November 04, 2018
Yesterday we celebrated our first year. Since practically day one, I have felt elated and overwhelmed by the response the store has received. Yesterday, though, that feeling was increased tenfold.
June 04, 2018
Opening Yarn It! was the realization of a longtime dream. I'd never taken the dream seriously because I didn't think it was realistic, plus I had a very good career that I mostly enjoyed and didn't think I'd ever give up.
I've been knitting for about 26 years, but my daydreams about opening a local yarn store (LYS) started about 15 years ago, when the knitting obsession took hold. I tried then to find a knitting group to join, but I never found one that I could participate in while holding down a full-time job with sometimes long hours. What I wanted most then was to share my love of knitting with other like-obsessed people.
So as I worked at continuing to build my career and daydreamed about someday retiring and opening an LYS, what I imagined of the store was a place where a community of knitters and crocheters could gather, sharing their love of fibre and of the craft and learning from one another.
After our first couple of years in Cobourg—with regular half-hour drives to a local yarn shop—my husband convinced me my dream might be viable. I started the business plan in 2016, took some business workshops in 2017, bounced ideas off friends, and then found the perfect location, with lots of natural light and free parking (my priorities), in August of that year. On November 8, 2017, the door to Yarn It! opened.
The past seven months have been better than I had even imagined! The community I had dreamed of established itself fairly quickly and continues to grow each week. Knitters and crocheters are truly wonderful people, and I feel so fortunate to have met so many big-hearted people and to be able to call them friends.
Among the community members are many who have given their time—a precious commodity!—whether to teach others, to welcome newcomers, to help me out with my first vendor experience at a fibre festival, to lend a fellow customer a hand when I'm occupied with another, to freshen up my website, to take beautiful product photos, to offer ideas and feedback, to share Facebook posts, to manage my Instagram account, to help me shelve items, to wind yarn, to bring goodies for the circle (or lunch for me), to spread the word to others about the store.... The list goes on!
YOU are making Yarn It! a place where people want to gather. YOU are building this crafting community I had dreamed of. I am so grateful to all of you for your valuable contributions to making this whole venture work. I look forward to seeing what else we will do together. See you in the circle!
April 26, 2018
Fibre fest season is in full swing, and I know that many of you are attending a festival for the first time. Thinking back to my first time at the Knitters Frolic in Toronto, I know what you're about to experience...and how expensive it can be if you go without a plan. I thought I would share a few helpful tips to make this a successful event (with no regrets):
- Look online to see what vendors will be there and check their websites to get an idea of what they have.
- Bring pattern ideas with you, including weights and quantities of yarn needed.
- Think about any hard-to-locate notions and accessories that you want to look for that will improve your knitting or crocheting experience.
- Set a limit (not necessarily $ but # of skeins) of variegated sock yarn that you'll buy (because it's way too easy to buy a lifetime supply in one day--I'm talking from experience here).
- Wear comfortable shoes, and leave your coat in the car for comfort. It can get hot if it's busy!
- Upon arrival, look at the festival map. Note the location of any booths that you are most excited about visiting. At a large festival with a lot of people in attendance, it is easy to miss something and end up disappointed later that you didn't see it.
- Walk through the festival once before buying anything, and make notes about which booths you want to revisit and what you want. By going around once first, you will be better at prioritizing. (You may want to allow yourself one "must-have" purchase on the first trip around in case quantities dwindle quickly.)
- If you see something you like but are unsure about it, grab the store's business card and write on the card what it was you were interested in.
- If you’re concerned about overspending (very easy to do!), take cash and leave your credit cards at home.
- Bring a large bag to hold all your purchases in.
- Take a break, go to the cafe, and look at your purchases so you can identify what you still need (or want--really, need has nothing to do with it!).
We hope to see you all at the Gathering at Port Hope High School on May 5 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)! In the meantime, happy knitting!
February 22, 2018
Who wants to do a gauge swatch when there's all that fun knitting to do? However, for certain projects, a gauge swatch really needs to be the first thing you cast on. If you're knitting a scarf or a shawl, the gauge doesn't matter a lot. But if you're knitting a garment intended to fit the person you're knitting it for, gauge matters.