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Three Spots in St. Petersburg, Florida You Don’t Want to Miss

Three Spots in St. Petersburg, Florida You Don’t Want to Miss

Hi everyone! My name is Mary Keegan from What Sundays Are For. I am thrilled to be collaborating with Jordana Paige to share with you three of my all time favorite spots in St. Petersburg, Florida. So grab a cup of joe or tea, and keep reading to find out more!

Things to do St. Petersburg, FL

1.Visit The Dali Museum

Things to do St. Petersburg, FL

One of my favorite museums in the USA happens to be in my hometown! Located in the heart of downtown St. Pete, the Dali Museum is unparalleled to any other museum in the area. I especially admire the incredible architecture and design of the museum building. Discover the life and legend of Salvador Dali while commemorating and praising his work. On Sundays, you can start your day with “Yoga + Dali” at noon!

Things to do St. Petersburg, FL

2. Drink a Brew or Two!

Things to do St. Petersburg, FL

Stroll through Central Avenue and visit some of my favorite microbreweries in the Burg! Green Bench Brewing Company, Cycle Brewing and St. Pete Brewing Company are all walking distance from each other, so you can hop from brewery to brewery! Grab a bite to eat at the local nearby food trucks, or walk to Bodega on Central for the best cuban sandwich of your life! Green Bench Brewing offers tours every Saturday noon-4pm.


3. Take a Walking Mural Tour

Things to do St. Petersburg, FL

Recently, street art has taken off in St. Pete! Every Saturday, you can discover giant art murals downtown. Positive messages and images can be seen throughout the city! The mural walking tour lasts about an hour or so and goes through the Central Arts District. I highly recommend taking a tour, there are some really amazing pieces you won’t want to miss! Tours are Saturdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The cost is $19 for adults, $11 for children ages 6 to 18, under 5 free. A portion of the proceeds from the tours will be used to fund future murals.

Things to do St. Petersburg, FL

Thank you Jordana Paige Handbags for giving me the opportunity to show you my favorite city, and hometown, St. Petersburg, Florida! I love how versatile the Cora Handbag is, and I am in love with this dark green color. Be sure to pop over to my blog to find out more on my city and my favorite fashion pieces! Thanks for reading!

A Craft Tour in Paris

A Craft Tour in Paris

I have been fortunate to not only visit Paris several times, but also live in the City of Light.  I am often asked what to see and do in this amazing city.  Of course, the grand monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe are definitely worth seeing.  But for anyone who appreciates the craftsmanship of “that which is made by hand” on a bit smaller scale, here’s my picks for a “crafty” tour.

 

 Yarn Stores

There are actually a number of yarn stores in Paris.  Le Comptoir is an old-fashioned looking yarn store with beautiful wood cabinetry. It has a nice range of yarns from Rowan and some other smaller European yarn companies.  I really enjoyed checking out the European yarns at Le Comptoir that are not often seen in the United States.

 

 Lil Weasel is in a pretty passageway with a selection of both European and American yarns.

 

L’Oisive Thé is a smaller yarn store and teashop with hand-dyed yarns mainly from the United States and the United Kingdom. The store is a bit tricky to find, but it is worth a stop if you are going to be in the neighborhood.

 

Chatmaille is near the fabric district (see more details below) with many European brands such as Katia.  I found some wool and metallic yarn from Katia at Chatmaille last year.  Interestingly, I was told by the owner of  my local yarn store that the yarn I purchased at Chatmaille wouldn’t be available in the US for another year.  So who knows, maybe you will find some yarn at Chatmaille and be the first in your hometown to get your hands on it. 

 

lecomptoir

Le Comptoir

 

Fabric Stores

I found the best fabric stores in the northern neighborhood of Montmartre near the Basilica of Sacré Coeur. Make your way to the Place Saint-Pierre and you are sure to bump into department-sized stores walled with fabrics.  Many of these stores carry fabrics for everything from upholstery to clothing. My favorites are Au Bonheur des Dames (no website, 1-3, rue Livingstone, 75018) which is just across the street from Moline Mercerie listed above and Tissus-Reine. At Bonheur des Dames, I scored some leather remnants from Balmain (the famous French fashion house).  And I like Tissus-Reine for its sheer size with a wide variety of fabric that can be found on multiple levels of the store. 

 

reine

Reine Fabric Store 

 

Merceries

Merceries are stores that typically have all sorts of lovely notions related to sewing and sometimes some yarn as well.  Moline Mercerie is a bit off the beaten “tourist” track, but it is not too far from the famous Basilica of Sacré Coeur and a number of amazing fabric stores.  It has a nice selection of ribbons, buttons and sewing notions.  Call me crazy, but I was tempted by an iron-on patch of a skull made out of crystals at Moline Mercerie.

 

Entrée des Fournisseurs is a magical shop located in a somewhat hidden courtyard in the Marais.  It has some incredible buttons as well as ribbons and a small offering of yarn and fabric.  It is definitely my favorite store for buttons in Paris.

 

La Droguerie has a great selection of craft related products from yarn to jewelry making supplies.  You may have noticed La Droguerie’s gorgeous knitting patterns on Ravelry.  I love to put my French skills to the test and pick up one of their pattern books. 

 

merceries

Entrée des Fournisseurs

 

Markets

A visit to a marché or two will have you enjoying food, antiques, souvenirs and more.  Some markets are more specific in what they sell and others include a variety of items from food to clothing.  At a typical food market such as the Marché Raspail, you will find fresh produce and bakery items. You also may find provincial linens as well as handcrafted wood products and jewelry.  It is open during the mornings on most Tuesdays and Fridays and has an organic market on Sundays.

 

markets_JP

Marché Raspail

 

Another type of marché that is always on my list is a flea market.  My favorite flea market is the Le marché aux Puces de Vanves, which is open on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  You never know what you are going to find at a flea market, but there usually are vintage linens as well as buttons and ribbons.

 Marches_JP

Le marché aux Puces de Vanves

 

Department Stores

I was pleasantly surprised to find that some of the department stores in Paris sell fabric, yarn and notions.  Le Bon Marche has a nice selection of yarn from Rowan and Plassard as well as some fabric and notions. I always seem to find cool notions at Le Bon Marche.  The last time I was in the store, I picked up some suede tassels that I plan to add to the corners of a wrap.   The BHV has an extensive supply of Phildar yarn as well as some fabrics and notions.  I find the Phildar pattern magazines to be a great source of fashion inspiration.  The BHV book department also has some knitting and crochet books in French.  

 

departmentstores1

Le Bon Marché 

 

Luxury Shopping

It probably goes without saying that luxury shopping from Chanel to Louis Vuitton is to be had in Paris.  Whether you are in the market for designer pieces or not, it is worth noting that many of these stores continue to use age-old traditional (and labor intensive) techniques with artisans producing their products entirely in France.  If you are not in the market for something from one of these stores, even a quick peak at their store front windows will allow you to appreciate the fine craftsmanship of their products.  My personal favorites are Goyard and Hermès, who I believe have unparalleled respect for the time-honored techniques used in creating their products.

