Knit Wit Yarn Shop, A Not so Local Yarn Shop, part two

In my enthusiasm and long-windedness on my last post, I stopped before it became a novel. 
But there is more.... I want to share what I bought for yarn, what I hope to make, and some responses from Suzie, in the way of a loosely structured interview.
I was too flustered and the shop was too busy to do any kind of interview while I was there, so when I got home, I put together a list of queries and sent it off. Suzie graciously replied and here is the resulting info on Knit Wit Yarn Shop.

Knit Wit Yarn Shop, Portland Maine
How long has the Knit Wit Yarn Shop been open?
KnitWit has been in business for 7.5 years -- I have only been here since May, as I purchased the shop from the previous owners who started the shop in this location. They were wonderful about leaving all of the decorations, etc. so I had it easy … if you don’t count moving from Vermont and all the details involved in buying a business. :-) 

Do you have any favorite shop stories? Famous shoppers, quirky lessons or anything memorable?
I don’t have any customer stories…well, maybe one... a woman who was trying to overcome a stroke wanted to try knitting again, so her daughter brought her into the shop.   I sat with her and showed her how I make a knit stitch when I’m teaching people to knit and then put the needles in her hands. She tried for a while and then she set the needles down and we chatted. And then, her hands picked up the needles, the way she used to knit (holding them like a pencil), she wrapped the yarn around her fingers and she tried knitting “her way”!!  It was slow going but very obviously, she knew how to knit!  And she smiled -- it was really a great moment. :-) 

Do you like to visit yarn shops?
I do indeed visit yarn shops when I travel -- that is how I found KnitWits! My husband and I were visiting Portland, I stopped in and met the owner, and we became friends -- corresponding by email for several years.  I worked at Kaleidoscope Yarns in Essex Junction Vermont for a few years when they first opened, and then taught there until I moved to Maine from Vermont, so Anna (the previous owner) and I would swap yarn tales -- what we liked, what we didn’t like. :-). Going back to Vermont always means a stop at Kaleidoscope to see what they have, and be inspired by people I used to work with. When we travel, my husband jokes that I always check out the yellow pages for yarn shops before we look at the restaurant section.. :-) 

Describe your favorite spot to knit. Do you have a knitting bag at hand, and what tools do you keep close by?
My favorite knitting location is on my front porch, (in the summer) in a rocking chair which my mother-in-law gave me. If I’m really lucky, my dog lays somewhere close by so I can pet her and hope she doesn’t bark (which makes me drop stitches…) , a little classical music, and some great yarn .. maybe some coffee. I might have the Della Q dpn needle roll, which my kids gave me, nearby so I can try a few different gauges… oh, and a light breeze to keep the bugs at bay - mmmmmm!! :-) 

What does it look like when you begin a project? Do you start with a garment in mind, or do you begin with yarn and figure out what it wants to be? Or do you have books or magazines that you go to first?
I start new projects in a very haphazard way! Sometimes it is the yarn that comes first, sometimes the pattern. It is very rare for me to knit a pattern as it is written in its’ entirety. I have good intentions when I start and then comes the “what if?” moment and off I go -- maybe successfully, maybe to be frogged but always to have learned something from the adventure. I try hard, now that I own the shop, to at least make notes when I go “off-pattern” so I can tell people what I did… :-)

What are your dreams for the business? Where do you hope to see Knit Wit go in the future?  
My dreams for KnitWit are that it can continue to be a place where people can come and be inspired, feel good about themselves and their projects, a place where they can leave behind the “to do ” list and have some time to dream what they’d like “to do”.....A respite of sorts.....A place to be happy and a bit carefree. As far as yarn goes, I will continue to try to bring in local yarns. I think the less a yarn travels to get to the shop the better for the world.

I love that last thought.... the less a yarn travels to get to the shop, the better for the world. But for those who aren't so fortunate to live near great yarn sources and great LYS, thank bob for express mail delivery!
Beautiful shawl, I didn't get the name of the pattern.....
What did I get??? 
A number of readers have asked, so here goes....
Knit One, Crochet Too, Brae Tweed
 Two skeins of Brae Tweed from Knit one Crochet Too, in Garnet.  I think this might be the most squishy, silky-soft yarn I have ever had the pleasure to hold.  The color is a beautiful warm brick tome with flecks of oatmeal and tan. Hoping to find a good hat pattern for this yarn, but it may prove to be too drapey, a scarf is my second choice. Hurricane Hat looks good, takes only one skein...
Quince Tern, color Seaweed.
Two skeins of Quince and Co Tern in Seaweed. This tone is one of my-go to colors, a deep olive green. I want a cowl like Liesl, but I think the weight will be too drapey. Maybe Earth and Sky.
Quince Finch, color Nasturtium
Two skeins of Quince and Co Finch in Nasturtium. Not sure what to make, I will need to keep looking on the Quince and Co website for inspiration.

Circular needles, size 17 for the Gov'nah Cowl.

Interweave Knits Winter 2011 magazine.
So, if yesterday's post didn't convince you to take a road trip with knitting friends, perhaps you might want to follow the Knit Wit group on Ravelry.   Or perhaps check on the Yarn on the Brain  blog to see what is happening with yarn stock, classes, and events. There are many talented knitters who frequent the store, many of whom are pattern designers.


Inky077 said…
How about the rustling leaves beret for one of the quince yarns? You could do a knit-along!
how amazing to have your own wool shop ! i will check it out on raverly. following you now as well.
Nice interview! I love the story about the woman who had a stroke. Isn't it amazing how knitting and crocheting can help you to heal?
Evelyn said…
I'm dying to get my hands on some Quince & Co ... nastursium is sooooo gorgeous! Can't wait to see/hear what you'll be knitting with your new stash. xo

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