The field trip to end all field trips…I got to visit Yarnmarket a couple of weeks ago while in Ohio.
When I drove up, my heart started going pitter-patter just seeing the familiar Yarnmarket logo. Signs in the window show that the facility houses not only endless yarn and supplies, but also the wonderful, tenacious people who keep Yarndex up to date. (If you’re not familiar with Yarndex, check it out. It’s THE source for finding every kind of yarn imaginable, and is easily search-able by weight, gauge, brand and other terms).
I love to support my LYS, but they can’t carry every line needed to satisfy my voracious yarn yearnings. I fire up the computer to place orders online with Yarnmarket, sometimes phoning for expert advice to narrow down a selection. When I’ve looked at the huge list of brands they carry, I’ve always wondered what on earth their company looks like in person. Now I know: it’s yarn mecca to the nth degree! A series of light-industry warehouse units, all connected, housing shelf-after-shelf, bin-after-bin of every conceivable fiber goodie.
To have the opportunity to meet all the nice people I’ve spoken to by phone over the years was a real treat. Deborah Knight (no relation, but I wish we were) gave me a terrific tour of the facility. We started in the showroom, where I learned the stories behind some of Yarnmarket’s special brands. Did you know that Yarnmarket has its own house brand? Named Caledon Hills after the lovely part of Canada where Deborah’s mother lives, the yarn comes in worsted and chunky weights. I am bowled over by the number of colors available – 72 in each line! My head is spinning with design ideas. To get the full story, you can check out Deborah’s hilarious description of life in this beautiful but technologically challenged part of Canada.
Yarnmarket’s Abbey Collection is inspired by the pastel drawings of an American monk. A dollar from each ball sold is donated to the artist’s abbey. If you want some design inspiration, check out the Abbey Collection site where there are pictures of the pastels. Clicking on the picture will take you to a page showing that particular drawing and the yarns that represent it. I love to see how Iris Schreier has used dye to interpret the pastels.
Deborah offered up many more entertaining stories, and I wish I could have had all my readers along to hear them too! As the day grew later, I had to get down to business selecting yarns for a new – big – project coming up. Jan, a yarn expert extraordinaire, looked over the sketches I brought and helped me to narrow my choices down.
If you visit Yarnmarket, you’ll start off in the showroom, where at least one of each yarn is on display. With all the yarns the company offers, it might be easy to be overwhelmed, but the room is brilliantly organized. This photo is of one tiny corner:
Next comes the warehouse tour. This is like walking through some lovely dream involving the ultimate stash combined with the knitter’s library from heaven. It’s another tribute to the powers of organization, as the bins all perfectly labelled and arranged alphabetically – room after room, shelf after shelf. I’ll fess up… the place is so enormous I got lost trying to find my way back to the showroom the first time. I learned to tell my internal navigation system, “Turn left by the Berroco”.
I want to thank everyone at Yarnmarket for their warmth and hospitality. You’ll be seeing several of their yarns in future AudKnits designs.