nancy O, Ridgefield, Connecticut

nancy0facadeToday’s interview is with Nancy O’Connell, owner of nancy O, a LYS with something extra, located in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Can you tell us a little bit about your shop? What is the atmosphere like? Is there anything that makes your shop different from other yarn shops?

nancy O is a full service knitting and yarn boutique, which is also a gift and fashion boutique. The shop is housed in a a lovely antique building which dates back to 1790, and has been lovingly restored, featuring a large entry way with an open staircase. Turn right, and enter a world-class knitting boutique, where an amazing hand-picked assortment of yarn and fibers grace the large stately fireplace, with a knitting lounge around another fireplace, where you can snuggle up and peruse the large knitting library, visit with friends, or simply knit to your heart’s content. Turn left, and you’ll find wonderful assortment of girts, baby boutique, beautiful sweaters, and accessories. Many are hand-crafted, or reflect the fibers, colors and textures found in the yarn boutique.

nancyofashiongiftsCan you tell us a little bit about yourself and the history of your shop? How did you get interested in knitting/crocheting? How did you come to open or own a yarn shop? Readers will love to hear your story – so tell it!

After a career in marketing that spanned over 25 years, I was at a crossroads. Running a successful promotional marketing consultancy, I decided to move on to create my own “brand”. nancy O reflects not only a passion for all things fiber, but also a love of marketing ideas and expanding those ideas into gifts and fashion items that everyone can enjoy. I began to knit as a child, as did everyone in my household. It was when my first grandchild was born 13 years ago that I truly reconnected with knitting, and I’ve enjoyed expanding my knowledge and sharing that my love of knitting ever since.

Which yarns do you carry? Traditional yarns? Exotic or unusual yarns? Novelty yarns? Local farm yarns? Eco-friendly yarns? How large is your inventory?

We have an expansive inventory, with a range of products to suit a variety of knitters. We have all the basics, with affordable blends for baby things, right alongside exotic hand-dyed fibers from all over the world. We love to support Fair Trade practices, as well as yarn that’s produced in the U.S. While it’s impossible to carry every yarn out there, we feel our selection is second to none.

nancyo2What, if any, classes do you offer at your shop? Do you offer any type of social gatherings for knitters and crocheters?

Our classes fill quickly throughout the year. Most of our groups meet once a week with an instructor, with each knitter working at their own pace, on the project of their choice. We also have kid’s knitting classes, with occasional Saturday workshops for specific skills (eg, Entrelac, Mittens, Needle Felting).

What trends do you see in knitting in general, and yarn choices in particular?

Trendy “ruffle yarns” come and go, and people have a lot of fun working with them. But, the beautiful basics are here to stay, with knitters creating lots of accessories for themselves and for the home, as well as an occasional attempt at the sweater. Unusual hand-dyed yarn in tonal colors are at their peak in popularity right now, with many of them in washable soft merino wool, perfect for garments. We also sell a lot of super-chunky yarns for quick knits on big needles.

Do you have favorite yarns? What do you use them for?

Every yarn that enters the shop quickly becomes my favorite. I love to knit with wools, blended with cashmere and silk. Most importantly, my favorite yarn is light worsted or DK weight, and my favorite needles are between US 5 & US 7. I really dislike working with chunky needles, although that’s what many of my customers are seeking, so we carry plenty of it.

Do you have a mail order business?

We tried a shopping cart on our website, but have recently given that up to focus on our new shop and our customers in the shop. We will pack and ship any order. Just call & we’ll take care of you!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

We hope you’ll come visit our wonderful store. It’s a welcoming and beautiful place, where we promise you’ll be surrounded by friendly people and beautiful things. You’ll also be treated to a visit to Ridgefield. Connecticut’s #1 town! Beautiful wide tree-lined streets, wonderful shops and restaurants, cultural and historic attractions – all make it a wonderful town to visit. Come soon!

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