Makers’ Mercantile

When I hear the word ‘mercantile’, it conjures up visions of an older building full of provisions, from olden days.  Makers’ Mercantile, located in Kent, Washington, is far from the olden days, haha, but they are a mercantile.  They have provisions for all types of making!

The store is good size with great light and it’s full of color!  I was greeted right as I walked through the door, everyone was very friendly, and the store was busy!  On the left hand side of the store there is a nice long table, full of chairs.  I wished I had taken a picture of it now, so you could see it.  I didn’t because there were so many people sitting, knitting and talking that I didn’t want to make them feel uncomfortable with the camera.  Next time I’ll be brave and ask if they care.

They really do have it all for makers of all kinds, yarn — lots of yarn, for knitting and crochet, needles and hooks and notions to go along with that.  I saw a room and section dedicated to fabric and that is where you would find all the buttons.  What struck my eye was the cute bags I saw, and the kits you could purchase to make the bags.  They even had cork fabric!  If you are more of a knitting basket kind of person, they had baskets too.   They have some weaving equipment and of course ball winders and swifts.  If this isn’t enough…they have a café of sorts in the back.  They had the most scrumptious selection of macrons for purchase and they can make you a coffee or tea.  I use the word scrumptious because I bought some macrons, and let me tell you they were scrumptious!

CLICK ON ME — See that cork bag on the left….that’s a kit that you can make yourself!

The day I was there they were expecting Olive Knits, Marie Greene in a matter of days for a book signing and talk.  They had her newest book right up front, Seamless Knit Sweaters In 2 Weeks!  I did purchase one, and want to knit all of them — sweater knitting is so hot right now.

What a fun and interesting store!

A Little Knitty

A new shop joined our local yarn crawl in my area.  We actually have two crawls, but the PNW Yarn Crawl was lucky enough to have a newcomer in A Little Knitty in Auburn, Washington!  My friends and I usually run like crazy people, from shop to shop to get our passports stamped, so we can complete the crawl in one day, as that’s all the time we have to devote to it.  This year, we decided to take it easy, and pick 2 shops to go to.  We stopped for coffee, we took a break for some lunch, we squeezed in a little knitting, it was really fun with no pressure.  The two shops we went to were both busy.  No surprise, it was a perfectly gorgeous day outside.

A Little Knitty was new to all of us, and it did not disappoint.  The store was busy with crawlers, and the store had two free patterns; one for knitters and one for crochet…it was a shawl.  They also had an in-house line of yarn (private label) called Diamond.  It is fingering weight yarn, and all the colors have Gilmore Girl names — SO FUN!!!  Of course I had to buy one, I chose “Friday Night Dinners”.   I’m obsessed with the show that is now in syndication.  I’ve watched it countless times.  They also had diamond stitch markers.  I also got a very unique leather shawl closure thing that doubles as a bracelet.  I’m officially cool now!

The store is open, light, and full of color.  I loved A Little Knitty; warm and inviting with cutting edge products.  There are plenty of places to sit and knit, and Jen, the owner is so fun, and lively and upbeat.  The store is located downtown on Main Street.  We found free parking right on the street.  There were a number of places to eat in either direction of the store as well.

Having a girl day is so much fun, and coming home with ‘knitty’ goodies is a bonus!  Curious what’s going on at your LYS?  Find them on social media, and follow them.  A Little Knitty can be found on both Facebook and Instagram.

If you want to do a spotlight on your LYS, email me all the details and pictures, and we’ll put it up.  As always, you can click on any photo to see it’s larger form~

The Knittery

Yarns, domestic and imported, accessories and books; classes, crochet threads, DMC.  This establishment has it all!  Owner Winn has owned this store for 25 years, and before that, worked their since the 70’s!  The Knittery is located in Renton, Washington in a sizeable strip mall with tons of free parking.  I also would have to mention that there is a Starbucks practically next door!

I had never been to this store even though it is in western Washington.  It was about 2 hours from me via car and ferry.  I was contacted by a loyal customer to come and visit the store.  The perfect excuse to get out and visit a yarn shop, YEAH!!

I had paid and was already in line for the next boat when I realized that I had forgotten my camera at home.  I was so mad at myself, so these photos were snapped with my trusty phone.  When I arrived Winn was busy at the back table with a customer needing help with her sock.

We had a nice chat, talking about how things have changed in the yarn shop business with the internet and social media, but how knitting was and will always remain a great hobby and way of life to many. I took a stroll around the shop to take some pictures.

The store has really good light between the big windows up front and the fluorescent lighting.  Notable yarn brands noticed…Berroco, Plymouth, Juniper Moon Farms, Manos, Rowan, Knitted Wit, and my favorite Jamieson Shetland Wool.  The Knittery has a great needle selection and I loved seeing all the books, AND Churchmouse Yarns & Teas patterns; they had all the fun notions as well.

After taking my pictures, they invited me to sit and knit a while.  Very friendly shop with a passion to knit and help knitters.  The Knittery and owner Winn are gearing up, and ready for the Puget Sound LYS Tour happening May 15-19!  If you live or work in Renton, or are just passing through, stop into The Knittery and check out what they have to offer.

If you want me to cover your yarn shop, email me, and we’ll get on it!  Also, you can click on any of these images to see their larger form.

 

LaFavorites

Fun name for a yarn shop located in Kelso, Washington!  Their slogan is ‘A house of fine yarns, espresso, home décor and warm conversations’!

Diana Cripe, our moderator over in our Ravelry group, took a short trip south.  Her husbands hobby is trains, so they take a couple of trips a year for his hobby.  They met up with friends, and Diana and her friend visited LaFavorites…..read all about it:

The weekend of March 22-24 we were in Kelso, WA, for a model RR show. My husband, and 2 other guys were there with their layout.  I am friends with one of the wives, and we have a great time together.  We were lucky to find a quilt shop and yarn shop within 2 blocks of each other.  The yarn shop is LaFavorites.  The owner, Amy LaFave told me her son’s teacher came up with the name. 

Amy is very nice and personable and has a lovely shop.  The first thing I noticed, was the lovely display of blue/green yarns on the shelves to the left when we walked in the door.  Those are some of my favorite colors!  Next I noticed how open the shop is.  I love that there is a lot of room and light.  There are some comfy chairs on the right when you walk in; there is also a bicycle that has been yarn bombed for a fun vibe, and a lovely chair in the back, perfect to sit and knit, or maybe for a husband to wait.  She also has a big loom, and some small ones on a table.  The shelves are marked with what weight is on each side which is very helpful.   The shop carries a lot of different brands including Cascade, Mirasol, Blue Sky Fibers, Universal, Queensland and Plymouth.  I bought a skein of Diversity for making socks.  I almost bought a skein of Cascade Heritage Prints in color #57, but glad I didn’t, because I found I had that one when we got home.

Thank you Diana, for taking the pictures, so we could spotlight this store.  I love that they offer specialty coffee too, and that huge table for gatherings and classes.  I also think it’s cool that they are also into weaving.

You can click on any photo to see it’s larger form.  Also, follow LaFavorites on Facebook and Instagram!

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!

 

 

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*

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.