 

Museums

You are sure to find some creative inspiration at my two favorite museums.  I particularly like the Musée des Arts Décoratifs which is the Museum of Art and Design in Paris.  It is conveniently located next to the Louvre and has over 150,000 works of decorative art from furniture to toys in a range of mediums from crystal to plastic.

 

I also recommend a visit to the recently reopened Musée Galliera, which is the Museum of Fashion and Fashion History.  The Museum has an amazing collection with over 70,00 items from the 18th century to the present day.  Given the fragile nature of many of these pieces, the Museum does not have permanent exhibits.  Instead, it has temporary collections that change every few months.  The museum website has information on current and future exhibitions.

 

musegalleriaMusée Galliera 

 

Maire Claire Idées

My final recommendation is to buy the French craft magazine called Maire Claire Idées.  The magazine is not too difficult to find at newsstands in France or even larger bookstores in the United States.  If you aren’t able to make it to Paris, the magazine will give you a flavor for the je ne sais quoi of that which is fait main (made by hand) in France.

 

You can find more of my Paris recommendations at a bonjour.

 

*Please note that many museums and stores are closed on Sundays in France and some are closed on Mondays as well. It is best to check their websites or call to find out their exact opening days and hours.  

Getting crafty down South: New Orleans

Getting crafty down South: New Orleans

June 21 marked the official beginning of summer time and that means it’s time to travel! I don’t know about you, but even though I love to travel any time of the year, there’s something special about doing it in the summer. Maybe it’s because as a grown up, you feel like you still get that little summer vacation. Or maybe it’s just because it’s nice out. Nothing screams “ROAD TRIP!” like a gorgeous sunny day.

In the spirit of our craft excursions in Moab and Santa Cruz, we decided to head somewhere a little more south. Perhaps a major city on the Mississippi? How about New Orleans, y’all? Between all those crawfish feeds and jazz concerts, it turns out there is plenty of craftiness to behold, along with gorgeous art and of course, pastries.

Almost everyone who hears about New Orleans thinks of the French Quarter, so let’s start there, shall we? The flea market is probably one of the most fun things to wander through. From handmade journals to used books to knock off designer sunglasses to leather wallets to wildly decorated masks (it’s Mardis Gras in someone’s mind!), there are all sorts of treasures here.

One thing that caught my eye was a shea butter vendor, who offered essential oils and other fragrance that you could combine to create a personalized skin ritual. You could get as fancy or stay as plain as you’d like. DIY skin cream? Yes please!

Shea Butter

You could also find loads of cool jewelry there for a crazy good deal. My friend said that some of her friends will just buy the pieces to take apart and create their own stuff. Of course, a lot of it is gorgeous enough that you could take it home, no assembly required.

earrings

beignetsBy this point I was feeling a little parched. Maybe even a bit peckish. Was I in for a treat! Just a few paces away from the flea market is Cafe Du Monde. If you’re like me and hadn’t heard of it, this could be the reason you come to New Orleans. If you only stopped here, it would be worth it. And since they’re open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, you’ll never miss out on beignets.

For those of us who aren’t French, here’s how you say that: “Been-yay.” Or, as I prefer to say, “Delicious.”

Look at all that sugar! Holy hannah, I know you’re going to order more. We did. Sugar high commenced! On with the excursion!

 

 

 

 

A bit further into the French Quarter is a lovely little store that most any writer (or anyone who has an affinity for nice pens and fancy stationery) would love. Papier Plume is full of gorgeous leather bound journals and ink of all colors, among other things.

One of my favorite things in the store were the wax seals, which I desperately wanted to take home for my own letters. How cool would that be to write, seal and send correspondence across the sea with my own personal seal, complete with different colored waxes for different occasions?

papierplume1

While Bourbon Street and the French Quarter may be loads of fun to a lot of people, it can get a little overwhelming, so we headed to Magazine Street, which is full of wonderful shops, cute restaurants and of course, gorgeous homes, all with amazing front porches.

Our first stop was (of course) Garden District Needlework Shop, which is tucked in the cutest shopping “mall.” There are many different shops, but they’re all in one building without anything separating them. Walk a few feet from the antique jewlery and check out some art for sale. Turn the corner and peruse vintage furniture. Walk up the stairs and jackpot! Yarn.

Nola Needleworks

There was also tons of embroidery thread and beautifully dyed sock yarn. And in true New Orleans fashion, the staff was so laid back, we could wander through the whole store without anyone being too bothered. If we needed help, all we had to do was ask.

Feeling inspired, we headed to The Bead Shop. Because this is New Orleans, I couldn’t help but think of Mardis Gras beads, which I have been told are made from glass if they’re properly done. Naturally there was far more than that. The shop is filled with light and wonderful treats for creating lovely jewelry.

bead shop

maple street
If there was one thing I heard about New Orleans before I went, it was that the food was spectacular, particularly the sweet treats. Far be it from me to take any one’s word though. I had to try them out for real. One of the locals recommended Maple Street Patisserie for some of the best petit fours, among other things.

Can you say heavenly? Since we can’t eat things through a computer screen yet, you’ll have to take my word for it that those were some of the best treats I have had in my life. Or you could head down to NOLA for a taste of your own. And if I could recommend dinner, it would have to be Jacques Imo’s Cafe. Cornbread, gumbo and fried tomatoes, oh my! It’s also got the New Orleans attitude down pat.

 

 

 

 

 

We’re almost done with our crafty tour of New Orleans, but I’ve saved the best for last. Considering the city is home to Mardis Gras and hosts some of the most outrageous parties and lavish balls, one must be impeccably dressed.

Costumes and party fashion are, without a doubt, second-to-none here. And most of them are handmade. Where do the seamstresses go? A store that’s been supplying them for 45 years: Promenade Fine Fabrics. There you will find a family team that will knock your socks off. Father and son Herbert and Cole Halpern talk about fabrics and ribbons with a love most people reserve for children or pets. Cole’s mother designs the fantastic displays.

One of the last retailers of couture fabric in the South, Promenade holds more special and beautiful fabric than I have seen in my lifetime. From Chanel amd Missoni to Ralph Lauren and Armani, they have it all. And when it comes to vintage and rare fabrics, Cole jumps at the chance to show it off.

promenade

See that blue? It’s called Tiffany Blue. Herbert found it in a warehouse in Europe. Fifty-year-old fabric so soft and light, you would never guess its wool. Apparently Jackie O wore it religiously. And then there is the vintage ribbon. The shop has the biggest collection of buttons and ribbon in the south.

promenade

I’d love to show you my loot from this trip, but I had to exercise restraint for a very exciting reason: I’m moving to Germany and moving more yarn and crafty bits  just isn’t gonna happen. But rest assured, there will be plenty more crafty excursions coming your way from Europe!

