Kniftybits's Blog

All knitting, all the time.

Rock on Table Rock Llamas July 22, 2011

Along the rural, wooded route of Shoup Road, nestled in amongst the pine trees of Black Forest, Colorado is Table Rock Llamas Fiber Arts Studio, a lovely log cabin of yarn.  I think I saw a gingerbread house nearby, but I can’t be sure. Shopping yarn appeals more than gingerbread and didn’t involve a fight to the death with a witch. At least not this time.

Could this setting be more awesome?

The shop, is open Tuesday-Friday 10 -5, Saturday 10-4 and consists of a front multiroom building chock full of yarny goodness, and a back building where the classroom spinning, dying and other teaching magic happens. Coincidentally, or maybe not so coincidentally, this is where Julie from Tompkins Alpaca Pride learned to spin.  This outbuilding also houses roving and other spinning materials, lovely spinning wheels, classroom space and sale yarn. Table Rock was recommended by Julie and another yarn shop, so you know it’s gotta be good.

Ladies, start your spinning wheels.

Of all their lovely yarn offerings I opted for some local hand-dyed sock yarn from a multitalented husband wife team. The yarn looks like a rainbow puked on it, which means I LOVE it!

Yeah, more sock yarn!

An interesting thing I learned there – you can buy silk worm cocoons to either turn into yarn or use as decorative elements in your fiber creation. You can hear the dead silk worm rattling around in there, which kind of weirds me out. If anyone out there ever thought giving me a silk worm cocoon was a good idea, let me politely decline the offer now.

The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable. Stop in a check it out.

6520 Shoup Road
Black Forest, CO 80908

Phone: 719-495-7747
Toll Free: 866-495-7747

Black Forest is located about 30-minutes from Colorado Springs.  Do you have any Colorado Springs area yarn shop suggestions?


Blazing Needles Yarn Shop March 3, 2011

I can’t get over how many yarn shops there are in this area!  And one of the most impressive is Blazing Needles in Salt Lake City.

Blazing Needles won a “Best of Utah” award in 2010. For those of you who don’t know what that is, like I didn’t until I saw the banner, “Best of Utah” is an award bequeathed by Salt Lake City Weekly based upon votes and staff picks.

Walking up to the quaint house converted to yarn shop in the Sugar House section of SLC, already it’s easy to see why it’s a winner. And once you’re inside it is knitter heaven!

Not only do they stock amazing yarns, like Alchemy Yarns, ArtYarns, Tilli tomas, Habu, Malabrigo, Hand Maiden, Queensland, Imperial Stock Ranch, and Koigu, they also stock a plethora of sundries and accessories. The entire place is like visiting a yarn art gallery, look at the amazing display below.


Front room of Blazing Needles.

They also have a little drinks station, where you can help yourself to a cup of coffee for a small donation. (I hear there’s wine at their knit night.) Lovely sale yarns are kept on the landing and knitting patterns abound with scrumptious knit samples creatively displayed for the shopping knitter to ogle.

The back room is filled with gorgeous yarn and a nice table where they host knit night. Did I mention the wine?


Sock knitter nirvana.

So many yarns, it's hard to choose!

Plus, they keep your frequent shopper information in their computer, so you get rewarded for your purchases without having to carry something else in your purse. They will ball you skeins with their handy automated baller at no extra cost, though if you opt for this, you won’t be able to return the yarn. (Return yarn? Who would do that?!?!) They also have a ton of classes, which you can checkout on their website.


I love the sculpture in the garden! A fellow shopper jubilant with her purchases!

I’m thankful my knitting friend brought me here!

They’re one of the few yarn shops open on Sunday, if you need a Sunday yarn fix.

Mon-Wed, 10am-7pm
Thurs, Knit Night, 10am-9pm
Fri & Sat, 10 am-6pm
Sun, noon to 5pm

And you can find them at 1365 South 1100 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84105. Phone: (801) 487-5648


America’s Oldest Yarn Shop! February 16, 2011

It was an odd twist of fate that brought me to America’s Oldest Yarn Shop. More accurately, the terrible grinding noise my KitchenAid mixer emits whenever it’s turned on. This unpleasant turn brought one pleasant outcome, which is the discovery of the aforementioned yarn shop.

How does a KitchenAid screech lead one to a yarn shop? Well, since I had to drive over an hour to the recommended repair shop I vowed to spend the day in the area!

It never occurred to me that America’s Oldest Yarn Shop could be in Utah. If I was stopped on the street and asked where America’s Oldest Yarn Shop was I would’ve suggested somewhere in the Northeast of our great nation, but according to Ted, the owner and operator, the next oldest shop, a mere 60-years old, was in Boston and has since closed.

I just never thought as I did an i-Phone search for a nearby yarn shop that I would stumble into a national treasure.

Heindselman’s is located on Center Street in downtown Provo, Utah. Not it’s first location, but it should be there for a while since Ted owns the building. Center Street is a historic street, but there is development planned for the block, a blessing and a curse for old Main Streets throughout America (in my humble opinion).


Who knew?

The shop itself is reminiscent of main street haberdashery shops I visited in England. (Haberdashery means something different in the UK, than it does in the US, in case you were wondering why a mens clothier would be selling yarn.) The front of the store is filled with gifts and knick knacks. Florescent lighting races down the center of the shop and as I looked at the bits and bobs I initally didn’t have high hopes for the yarn selection. You see, in the UK, many haberdashery shops abound with acrylic. I once went into a shop looking for wool to make soakers and the women in the shop looked at me like I was insane. So, I had some reservations.


Looking into the shop, past the gifts section.

But, I was pleasantly surprised as I ventured farther inside. My eye first alighted on some fabulous yarn that I bought in the UK, foolishly thinking it wouldn’t be available here. KnitCol from the Adriafil Collection, in case you were wondering. As it turns out this fun yarn is from Plymouth Yarn Company, and there is much Plymouth Yarn Co. yarn in this shop. But, I didn’t mind the preference, as their yarns appeal.

Heindselman’s have the yarn well organized by use with all the sock yarns hanging out together, sweater yarns, lace yarns, etc.


Lots to look at!

And though, there is plenty of Plymouth Yarn, there is also some other great stuff, such as the amazingly vibrant hand dyed and spun sock yarn from Raven Frog Fibers. Apparently the fiber artist who produces this amazing yarn previously worked at Heindselman’s.


Must take some of this home!

The staff were extremely nice and helpful. And the fellow visiting yarn lovers were conversational, which is always nice.  Ted even told me that if I bought yarn for a project and got too much I could always bring it back, even if it’s been a while and I didn’t have a receipt. How’s that for a friendly policy!

All in all, a place worth visiting! One could argue, a national treasure for knitters. 🙂