Monday, October 20, 2008

In the Loop

Hi Knitters,
Good Monday morning to you all. A few months back I was contacted on Ravelry by Katie, a student and staff member at the Loop Yarn Shop in Milwaukee. The Loop was hosting the Itty-Bitty Nursery trunk show in October and she wanted to see if I would come for a visit while the trunk show was at her shop. Considering Milwaukee is only about an hour and a half away from my house in Madison I said sure. I am so glad I went. 

What a wonderful yarn shop. I especially noticed the sleek, stylishly customized layout of the shop. The owner, Katelyn, designed the shop and had many of the display pieces custom built and you can really tell. I was impressed, plus I have a huge thing for concrete floors. I love them, I guess it is the contrast of the cool concrete with the warm yarn and knits. It looks great together.
The shop's walls are almost all floor to ceiling windows and best of all right next door is an Alterra coffee shop. Alterra is the best coffee shop around and it fits perfectly with the Loop. The shop has knitted samples in every corner, window and shelf. Everything is displayed beautifully. I brought some extra hats, toys and sweaters from Itty-Bitty Nursery, Itty-Bitty Hats and samples from my blog.
Here is Katie and the fantastic cake she made for me. It was so cute, it even had my name on it, and everyone loved eating a piece, especially my kids. My whole family came along to the event and they had a great time at the shop and in Milwaukee. Isn't Katie cute? She is enthusiastic, warm and friendly and welcoming. She is a senior in college in textile design and will be heading off to spend the second semester in Peru visiting and studying fabric and knit manufacturing and design companies. Katie has a bright future and I hope she keeps me posted along the way.
Katelyn had these large storage/display units made for her shop and they are an incredible asset. Even the height is perfect and they allow easy access to display items, yarn, books, tools, etc. The other side held Habu yarn in open-top pullout drawers. That was fun to see.
One of these large islands was dedicated to the Itty-Bitty Nursery trunk show. I was happy to see that all of the items are looking fresh and well-kept and really like brand new. With all of the traveling the samples are doing I thought they might look a little worse for wear. Thank you to all of the previous yarn shops that have hosted the show for taking good care of the samples.
I couldn't get a great shot of the display due to the sunlight coming in the huge windows but you can get the picture. There were levels and access and books. It looked better than I could ever have imagined.
The tea set seems to be one of the biggest hits. The kids all love it and one of the staff members, who has 5 kids, Joan, now has to make the set for her girls after they saw it in person. I think she was only planning on making a few pieces but now she is in for all of it. Her kids and husband came to shop and they were so cute and friendly.

I signed a lot of books, the shop sold a lot of books and yarn while I was there and they did a great job getting people into the shop. It was a beautiful fall day so I wasn't sure what the turn out would be but it was amazingly good. There was a steady stream of enthusiastic knitters and crocheters and I loved meeting all of them.
We had a raffle for 2 hat kits, 2 Itty-Bitty books and 6 Itty-Bitty Nursery tape measures. Katie put all of the entries in the Rosebud Wreath hat and we all got to pull out the winning names. That was fun. Some of the winners were still in the shop at the time of the drawing. It is fun to see someone win in person.
At the end of the day, Katie gave me a gift that I adore. She is an avid reader of this blog and she had seen some of my mosaic work. The mosaic fruit I did quite awhile ago inspired her to do some of her own mosaic work. She made me a pair of mosaic knitting needles, size 50! I love them and I appreciate the thoughtful work that went into this gift. I will cherish them, Katie. Thank you for making the entire day a treat.
Left to right: Katie, me, Patricia and Katelyn.
Patricia is Katelyn's mom and I really enjoyed her. She is a prolific knitter and crocheter and has had patterns published in both of the the first two One-Skein Wonder books. She had a crocheted hat and a wonderful caterpillar toy published and I think there is a wrap in there, too. Patricia owns an apple farm, is a former teacher and current teacher educator and she and her family have lived and taught in many different countries around the world. What a wonderful, smart, lovely woman with so much to offer. I always love the mother/daughter teams.

The Loop Yarn Shop is a treat and a stop that is a must for Milwaukee knitters and visiting knitters. Thanks for a fun Sunday and for letting my family mill about in your store, they had good time, too.
best, susie