Have you been to New Orleans? What crafty spots did you like? Do you have a crafty place you’d love to show off? Feeling inspired? Do your own craft tour and we’ll post it on our blog.  Email or leave your info in the comments, and we’ll make it happen!

Getting crafty on the road: Moab, UT

Getting crafty on the road: Moab, UT

Part of the charm of the desert is that it’s partly inhabitable. Of course, the places most people live in these extreme climates is near a water source of some sort, but that doesn’t change the fact that for much of the year, it’s insanely hot or frigid cold.

When we decided to take a trip to Moab, UT and the surrounding desert, I knew there would be a lot of hiking, biking and excitement to fill the days.

Moab adventure

After all, everywhere you looked there were signs for rock climbing, kayak rentals, 4×4 tours and guided hikes. Someone even asked us if we wanted to test his tandem base jumping business. It was free! (We declined, figuring we got enough of a show with the world’s largest rope swing.)

But even with all the wild rides and adventure the area had to offer, I knew that every afternoon it was gonna get hot. And with more than two weeks to play, I knew I’d get burnt out if I didn’t have other plans. I think we all know where this is going.

Jordana Paige Rio & Crafter's Tool Butler

I brought three projects: my Emmery, a friend’s baby blanket and my trusty washcloth (for those times when I want to knit outside). That, my friends, is a lot of yarn. It was the first time I really put my Crafter’s Tool Butler to the test and I was thrilled! It holds everything. Of course, we all know that the Rio can handle it all.

Upon arriving in Moab, it was obvious that others before me knew that in the chill of winter or the blazing heat of summer (thank goodness for A.C.!) it pays to have indoor hobbies. In a town of 5,000 people, there was fabric, beads, jewelry, yarn and other fantastical things to discover. So in the spirit of our crafty tour of Santa Cruz, I thought I’d take y’all along with me for my Moab excursion.

Of course, the first place I wanted to hit was the LYS, but it was early so instead I thought I’d check out Moab’s farmer’s market. There were loads of fall veggies, handmade goods and herb tinctures I’d been looking at online. Serendipity!

Farmers Market, UT

After a chilly morning, I was anxious to hit Desert Thread. Owned by Cathy and Rosie, this shop is adorable. I was greeted with a hearty “Good morning!” by a six-year-old boy who was helping his mom. Inside the sunny store was local wool, spinning, knitting and crocheting supplies.

Desert Thread Moab, UT

After a lengthy discussion about sock yarn (this would be my first pair), I purchased some lovely hand dyed yarn from Pagewood Farm. The color? Peaceful. Mmm. (See the bottom of this post for pictures of my loot.) I asked the ladies where I should go next, and they suggested Savage Spirit, so off I went.

The beauty about downtown Moab is that nothing is too far away. I think the farthest I walked between stops was about three blocks. It’s still packed with shops, some with the typical touristy bits, but many with loads of hand-made, gorgeous wares. Savage Spirit didn’t disappoint.

With everything from hand-dyed cotton dresses to clay jewelry to beads and purses made from recycled Levis, this shop was colorful and welcoming. If you’re lucky, you’ll pop in when Cathya, the owner is in. She’ll be happy to tell you about how the artist made these earrings or just what helps your nose from drying out in the desert air. (Ocean, a nasal spray, is the choice of most locals.)

No matter who’s working the counter though, you’ll get a feast for the eyes when you stop in. With great stuff from around thirty different artists, it’s like a miniature Etsy collection you can touch and feel.

Savage Spirit Moab, UT

From there I was feeling seriously famished (shopping is hard work, as we know), so I headed to the place that had pulled me in on one of the first days I showed up in Moab: Eklecticafe. Just thinking about this place makes my mouth water.

Hungry for breakfast or lunch? They’ve got you covered with banana walnut pancakes, salmon and eggs, pulled BBQ pork sandwiches (with gluten-free bread if you so desire), and BLT wraps filled with avocado. YUM! Craving dessert in the desert? The carrot cake here is a winner, so I’m told.

One of the coolest parts of this cafe is that all the tables are old jeweler tables filled with handmade jewelry you can purchase at a reasonable price. Feeling like sending a friend a greeting? Local art and old postcards pepper the place, all ready to be purchased and mailed.

Eklecticafe Moab, UT

After relaxing outside in the shade (you wouldn’t believe how much shade matters in the dry heat) after a leisurely brunch, I figured I’d head back toward the sewing shop the gals at Desert Thread told me about, It’s Sew Moab. The store is a block off Main Street, making the sweet purple butterfly bench in front of it a welcome sight. If I hadn’t been sitting for so long, I’d have sat there just to enjoy the relative quiet.

It’s Sew Moab is a quilting store, through and through. Quilts hang from the walls, and signs pepper the place reminding us to “Procrastinate! It leaves more time to quilt.” Crystal, the owner, welcomed me warmly, along with the sweet little puppy basking in the sunlight pouring in through the front door.

In addition to gorgeous fabrics, there are beautiful displays and a sewing room where I could learn to quilt. Could I make a quilt in a day? I wondered. I reminded myself I had enough hobbies for now.

It's Sew Moab Moab, UT

I managed to make it out of Crystal’s shop without signing up for a quilting class, but the sight of all those sewing machines just waiting for me to create has me thinking that’s something to look into when I get back home. Speaking of home, I was on my way there (at least my temporary one), when I decided to detour into a store the Desert Thread gals told me about. It was on the way after all.

Earth Studio is a small shop on Main Street filled with some of the most fun and enticing metal work, all made by about eight artists around the area. Amanda, who worked the counter, told me they all designed and created it in a cooperative sort of way. In addition, the store contained things like local honey, soap and beautifully-made and cozy-looking rugs.

Earth Studio, UT
I’m pretty sure my backyard would be full of the metal garden decorations if I lived anywhere near this store. How cute are they?

Before I got to Moab, I thought maybe people would think I was a little off my rocker for wanting to find the creative spaces here, considering all the natural beauty I could check out. Turns out it’s just a natural muse, because there are loads of artists and places cultivating those artists in this small place. A gem in the red rocks.

It took a lot, but I went home with only a few small souvenirs from my excursion. The sock yarn, a metal-work-bound journal, some nettle tincture and a metal switch plate for my girlfriend who adores all animals. And plants actually. She took care of mine while I was away.

loot again

While I’m happy to be home, it was nice to have some quality time to knit and explore a different part of the planet. I’ve got a new appreciation for the desert and the artisans who call it their home. Do you have a crafty place you’d love to show off? Feeling inspired? Do your own craft tour and we’ll post it on our blog.  Email or leave your info in the comments, and we’ll make it happen!

