Today’s featured yarn place is Needle Rock Fiberarts in Telluride, Colorado. Dubbed The Mountain Knitting Store, it is a LYS that appeals to locals and tourists alike. The interview is with the shop’s owner.
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?
Located in beautiful Telluride, Colorado, Needle Rock Fiberarts provides supplies to all yarn enthusiasts – knitters, crocheters, spinners, needle pointers, weavers & needle felters. We host 2 weekly open knitting circles, offer lessons to beginners & workshops for the more advanced. We’ve been called Telluride’s living room, as ladies love to come & hang out with their stitching, enjoy a cup of tea at our kitchen table & share the latest news, gossip & the chance to show off their projects.
Can 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!
We opened in September, 2007 – just about the start of the great recession. Who knew? We muddled through 2 locations before settling into our 1882 historic home on the main street in downtown Telluride, Colorado. We are 2 knitting enthusiasts who continue to stretch our abilities right alongside our customers. Our nearest yarn shop in 2007 was a 45 minute drive & very small. When the owner passed away suddenly, we knew we had our sign to get going; bought out fixtures, notions & some yarns, drove it all over Dallas Divide in garbage bags – to the soundtrack of, “now what?” That Labor Day weekend we offered up a trunk show with our inventory & were encouraged enough to sign a lease the following Monday. The rest, as they say…
We carry a wide variety of natural fiber yarns, sourced locally whenever possible. We have a wide range of offerings, mostly for providing warmth (we are located @ 8750′ elevation & at the base of a world class ski resort). Eco-friendly yarns include bamboo, corn, & sugar. Our 850 square foot shop has 5 rooms of yarn, exhibited to each yarn’s advantage. We work closely with our customers to match the appropriate yarn to their chosen pattern. Some of our commercial yarns are Plymouth, Berroco, Classic Elite, Mirasol, Queensland, Mountain Colors, Pagewood Farms, Malabrigo & Tahki Stacy Charles. For those customers who are visiting our area from warmer climes, we feature ribbon yarn, silk & cotton. Locally grown & hand spun alpaca is very popular with our visiting customers – these hanks often include beads of varying sizes, or are spun with a merino/silk blend for unusual colorways.
What, if any, classes do you offer at your shop? Do you offer any type of social gatherings for knitters and crocheters?
We have a beginning knitting class every Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. We offer beginning crochet classes upon request. Workshops are organized throughout the year for our more advanced stitchers to expand their quiver of talents. The hand dyeing workshop last summer was our greatest success & everyone went away with beautifully colored wool, bamboo & alpaca yarns.
Every Tuesday from 7-9, we host KnitNite at our kitchen table, with anywhere from 2-15 ladies joining us weekly. Friday lunch is another time knitters gather, often bringing a sack lunch or snack to share. We have enjoyed good luck with “Yarn Tastings” too.
What trends do you see in knitting in general, and yarn choices in particular?
Since we are primarily a tourist-based economy in Telluride, we offer a lot of yarns that can be worked up quickly. People on vacation seem to want quicker gratification with their projects. Bright colors sell very well here, as do bulky yarns like “Rasta” from Malabrigo & Brown Sheep’s Burley Spun.
Do you have favorite yarns? What do you use them for?
My current favorite yarns come from Bernalillo, New Mexico,under the brand STRANDivarious from Gudy Klawer. They are individually hand dyed, come in large hanks & brilliant colorways.
Do you have a mail order business?
We ship all over the world, though we do not have an e-commerce website. We work with our customers via e-mail & telephone. We can send yarn samples as well as photographs of any of our yarns. We encourage all our customers to come in & feel everything before making a purchase.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We have something for everyone & anyone who enjoys working fiber.