She is pictured below in the turquoise shirt.  She truly has a gift for color and dying yarn.

There are hand crafted wood bowls for yarn that are crafted locally, hand made jewelry, artisan clothing hand made and those fun spectator hats.  I also found fiber for all the spinners out there and some patterns by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.  Fidalgo Artisan Yarn is on Instagram, so follow along, and remember they ship!

I had made up my mind prior to walking in that I needed a pair of sock blockers.  I did get my sock blockers, and also some yarn for a shawl.  if you are headed up to the San Juan Islands, get up there early, so you can get into Fidalgo Artisan Yarn and tell them Mary from America’s Knitting sent you in!

*you can click on any photo to see it’s larger form

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~

Oregon Knitting Co.

At America’s Knitting, we love to spotlight yarn shops across the nation.  We are based out of the pacific northwest, so of course we are better able to show more west coast yarn shops.  I get photos and stories from knitters, and I also do spotlights myself when I’m out and about.  This story and these photos come from our moderator over in our Ravelry group, Diana Cripe.

Diana, lives in Washington, but was traveling to a retreat in Oregon for the weekend.  Doesn’t that sound like heaven….a retreat?  I would love a weekend where I could just hang out and knit; no phones, no cooking or gardening, no work, just knitting.  Sounds relaxing!  Anyway…here is what Diana had to say:

On my way to a retreat on the Oregon coast, my friend Amy and I stopped at the Oregon Knitting Company in McMinnville, Oregon on the way.  This was the day before LYS Day.  This cute shop was located inside a little indoor mall type building.  The shop is not very big, but has a lot of yarns to offer.  The woman working there, sorry I did not get her name, was very nice, and funny and helpful.  When I found the wall of Findley, I was mesmerized.  I found so many colors I could not decide and was not sure what I would do with it.  I got a photo of one woman working at the table, don’t worry I always ask for permission and tell people what it is for before taking a photo.  After the retreat, and deciding what I would make with that yarn, we stopped again on our way home.  Before leaving the retreat my friend Amy was told by another friend to NOT let me buy purple!  I got this gorgeous teal, and plan to make Jared Flood’s Rock Island Shawl one day. 

The shop was beautiful and if  money was no object, I would have bought a lot more!

Just a little inside baseball, Diana loves purple and has lots of purple yarn in her stash.  I say “you can never have enough purple yarn….or teal”!!  Thank you Diana for checking out this yarn shop and taking these photos.  I can’t wait to visit some day myself.

If you want to see your LYS here in a spotlight…take some photos and send them to me.  I would love to see a spotlight from Arizona, Hawaii, North Dakota, Maine – work with me people!!

Yarn Bar

Kathie Malcher, a regular contributor for America’s Knitting, roving report if you will…..covered this store on her travels through Montana!  I can never thank Kathie enough for all she does for us.  I’m still working full time, and don’t travel as much as I would like to, and frankly, not everyone is comfortable asking and taking pictures, and the time it takes to email them all over to me, so I am able to spotlight local yarn shops, so THANK YOU KATHIE!!  I think that was the longest run-on sentence in history.

Anyway, here is what Kathie had to say about this store — Yarn Bar, Billings, Montana:

Owned by Linda and Sue – in the picture is Linda on the left and Sue on the right – store opened August 1, 2017 – it is a regular drop off point for Knitted Knockers.  They carry Mountain Meadow Wool (which I purchased), it is a Montana yarn and the gal searched hard and long for a mill to mill her yarn.  They also carry Blue Sky Fibers, Cestari, Erika Knight, Kelbourne Woolens, Madtosh, Polka Dot Sheep (MT yarn).  Their shop is small but jam packed with great yarn, but plenty of room to get around and see everything.  They have lots of samples and the lighting is good – they were very nice – warm and welcoming.  Definitely a place to stop in to see if ever in Billings, MT

Ok, there you have it!  I think the store looks very creative and cute!  Like always, if you want to cover a store for America’s Knitting, please email over your digital photos and a brief write up and I will post it right here.  You can click on any photo to see it’s larger form~

Knit This Purl That

I just love how things go sometimes.  The knitting community is so accepting, fearless, and sociable.  As many of you may know, in addition to this great website that has all the yarn shops in the country at your fingertips, we also have a facebook page, and a Ravelry group.  Two ladies that are members of our Ravelry group, met up in California during the month of February.  Anyway, here’s how it went.

Kathie (frogsalot) and I met up in February while she was Nana Bonding (can’t say baby sitting when he’s 16 years old) with her grandson while his parents (her daughter and SIL) where on a cruise. Kathie is from Issaquah, WA and I’m from San Jose, CA and we met in Pleasanton CA for coffee and a chat. 
After a couple of hours of chitchat we made our way to Knit This, Purl That, a local yarn shop. Kathie had been there earlier in the week for daytime social knitting and she might have mentioned they were having a sale!! After we arrived I remembered I’d been there but it was at least 10 years ago. We met up with the owner, Sandy, who has been the owner the past 7 years. The shop has been in existence for 20 years and she is the 3rd owner. I thought it was interesting that she came to the shop originally as a customer wanting to learn to knit. She said she took every class they offered for 5 years!! She said her goal this year is to become more involved in the community. She has already done several events the past few months including an arts and crafts show at beautiful Alden Lane Nursery. She plans to have events in her shop, at Inklings Coffee and Tea and at the Chamber of Commerce in town.
She carries a nice variety of yarns; Shibui, Madeline Tosh, Plymouth Alpaca, Cascade, Mrs Crosby and many more. She has two yarn clubs with exclusive patterns and yarns from two companies. She was busy packing up to take her shop to go to Stitches West in Santa Clara next week but stopped long enough to show us some of the kits she had made up. The picture of the blanket she’s holding in one that will be available at Stitches. 
I would say that if you have the opportunity to meet up with a fellow Raveler and if there is a LYS nearby, spend a few hours together and have fun!!
The ladies mentioned that the store was compact, but so well organized and comfortable.  They loved how there was even a table and chairs outside to knit at.  Thank you so much Yvonne & Kathie!  I really appreciate the time it took to put all of this together for America’s Knitting!  Love you guys, and I’m so glad that you are apart of America’s Knitting.