How to Choose and Pack Yarn Projects for Airplane Travel

How to Choose and Pack Yarn Projects for Airplane Travel

If you read our blog, you know that in addition to loving all things fiber and fashion, we’ve also got a bit of a thing for travel. That’s why when Kathryn Vercillo of the blog Crochet Concupiscence offered to guest blog about traveling with yarn, we couldn’t resist.

She also opens up her bag for another edition of What’s In Your Bag? Read on? We think so:

Knitting and crochet projects are an excellent diversion for any plane ride. The repetition of stitching is soothing and relaxing, which is exactly what most of us are looking for on our vacations. The stressful part of it all can be figuring out what projects and craft tools you are allowed to take on the plane, how to pack them properly and how to work on them in those crowded little seats. This guide will help you figure that all out so that you can travel smoothly with your craft.

airplane-knit

 What Can I Take on the Plane?

 The first question on everyone’s mind is, “What will I be allowed to take on the plane?” After all, with all of the tightened security rules that the airlines have these days you never know what they might take away before you get to the gate. Here are some of the basic rules to follow based on current TSA guidelines.

 Crochet hooks are almost always okay. These are not considered sharp or dangerous so you should have no problem getting them on the plane.

  • 1. Rules on knitting needles vary. Here’s what the TSA currently says: “Items needed to pursue a needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside which cannot go through the checkpoint and must go in your checked baggage.”
  • 2. Scissors must be small. The rule is that metal scissors with pointed tips must have blades no longer than four inches. Alternatively you can bring blunt-tip scissors.
  • 3. Sewing tools. Sewing needles and pins are allowed on planes so you can pack them if you’ll need them for your project.

 Note: Keep in mind that that these rules are subject to change and may vary depending upon where you are traveling. Always check the TSA site and your own airline’s guidelines before you pack if you want to be sure.

 What Should I Take on The Plane

 Just because you’re allowed to take your tools on the plane doesn’t mean that you should. Here are some tips for the best yarn tools on planes:

  • Choose plastic or bamboo hooks and needles. They look less threatening and therefore are more likely to easily make it through security than aluminum or steel tools.
  • 1. Choose smaller size tools when possible. A long, pointy knitting needle looks more dangerous than a smaller, rounded needle. Most airplane security people won’t care either way but if you want to get through security smoothly then this is something to keep in mind.
  • 2. Circular knitting needles. Many knitters recommend this option because if you drop a straight needle on the plane it will be a lot more likely to roll away and get lost. Note that it is commonly recommended that circular needles be smaller than 31” in length.
  • 3. Kids’ scissors. You may want to bring kids’ craft scissors since these will cut yarn just fine and aren’t considered a safety risk.
  • 4. Stitch markers. You may have to stop in the middle of your project so make sure that you have a way to mark your place.

Best Projects for Airplanes

 Once you’ve got your tools settled, you need to decide what project is going to be best for the airplane. Here are some tips:

  • 1. Choose a project without too many color changes. If you pick a project that includes twenty different yarn colors with color changes at every row then you need to pack twenty skeins of yarn in your carry-on luggage and that’s a hassle. Choose a project with one or two colors of yarn instead.
  • 2. Consider yarn weights. Your yarn will require less space in your carry-on if you choose fingering weight over bulky. Think about that since you can only bring a small carry-on on board.
  • 3. Select a mid-sized project. You don’t want to bring along an afghan worked continuously because the project needs to fit in that small seat with you. However you also don’t want to make zillions of little blocks or tiny amigurumi pieces because you risk losing some of them on the way. Choose mid-sized projects like a cowl, shrug or 12” blocks for a blanket.

How to Choose and Pack Yarn Projects for Airplane Travel

How to Pack and Organize

 Once you have the right tools and the right project, it’s time to pack it all into your carry-on to use on the plane. The two important things here will be to choose the right carry-on bag and to organize everything for ease of use during the trip.

 First, you want to make sure that you choose a good carry-on bag. Although you can take large carry-ons onto most planes, you may want to go with a smaller bag to ensure that even if the plane is fully packed your bag won’t get moved to the plane’s underbelly. You want to choose a bag that has lots of pockets and separate spaces. This allows you to easily separate your yarn project from other important things like medication, electronic gadgets and snacks. The Rio and The Satchel by Jordana Paige are great choices because they are large enough to carry many items but small enough to fit nicely on a plane. Plus they have lots of pockets to keep everything you bring well organized.

 Even if you do pack a reasonably small carry-on bag, you will want to pack a smaller bag inside of it that contains the project that you want on the plane. This way, you can easily pull out your project and keep it under the seat in front of you in case your bag does get checked or gets placed somewhere far away from you on the plane. Your smaller bag should include just the most necessary items:

  • 1. The portion of the project that you are currently working on.
  • 2. The yarn you need to complete that portion of the project.
  • 3. The hook or needles needed for that part of the project.
  • 4. Stitch markers in case you need to stop in the middle of your project.

 Everything else can stay in your larger carry-on bag. You may want to keep your tools safely organized in one place by putting them together in a carrying case such as the Crafter’s Tool Butler.

 

This guest post was written by Kathryn Vercillo of the blog Crochet Concupiscence. Kathryn’s work has been published around the web on sites like Crochetvolution, SF Indie Fashion, Whip Up, Handmadeology. Her newest book, Crochet Saved My Life, will be out in August 2012.

We’re always looking for creative and adventurous stories of yarn, travel and handbags on our blog. If you’re interested, please let us know in the comments or email us!

 

Store Showcase: The Loopy Ewe

Store Showcase: The Loopy Ewe

Moving. We’ve all been there. Begging for friends’ help, borrowing trucks, coveting every useful looking box in sight. It’s never fun, but somehow we get through to the other side to tell about it.

“How many pounds do you think you’ve lifted today?” you ask your brave friends. And any knitter might wonder How much of that was yarn?

Our latest Store Showcase answers that question as Sheri from the Loopy Ewe in Colorado (and formerly Missouri) ponders sleep-related super powers, tells about how knitting with her daughter turned into a full-time job, and explains the webcam in her store.

JP: How did your shop come to be?

I wanted to encourage my daughter to find a hobby when she was in her teens. After trying a few different options, knitting is the thing that she liked and I took it up with her. After we had each made about 30 scarves, we decided enough was enough and it was time to move on to socks.

At the time (seven years ago), there wasn’t much sock yarn at our local shops, so we decided to open a shop that stocked a lot of sock yarn. Since then we’ve moved on to stocking all different types of yarn, but we started with sock yarn and we still lots of that!

loopy ewe colorado knitting store

JP: You just had a grand opening! Congrats! Was moving difficult? How are you adjusting to the change?

Moving was interesting! We moved 16 tons of yarn and fixtures and I hope to never do that again. On the plus side, it was a move that was entirely our choice, because we wanted to relocate to the mountains. I never get tired of seeing mountains out my office window and on my way to and from work! We love being here.

