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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Nowak: Endorsing the new yarn shop

  • My new favorite shop in downtown Leavenworth is the new yarn shop just a few doors west of the Tune Shop on Delaware.
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  • My new favorite shop in downtown Leavenworth is the new yarn shop just a few doors west of the Tune Shop on Delaware.
    One of my boys helped do some electric work there and he told me that I would probably be interested in visiting. Sure enough, it's a pretty cool place if you like yarns and are interested in knitting and crochet.
    I don't knit very well, if at all, but I do spin yarns, which I use for my own weaving, mostly on my triangle looms.
    Personally, I think that she needs to expand her offerings into weaving, at least triangle loom weaving. You use a continuous thread or yarn with a triangle loom, so there is no time consuming warping of the loom like you have with a traditional floor loom.
    In other words, while knitting and crocheting require quite a bit of knowledge and skill, triangle loom weaving is for dummies like me. That is why I think that she should allow me to set up one of my looms in the shop to demonstrate how easy it is to make a triangle shawl so that people may want to buy more yarn.
    Also, triangle looms can use yarn right out of the skein.
    Floor looms that have to be warped use a stronger yarn for the warp and it usually comes on cones. You can see lots of cones of warp yarn at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence, but that is a much larger store.
    It also takes a bit of skill and lots of patience to warp a floor loom before you can even start to make anything. You are making a shawl or cover the instant that you attach the yarn to the triangle loom.  That is why it is a no-brainer when it comes to fiber art.
    You can get quite creative with a triangle loom.
    I use anything from one to three yarns when I weave. One yarn will give a relatively light weight shawl while using three yarns makes for a heavier shawl and it gives you the opportunity to blend three different yarns to create an interesting surface design and texture.
    I refer to my three-yarn shawls as blanket shawls because they are heavy like a blanket, but they also keep you very warm.
    The single-yarn shawls are more for dining out and for fashion.  Either way, making them gives me the opportunity to create some interesting shawls for a number of occasions.
    I have even made some that were purchased by folks who do Civil War-era re-enactments and you may see some at the Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs, especially when the temperatures get a little cold later in the season.
    Page 2 of 2 - Now, if the new yarn shop also offers coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and maybe some smoothies in the summer, plus holds some knitting parties in the shop, they should attract a regular crowd that hangs out there like we bicyclists already do at the Bike Shop further east on Delaware.
    Giving people a reason to hang out and visit in your shop is a good idea, even if they don't buy something every time that they visit.  By the way, she has a great selection of interesting buttons, too.
    Hopefully, I will get invited to set up my loom and do some weaving there, maybe even on the sidewalk in front of the store in nice weather.
    I'm ready for it and I'll do almost anything to help a great store get going and to attract people to the store. In the meantime, if you are interested in knitting and crocheting, you need to stop in and visit. She is open Sundays after church hours, so you can plan to stop in on the weekend, too.
    You know what might also be pretty cool? Having a musical jam session there once in a while.
    Music may not have anything to do with knitting, but maybe some of the musicians would be interested in learning how to knit or crochet or weave. It is all part of the arts, after all.
    Matt Nowak lives in Lansing and works as a natural resources manager.

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