Making of a Wool Shop: The Children’s Play Area

This area of the shop has evolved into a space of its own.

I knew the wall gets too much sun for yarn storage, so my first thought when I was planning the space was that it would be the community space. The wall did scream for a fireplace, and I loved the idea of cozy fireside seating by windows. We in the north have to source as much light and heat at possible!

It IS a cozy seating area beside a window and a fireplace, but it has become more of a children’s playroom than a yarn lovers gathering space. Stitchers do sit by the fire occasionally, but we usually squeeze around the three tables even if there’s too many of us. 😀 (which is so fun!)

The area around the fireplace grew into a wonderful play area for kids. The little table originally had a glass top and I had plans to fill it with decorative wool displays, but before I could put the glass back after painting it somehow filled with Oliver’s toys.

I’m often thanked for creating the space, but really it created itself. Kids now enjoy coming to the wool shop, and moms, dads, and grandparents appreciate the distraction while they shop. Sometimes kids have to be dragged out kicking and screaming when it’s time to go. :S

There’s a lot of weird stuff to pique the imagination: a mounted unicorn head (custom made by the beautifully talented @mommycansew), a monster garland made by @camphappyheart and me, melting snowmen, a toy alien by @sewwhimsicalbykatie, little felted creatures, crochet Oliver in a pumpkin, sheep and alpaca toys, and of course Shaun the Sheep on the smart tv.

This area isn’t what I originally planned but I couldn’t be happier with what it has become. I love that kids enjoy coming to the shop, and that their guardians feel a little less stress about taking littles out shopping. I know the juggle well.

My hope for a community creative space is constantly both affirming my intention and evolving on its own. It’s a great thing to watch.

Thank you all for making the shop what it is today!

Summer Stitch Along

Our summer stitch along is designed to be a workshop on the go. It’s difficult, especially in summer, to commit to weekends in a row at the yarn shop to complete a project in a designated workshop. By stitching along you can join us at the shop for tutorials and socials, while working on the steps in your own time.

To participate simply purchase your pattern from the designer and come by the shop to find your yarn. Cast on is June 16th from 1:00-4:00 pm at Olives and Bananas (or contact the shop to arrange a time to get you started).

Tiffany and I have been planning a combination of knit and crochet projects to keep us busy this summer. The Atelier cardigan by Heidi Kirrmaieris is our knit project, which Tiffany will lead. At the shop Tiffany has set aside kits of yarns measured in appropriate quantities for various sizes, so you don’t have to search the store for enough of the right yarn to use with this pattern. Don’t like what you see in the kits? We can help you find a yarn you’ll love.IMG_2423 (1)

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I will host a couple different crochet projects: a simple amigurumi giraffe and a pretty crochet shawl made of flower motifs:

The amigurumi giraffe is one of my favourite toy patterns. It is designed by Allison North of KornflakeStew. Her patterns are well written, simple, and accessible for a beginner. Find her giraffe pattern here. IMG_1126 (2)

The amigurumi toys I make are worked in the round and all begin with the magic loop. This is an important step you’ll need to master to begin making these patterns. It just takes a little practice. Sharon Ojala has a simple YouTube tutorial on beginning that magic loop: watch it here. There are a few different approaches to the magic loop, but this video is closest to how I do it.

The Posy Crochet Shawl by Amanda Perkins was inspired by her summer garden, so I thought it was an appropriate project for the summer. This is a great pattern to use bits from your stash, or you can use just a couple colours to create a pattern. It would also look nice in autumn colours. There are lots of possibilities.

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Once again, to participate: purchase your pattern(s) from the designers, find your yarn from Olives and Bananas, and join Tiffany and I for the cast on June 16th from 1:00-4:00pm.