JP: What can we find in your store? Tell us about a few of your favorites.

So much! We have all weights of yarn for all kinds of projects. In addition, we love cute bags, so we have a lot of those in the shop. We also carry Roving, Patterns, and plenty of fun accessories.

loopy ewe near office picture knitting shop

JP: How many employees does the Loopy Ewe have? Has that changed a lot?

Ten employees. For the first year, it was mostly me pulling and packing orders, my husband doing all of our photos, our son designing and maintaining the website, and our daughter helping with the packing when things backed up. It’s nice to have plenty of help now!

JP: What project are you working on right now?

Well, it’s never just one project. 🙂 I have 3 shawls, 2 scarves, 2 sweaters, a stole, and a sock on the needles right now.

JP: Aside from your awesome employees, is there anyone that has really helped you with the store?

Yes, every single one of our sweet customers who has blogged about us, sent their friends to check us out, written testimonials for the website, talked about us on Ravelry, etc. We are really grateful for the positive word of mouth.

JP: Do you play music in your store?

We do. We have a Pandora for Business account and we have set up different music stations (smooth jazz, movie soundtracks, etc) to rotate. That way none of us get too tired of one particular genre.

loopy ewe yarn shop colorado

JP: Where did the name come from?

I wanted to call our shop “Loop”, and then found out that there is already an awesome shop in PA named Loop Yarn. So I started brainstorming variations, and ended up with The Loopy Ewe.

JP: When do you enjoying knitting most? 

Any and all times and places. Although with working a lot, I only really get to knit a night or two per week and on Sunday afternoons.

JP: You’ve got a webcam for your shop…where did that idea come from?

We have a lot of customers from around the country and in several other countries, who feel like part of our Loopy family to us. We thought it would be fun if they could pop in and share some of the daily activities with us, virtually.

Although we have to be careful of any yarn or products we’re trying to keep under wraps. No sooner do we set something like that out than we start getting calls or comments on Rav, wondering what “that gorgeous blue yarn is on the counter that we haven’t seen before.” 🙂

JP: How did you hear about JP bags? 

My friend Wendy of Wendyknits.com told me about them. She is a fan of JP and knew that I would be too (since she knows of my slight bag addiction.) My favorite JP bag is the LJ Kaelms bag in Teal.

What I like about it is allllllll the pockets! And the fact that I can carry two projects at one time, or I can use it as a purse on one side and a project bag on the other. We just started carrying them this year, but we keep selling out and re-ordering more. We have a lot of customers who are bag-lovers, just like me.

jordana paige knitting bags

JP: Tell me what sock yarns you first stocked when you opened Loopy Ewe. 

We started with Schaefer, Claudia Hand Painted, Regia, Online, Fleece Artist, and Lorna’s Laces.

JP: If you could choose a super power, what would it be?
Is “getting by on 4 hours of sleep a night” a superpower? Because that’s what I’d like. I really am an 8 hour a night person and I could use those extra four hours…

JP: If you could eat or drink anything with no consequences, what would it be?

Pepperoni Pizza and Peppermint Mocha’s. But not together.

JP: What did you do before you were an LYS owner?

I was a Junior High School Remedial Reading teacher before having kids, and then I was a consultant with Creative Memories for 15 years before leaving that to do The Loopy Ewe full time.

JP: What’s one of your favorite parts of owning The Loopy Ewe?

– Walking into the shop first thing in the morning and being overwhelmed (in a good way) by the beautiful colors.

colors yarn loopy ewe

– Seeing all of the projects that our customers are working on (although that has resulted in an explosion of things in my knitting queue).
– Working with yarn companies and our indie dyers – so many smart, talented people.
– Working with the Loopy Elves every day – they’re all a lot of fun.
– And having a business that my whole family is involved in, one way or another.

JP: Your blog is so great! What kind of posts are your favorite to write?

I like our monthly contest blog posts the best, because it’s always fun to read all of the replies to the contest question!

sheri loopy ewe blog

Read Sheri's blog

JP: Coffee or tea?

Coffee.

JP: What’s one of the strangest customer request you’ve ever gotten?

We had a customer send us an old pair of handknit socks once, and she wanted us to find yarn to match it so that she could duplicate them. We didn’t think that was strange, but it was very interesting!

JP: Is there anything your store is known for?

Great customer service, fast shipping, and Frequent Shopper Benefits. We work really hard on all three of those things!

JP: What’s one of your favorite outdoor activities?

Shopping in downtown Fort Collins. (Wait. That probably doesn’t count, right?) Ok – taking walks with my hubby. 🙂 We try to get in our 10,000 steps every day.

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Can you imagine moving all that yarn? Thanks so much Sheri for sharing about your store! You can catch The Loopy Ewe on Ravelry, follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook and check out the store blog, which is where that killer tutorial resides.

Know a shop with personality? Do you just love a LYS you think should be featured? Email us or tell us in the comments! Think you’ve moved a ton of yarn? We wanna hear about it too! Tell us in the comments!

Store showcase: Get to know Stash

Store showcase: Get to know Stash

There’s a lot going on right now at JP Headquarters. Jordana is in the midst of her newest creation; it’s so exciting to be a part of it! There are drawings hung up all over the office. In a word: Awesome.

stash the knitters satchel oregonWe’re also getting ready for Stitches West. Come say hello and check out the Crafter’s Tool Butler at booths 731, 733 and 735. It’s always a great time to meet new folks and say hi to old friends.

Last year we met someone who recently opened the yarn store Stash in Corvallis, Oregon, and we’re happy to celebrate with her by featuring it as our latest Store Showcase.

Sonia, the self-described Chief Stash Enhancer, took some time to answer questions  about yarn, cake (yes, cake!) and even hooked us up with an awesome tutorial for that fun paper heart garland in the window.

(Notice what else is in that lovely window display? The Knitter’s Satchel is really feeling the love!)

JP: Your shop is relatively new. Congrats!! How did it come to be?

I have been knitting (and thinking about knitting) pretty constantly for the past several years.  After moving to Corvallis in 2010, I was amazed at the amount of creative do-it-yourselfers in town.

There is also a lot of fiber-related stuff happening in the area, from heritage sheep breeders and spinners to weavers, dyers, crocheters, felters, and knitters.  I was seeing so many beautiful and new-to-me yarns at the local fiber festivals and wanted to curate a shop filled with such treasures.

stash owner new shop sonia

JP: What can we find in your store?

Stash’s main focus is on small, independent dyers and artisans, with an emphasis on yarn and fiber from the Pacific Northwest.  In addition to the yarn and fiber, we have hand sewn project bags, handmade wood, ceramic, and fabric-covered buttons, handmade stitch markers, shawl pins, and of course the gorgeous knitting bags from Jordana Paige!  We also have a gallery wall featuring different local artists.

