Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Circle of Stitches, an LYS in Salem, Mass.

Image imported from Circle of Stitches.com
I love to visit LYSs, Local Yarn Shops. I especially love supporting indie dyers, patterns and designs, and anything made in the US. I have become less reluctant to spend money on items that others might deem too pricey. I want to vote for their indie success with my dollars, as Clara Parkes once urged us when she spoke to the Guild. We need to do our duty as knitters and show these independents the love and support that will sustain their businesses! I wanted to share Circle of Stitches with you because it is owned and operated by an indie dyer and pattern designer. Please consider visiting, enjoying the ambiance of the shop, and finding some yarn and projects that make you smile.

Circle of Stitches is a beautiful and welcoming yarn shop in Salem, MA. The shop has wonderful lighting, beautiful views, and a cozy inviting environ. I visited recently and so enjoyed viewing the shop, meeting the owner, Ana Campos, and talking with two women who were sitting and knitting. Anna is the talented dyer and owner of Toil and Trouble yarns. Her colors are inspired by literature, they are stunning and, for me, brought on some tremors and heavy breathing as I tried to choose just two.  I urge you to plan a trip to the shop, peruse the stock, and plan to walk away with a new project in your hands.
Toil and Trouble stock
Ana has a beautiful collection of yarn lines for sale in her shop, including Toil and Trouble, Rowan, Anzula, Berroco and Blue Sky Alpacas, Fibre Company, Shalimar, and Shibui Knits, Skacel Zauberball and Sweet Georgia, Araucania, Malabrigo.

Malabrigo in gorgeous hues. 
Araucania
Melissa Jean handcrafted button

The shop carries Melissa Jean hand made ceramic buttons, needles and project bags, notions and books. Ana offers classes to small groups, and has plans in September for an exciting weaving class called Random Weaving, taught by Harriet Goodall. Harriet Goodall is an Australian weaver, you might know her work from the Ravelry Squam Retreat, her large heart shape form was lit with twinkle lights.
Squam Lake love lights, image imported from HarrietGoodall.com
Watch Ana's blog and shop calendar pages to sign up for these KALs and other classes. If you purchase your fiber at the shop, you can participate in the KAL for no charge. Imagine sitting and knitting along with others in the Salem Waterfront shop, such a treat. Ana has ongoing KAL projects that are enticing. Twinleaf Shawl is the current project, knit with Fibre Company Meadow, a laceweight yarn. The shawl is an undulating length of garter stitch, squishy and warm, but light weight. An upcoming project is a lightweight cardigan, Adrift, knit in a number of your choice of various yarn weights. Ana has fiber in stock for your project.

Two Twinleaf Shawls in progress in the shop.
I believe you will find that Ana's displays will inspire you, rather than overwhelm, and the many finished items will tempt you to cast on a new project. While the shop is stocked with merchandise, there is negative space that gives you a chance to breath and take it all in. (If you know me at all, you might understand that the hyperventilation that occurs when I visit an LYS!!).

Such a tiny and sweet sweater.
Twinleaf Shawl
When asked why a brick and mortar shop, Ana shared that her drive to have a store was to be a part of creating a community of creative people who could come together and encourage one another. As she visited various well known shops, she kept in mind her focus and intention and I believe she has succeeded beautifully in the Circle of Stitches store. One favorite thing remembered from my visit was the atmosphere of welcoming and genuine warmth. The seating area is large enough for a group, and the light is plentiful and natural. I strongly urge you to put a visit to Circle of Stitches on your summer bucket list. Ana has a quiet yet genuine manner, she is an adept conversationalist paired with the skills of an advanced knitter; you will be in good company if you join the group with your project!
Ana at work on her Twinleaf Shawl.
One of the women I met is Betsy, a Labor and Delivery nurse at a nearby hospital. She has only begun knitting this past February and works on hats for the newborn babies she meets at delivery. I loved her statement that the Circle of Stitches is her "Safe Place" and that she drops in often. Ana's desire to build community is at work and burgeoning. I also was happy to meet Kitty, who was working on her Twinleaf Shawl. She shared her love of the shop, the welcoming setting, and her current WIP, Stitch Surfer socks.  She even enabled me in starting a new audio book she was listening to, The Island by Elin Hilderbrand!

Betsy working on a premie hat.
Stitch Surfer Sock in progress
Kitty's Stitch Surfer Sock
The yarn cubbies are filled with color and texture, and projects that just want to jump onto your needles. Take a look below. Another element of this shop is Inner Circle, the frequent buyer rewards plan. For every $25.00 spent, you get a stamp for your ticket, when you have 10 stamps, you have earned a $25.00 gift certificate! Your purchase must be for products in the shop, classes do not count. You must spend $25.00 per stamp, no cumulative purchases will count towards a stamp.

An invitation to knit.
Another comforting project with color inspiration.
There are a collection of these images embellished with embroidery, made by a friend of Ana's.
They are unique and, to me, highly collectible!
Yarn on the brain, always!
Places to find Ana Campos
Ana Campos, Instagram, Ravelry, Facebook, Etsy shop
Circle of Stitches 
66 Wharf Street, Pickering Wharf, Salem MA
Classes

Project Bags

6 comments:

Estella said...

What a thorough and wonderful LYS review. I will have to go on a field trip soon!

Katheen said...

Great review! I've been wanting to get to Ana's shop, and now I'm even more pumped.

Ana said...

Thank you for visiting and for writing this awesome post about us!! :)

yardsailor said...

Great review, I attended Ana's Knitting weekend this year and enjoyed meeting her, a lovely warm person. Planning a shop visit soon and looking forward to the next knitting weekend.

Margie said...

Excellent review. Circle of Stitches is a wonderful shop. I feel so fortunate to have this be my "go to" LYS. Anna's choice and taste in fiber is second to none. A knitting junkie needs to get there and plan on purchasing, my mouth waters every time I walk in!!!! I have also taken a crochet edging class and learned so much, it was money very well spent.

Carol said...

Nice review of this shop, would love to stop by if I get to that area this Fall. How is Saco River Yarns doing? Have you been there lately?