JP: Tell us a little about the local art.

Our gallery wall features a different local artist every 4-6 weeks.  From painters and photographers to fiber artists, I am enthusiastic about helping to promote the work of up and coming local artists.  Currently on display is the work of painter Isabella Vickers.

rachel urista collage at stash corvallis

Rachel Urista's work hung at Stash in October and November.

JP: What project are you working on right now?

At the shop I’m knitting the Hado Slouch Hat by Olga Buraya-Kefelian in Shibui Staccato as part of a shop knit-along, as well as Wooly Wormhead’s Slable in Baah Sonoma.  At home I’ve got a a Madelinetosh affair going on in both the Hooray Cardigan by Veera Valimaki and the Hitchiker Shawl by Martina Behm.  Something for every mood!  You can see my Ravelry Projects page for more info.

JP: How many employees do you have?

Including myself there are 3 stash enhancers working at Stash.

JP: Aside from your awesome employees, is there anyone that has really helped you with the store?

I could not have gotten the shop in shape without the help of friends and family.  Before opening we hosted a Labor Day work party and got all of the Ikea shelves assembled and the whole shop painted in about 5 hours. It was amazing!

JP: What sort of tunes are playing on the speakers at Stash?

We usually play standards like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Buble.  If I’m feeling zesty or need a pick me up in the afternoon I put on Florence and the Machine or Katy Perry, my current guilty pleasure favorite!

JP: What did you do before you were an LYS owner?

In my previous life I was a classically trained pastry chef, working first as a chocolatier then later as a cake designer.  Most recently I was proud to be a stay at home mama to my now 2 year old daughter.

rocket queen cupcakes

The cake designer bit might explain these tempting photos on Stash's Flickr Stream.

JP: What is one of the biggest surprises about owning the store?

One of the first big surprises came in the form of a complete knitting mental block.  There were just too many delicious yarns and patterns to choose from that I didn’t cast on anything new for a month or two. Fortunately that has passed and I now have 4 or 5 projects on the needles!

JP: What’s your favorite knitting time? 

My favorite knitting scenario is home alone with a steaming cup of tea or coffee and a new knitting podcast to listen to.  Bliss!

JP: What products that you carry from the Pacific Northwest are you particularly in love with?

Right now I’m particularly infatuated with the luxurious and cheerfully dyed yarns from Knitted Wit in Portland, OR, as well as the rich, saturated colors from up and comer Baah! Yarns in California.  I’m also pretty excited about our newest selection of hand-carved reclaimed wood buttons from Wooly Moss Roots, an Oregon family business.

stash local knitted wit yarn

JP: You’re a superhero; what’s your super power?

Flying or being invisible.  And be able to knit while doing housework, of course!

JP: When did you start carrying Jordana Paige bags?

After meeting Jordana and buying my L.J. Kaelms at Stitches West last year, I knew they would have a place at Stash.  I love that I can fit a couple of projects, my Addi Clicks, notions bag, patterns, iPad, and wallet in the bag without a problem.  I’m also loving the new Tool Butlers.

jordana paige knitting crocheting handbags in stash collage

JP: If you could eat or drink anything with no consequences, what would it be?

Mmmm….chocolate cake, carmel corn, dill pickles, really strong coffee, and red wine.  Not necessarily at the same time, though I would do it if forced!

JP: Coffee or tea?

Coffee in the a.m. Tea in the p.m.

JP: What’s one of your favorite outdoor activities?
Knitting outside ; )  I also really enjoy working in the garden, taking walks with my 2-year old daughter, and playing at the beach.

JP: What’s one of your favorite parts of owning Stash?

I love seeing what my customers are working on!  It has been so inspiring seeing different points of view and attitudes toward ones creative work. I also enjoy looking at yarn all day and knitting whenever I want (which doesn’t happen as much as I’d like during the day, oddly enough!).

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Thanks so much Sonia! You can catch Stash on Ravelry, like them on Facebook and check out the store blog, which is where that killer tutorial resides.

Know a shop with personality? Do you just love a LYS you think should be featured? Email us or tell us in the comments!

Getting crafty with JP in Santa Cruz

Getting crafty with JP in Santa Cruz

While it may seem like between Donna’s interview and the latest issue of entangled magazine, we’ve been chomping at the bit to get out of town. But really, we know we’re blessed to call Santa Cruz home, especially as a crafty sort. There’s plenty to do here.

One of the cool things about working in a crafty industry is that sometimes work and play can cross over. Jordana and I had one of these days a while ago. We thought it would be fun to take you on a virtual tour of some of our favorite sites in Santa Cruz.

First Stop: Yarns By The Sea in Aptos

Yarns By The Sea, Aptos

This is where I first learned about yarn bombing. Oh my gosh, I love knitters. And yarn shops. We said hello to the owner Chrissy, did some official JP business and then proceeded to ooh and ahhh over pretty things for awhile.

yarns by the sea inside

Next Stop: Bunny’s in Santa Cruz

This place is pretty legendary if you like to shop, are at all girlie and live near Santa Cruz. From cute jeans and shoes to a book on the nuances of the cycling community and glittery everything, I could buy up the store in a heartbeat.

Bunny's Downtown Santa Cruz

Thankfully, I had plans for the money burning a hole in my pocket, and we were getting hungry. Isn’t it funny how shopping can work up such an appetite?

Lunch Stop: Cafe Limelight in Downtown Santa Cruz

One of Jordana’s favorites, this little gem makes the best paninis I’ve ever had, and that’s saying something since I don’t eat them with cheese anymore. The menu has so many awesome options as well as a dog menu! Pooches are welcome if you decide to sit on the patio, which we did since it was so sunny and lovely.

cafe limelight santa cruz

After lunch we decided we better get back on craft task. Jordana needed a clasp for the bracelet she made.

Next Stop: Monkey Girl Beads in Santa Cruz

Whether you’re into creating jewelry or not, this store is beautiful! Anyone who enjoys art will love visiting. And the shop itself is full of light and has so much nice space.

monkey girl beads santa cruz

While I wandered around in absolute delight snapping photos, Jordana chatted with the women working. She needed a clasp, she said, and showed them her beaded cuff.

The two started suggesting different clasps and one of them said, “Did you knit this? How cool is that?”

After we got everything we came for, we decided we’d better head across the street. Jordana needed buttons for a baby dress she was knitting and I needed yarn for my afghan.

Next Stop: Hart’s Fabric in Santa Cruz

This place seems to have everything, like eco-friendly upholstery! I know this because a man my grandpa’s age wandered in while we were there and asked for some. What a cool shop! (Note: They have an online store as well.)

harts fabric santa cruz

We left with our loot and decided to head back to our neck of the woods, the west side of Santa Cruz. And since we’re giving you a tour, why not take the scenic route?

west side santa cruz

Turns out the Cold Water Classic surf contest was going on, so we saw a lot more surfers than scenery, which isn’t really a bad thing. But enough with the distractions. Onward!

Next Stop: The Swift Stitch in Santa Cruz

As if we weren’t blessed enough here in this paradise, we have an LYS within walking distance from the warehouse. I’m pretty sure Jordana planned it that way.

This particular LYS is in a small space, but somehow they manage to pack tons of stuff in here without making it seem cluttered or uncomfortable. I got my first pair of circular needles on this particular trip.

swift stitch santa cruz

In fact, it sort of has the opposite effect. I want to grab a cup of coffee, hunker down and spend the day knitting in this cozy little shop.  And to get that cup of coffee you only have to head across the courtyard.

Last Stop: Kelly’s French Bakery in Santa Cruz

Lunch. Coffee. Dessert. There is always a reason to go to Kelly’s. And it’s also within walking distance. Joy!

kelly's french bakery

Because we all know every crafty type needs a sugar rush now and then, there’s no reason to not include Kelly’s on our tour. That and it’s just fun to look at pretty food too.

Thanks for spending some time with us around Santa Cruz. Do you have a crafty place you’d love to show off? Feeling inspired? Do your own craft tour and we’ll post it on our blog.  Email or leave your info in the comments and we’ll make it happen!

Store Showcase: fibre space

Store Showcase: fibre space

One of the greatest things about being a business owner is that you really get to decide exactly how your shop or products will look. (Some might argue that’s also one of the hardest parts of running a business.)

A big reason I love our Yarn Store Showcases is because you really get a chance to know more about the person and the personality behind the shop.

Fibre space in Alexandria, Virginia is definitely a shop with personality. Just look at its logo.

fibre space logo

If I lived anywhere near this place, I’d be visiting all the time. From yarn tastings to drive-thru yarn pickup, fibre space has it going on. We got a chance to chat with the owner, Danielle, to get a closer look inside this fun LYS.

fibre space yarn wallJP: You’ve been open since 2009. Congrats! What’s one of your first favorite memories of the store?

D: My fondest memory is the day that our first Malabrigo order arrived. We had put in an initial order that was really quite large. After a month or so of being open, Malabrigo finally called for payment and was ready to ship our order. Fourteen boxes of yarn arrived at the shop.

I didn’t have nearly enough staff to handle the giant pile that was in the middle of the floor and our customers jumped in to help. (They were happy to get their hands on it first).

Seeing that much Malabrigo in one place really put everything into perspective for me, and I realized that I actually owned a yarn shop!

JP: Since then have you gotten a few more employees?

D: We have 7 staff at the shop plus myself. We started out with only three or four. We used to have only two folks here on any given day. We now have up to five!

JP: What projects are you working on right now?

D: I am knitting the Dolman Sweater pattern by Melissa Wehrle in Swan’s island Bulky. It is amazing!

JP: Love the space theme! Any particular reason behind that?

D: My first company, Knit-a-Gogo, was a retro themed business and we wanted to keep that vibe. A friend came up with the name “fibre space,” so we went with a space age theme and mid century modern decor.

fibre space lounge

JP: Aside from your rad employees, is there anyone that has really helped you with the store?

D: My parents were a huge help. They really supported me. They looked over my business plan and never criticized my decision to open a retail store. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so it wasn’t unusual at all for them.

JP: You say you have a reason for everything you stock in your store. Tell us about one in particular you love.

neighborhood yarn company

D: Neighborhood Fiber Company is a owned by a local hand dyer and a good friend. She and I worked together at another yarn shop and opened our businesses around the same time.

When I was just an instruction business (Knit-a-Gogo), she was the first yarn company that I bought and I was her first wholesale customer. Her colors are named after DC neighborhoods and are rich and filled with jewel tones. She is hands down my favorite hand dyer and her Studio Worsted is my best selling yarn.

yarn tastingJP: Yarn tastings sound fun! What could I expect if I showed up? 

D: Our yarn tastings offer you a chance to try out a yarn before you buy it. Each participant gets a sampling of yarns in little mini balls.

We talk about their construction and what types of projects would be a good fit for them. We usually pair with a local business to provide a tasty treat to taste as well.

JP: When did you start carrying Jordana’s bags? Which one is your favorite?

D: We started carrying them in February of this year. I have have what might be called a “vintage” Jordana bag from back in the day (when she was the only “knitter’s purse” in existence).

I also have the Satchel in an old green color and that is the bag that I brought into the shop and have continued to carry. It is my favorite.

JP: When do you enjoying knitting most? 

D: I enjoy knitting at night while I watch my favorite garbage reality TV. *laughs*

JP: Orbit yarn pickup is a brilliant idea! Do people use that service a lot? 

D: It isn’t widely used, as parking isn’t all that difficult where we are in Old Town, but yes, it has been used.

JP: What’s one of your favorite outdoor activities?

D: Running! I have completed several marathons and am hoping to get back into training for a half marathon this spring. I have been out of training for a year since the shop has gotten so busy!

danielle fibre space

JP: Do you crochet as well as knit? Do you have a favorite craft?

D: I do crochet and actually learned to crochet from my mother before I learned to knit. But, my favorite craft is still knitting.

JP: Is there anything your store is known for?

D: Hand dyed yarn and small independent companies. We have so many small yarn companies at the shop, and have really become known for it nationally.

fibre space front doors

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Thanks so much Danielle for giving us a peak into your shop. Follow fibre space on Twitter, like them on Facebook and check them out at Ravelry.

Know a shop with personality? Do you just love a LYS you think should be featured? Email us or tell us in the comments!

Store showcase: Bobbins Nest Studio

Store showcase: Bobbins Nest Studio

Everyone learns differently: some by lecture, others are hands-on, while still others learn visually. I’ve always been a trial-by-fire type of gal, which is why I was thrilled when Jordana asked me to visit the Bobbins Nest Studio in Santa Clara. If I’m going to learn to knit, I might as well get comfortable in an LYS, right?
BObbins nest studio entrance
Along with our knitter’s profiles, we’re also hoping to start showcasing some of the LYS’s that carry Jordana Paige, which was my mission when I contacted Erin, the owner of Bobbins Nest, to ask if she minded if I picked her brain a bit. She agreed, and suggested we do it over Thai food. YUM!
Bobbins Nest isn’t exactly a yarn store, mostly because it’s got a lot of everything, from knitting, sewing, crochet, and hand embroidery. It’s all sortsa cozy, with plenty of places to sit, whether you prefer working at a table or in a comfy chair.
Bobbins nest sitting area
And the window displays are adorable!
bobbins nest window display

Oh man, those look delicious.

So after I went about taking about a thousand pictures, which I will upload to our Facebook page soon, I promise, Erin and I met for green curry, prawns and some mouth-watering conversation.
JP: You’ll be four years old in September! Congrats! What is one of the biggest surprises about owning the store? What didn’t you expect?
E: Thanks!  Everyday is different and it’s own adventure!  I knew I would never work harder than I do for myself.  I also knew I would be my own biggest critic!
I didn’t expect all of the support and admiration that my customers give the store and to me.  The Yelp reviews astound me!  Whenever I am having a bad day, my husband tells me to read the Yelp reviews.  It always makes me feel better.
JP: How many employees does Bobbin’s Nest Studio have? Has that changed a lot?
E: We have a staff of 5.5 right now (including myself).  We’ve had as few as 2 and as many as 9.  I think the perfect number is 6, but 5.5 is good too.  Our .5 is an intern who we have hired to help us with a VERY special project that will be announced in October!
JP: Aside from your awesome employees, is there anyone that has really helped you with the store?
E: 1.  My husband has been my biggest supporter!  Without the man behind the woman, there would be no Bobbin’s Nest.
2.  Other store owners both in the area and not.  They are my community and my peeps!
3.  Jordana!  She has been great to work with, a confidante, and a friend.
Erin McGee, Jordana Paige, Elizabeth

Erin with Jordana and her sis at the Nest (Photo is courtesy of Bobbins Nest via Flickr)

4.  Our customers!  These are the folks that Yelp us, Facebook us, Tweet us, and are the jelly to my peanut butter.
JP: What project are you working on right now?
E: Knitting-wise, The Mitered Crosses blanket by Kay Gardiner and Bloomin by Grace Mcewen.  I am a monogamous knitter, so having more than one project going is RARE for me!
As far as sewing, none at the moment, did you see how MANY knitting projects I have going on?  Yikes!
JP: Do you play music in your store? If yes, what? And how do you decide?
E: Yes, it’s my iPod.  I have an affinity for film scores, oddball groups like the Ditty Bops, Big Band, and I sneak a little country in there too.  It’s a weird collection that my employees tolerate and my customers ask to be made into a Bobbin’s Nest soundtrack.  You never know what you’re gonna hear!
JP: Where did the name Bobbin’s Nest Studio come from?
E: I kept thinking of an object that would be found in knitting, sewing, crochet, and embroidery…Bobbin.  There are different types of bobbins, but they all basically do the same thing…carry thread or yarn.
Then I thought of something that was like a community of people or something that symbolized “home”…Nest.  Well, Bobbin’s Nest sounded sort of like Robin’s Nest and I thought that was cute, but I didn’t want to sound too cutesy, so I tacked on Studio to make it sound more professional.
bobbins nest store front

Cute? Homey? Professional? I think she hit the nail on the head.

JP: When is your favorite time to knit/sew/crochet?
E: Sunday mornings!  I love to watch CBS Sunday Morning with my cup of tea, my dogs lying around, and a cat on my lap, while knitting.  It’s my time.
JP: You say you have products from all over the world? Tell me about something that comes from far away.
E: Well, the furthest items we’ve had were from France.  A few years ago I visited a friend in France and brought back buttons, jewelry, and little bits from the Parisian flea market.  I LOVED it!
bobbins nest display paris

Ahhh Paris!

We still have a lot of display items from that trip.  Some of which are the wooden shoemaker’s molds…I carried about 6 little “feet” back in my suitcase.  I am sure the TSA inspector thought I was nuts!
JP: If you could choose a super power, what would it be?
E: To read minds.  I would love to know what people are really thinking.
JP: You carry indie patterns…how do you find your designers?
E: Word-of-mouth, word-of-blog, happenstance.  I just like what I like.  When I find something new and different, I love to try it out!
JP: When did you start carrying Jordana’s bags? Which one is your favorite?
E: From day one!  I love the L.J. Kaelms the best, but I own almost every single style….except for the elusive first Knitter’s Purse, because I missed picking one up in the early days.  The L.J. Kaelms is my favorite because of it’s shape.  I love the height of it and that you can see straight down into it.
LJ Kaelms bobbins nest

L.J. Kaelms sighting at the Bobbins Nest Studio

JP: If you could eat or drink anything with no consequences, what would it be?
E: French bread with tomato, basil, and buffalo mozzarella drizzled in olive oil and balsamic. And a mean cappuccino….mostly foam. Sadly, I am gluten intolerant, so my days of French bread indulgences are over. I miss it though.
JP: What’s one of your favorite parts of owning Bobbin’s Nest?
E: I like the responsibility and the risk.  I like being the “boss lady” (as my employees call me) and that I work with awesome people.  My staff is great, my vendors are hand-picked perfection, and I love my customers!  What’s not to like?
JP: What’s one of the strangest customer request you’ve ever gotten?
E: Well, we’re listed under “Art Supplies” in the phone book, so we get a lot of wacky calls.  I have been asked for glass etching supplies, paint, canvas, photo paper, pens, framing, light boxes…you name it, I’ve been asked if we carry it.
JP: If you had to choose, could you pick between your crafts? Do you have a favorite?
E: Sewing was my childhood passion, but it took a backseat to knitting.  Knitting is so portable!  I still enjoy sewing, but secretly I like knitting better.  Shhhh…don’t tell my fabric.
fabric bobbins nest

Your secret is safe with us.

JP: What’s one of your favorite things to do when you’re not busy being crafty?
E: Playing with my dogs and cats….or my “kids” as they are known. I get a kick out of them. They are so goofy, joyful, and they rarely have a bad day. You can tease them and they just slough it off like “whatever, I’m cute and I know it!” You don’t get that with most people. Animals are just….sweet.
Hobbie-wise…I love yoga (but don’t do it nearly enough). I am a fantastic cook, but hate to bake. I am trying to convince myself to garden, but worry I will suck at it. And of all things, I am taking up fly fishing.
JP: Is there anything your store is known for?
E: Our customer service record is impeccable and we LOVE newbies!  We are great for beginners, specializing in small beginning classes and private lessons.  We can relate to you at any level, but I love seeing that spark in a beginner’s eye.
JP: Is there anything you wish people knew about your store?
E: That the store is a dream of mine.  There is one (wo)man behind the curtain pulling all of the levers and ropes to make it happen.  It’s a lot of work, but it’s also very rewarding.  Owning something that I can truly say I built from the ground up makes it one of the main piece de resistance’s of my life.  I am so proud of what I have accomplished, but I am also humbled by the support I’ve been shown.
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Thanks so much to Erin and all the folks over at Bobbins Nest Studio! What fun this was! To learn more about the store, please be sure to check out the website, Facebook, Twitter and Ravelry.
If you’d like to be featured in our store showcase, I’d love to hear from you! Email me or leave your info in the comments and we’ll make it happen. We may not be able to travel to all the stores (yet), but with the miracles of modern technology, we can make it work and have a good time doing it!