Fridays in Frankfort
Yarns To Dye For, 21 S. Ash Street (815) 469-4906
As stated last week, I decided to continue my idea of reviewing places I visit or am familiar with to help you become more familiar with them also. Today for our Fridays in Frankfort I thought I’d share a unique little shop that was the location of my very first antique shop so their space holds a special place in my heart.
Yarns To Dye For is a cozy, pleasant shop to spend some time exploring the world of yarns, knitting, crocheting and other fiber arts. Even if you’ve never knitted or crocheted in your life, this place is fascinating. The range of colors, styles, sizes and textures of yarn is mind boggling. They have over two thousand square feet of space dedicated to yarns from all over the world and how to use them. A family size table in each room allows for classes and drop in knitters to meet and work on their projects.
The archway between the rooms has a remarkable valance “Arm” knitted by Pat, one of their instructors and shop assistants. Using only her arms as ‘knitting needles’ Pat said it was easy….maybe for her but seriously? As someone who only knits squares and oblongs (I never learned to read a pattern) this treatment looks like a huge undertaking and yet quite lovely and at the same time a very unusual netting type look.
Founded in January of 2010, Yarns To Dye For provides local fiber artisans with some of the most luxurious and unusual yarns. Located on the corner of Ash and Kansas Streets Yarns to Dye For is chocked full of the most extraordinary, quirky and lavish yarns Jean, the owner can find. They search the world for unique yarns you will never find in the big box stores.
Sock yarn and summer-weight yarns are very popular.
Their newest yarn is called Milk Yarn, made from the remnants of the milk pasteurization process. Now I say, that’s a genius recycling effort. Sounds a bit like a Rumpelstiltskin type effort; turning milk into yarn? This yarn is so soft and smooth but best of all, machine washable. Pat assured me it knits quite nicely and looks especially smooth when finished.
Milk yarn and another new knitting project – a beaded scarf project.
Think: good looking holiday gifts!
Not only purveyors of yarn, this attractive shop features classes taught by expert knitting and crochet artisans. The class series begin with basics of knitting and crocheting through intermediate and advanced patterns as well as advanced knitting and crocheting techniques. Pat and other staff members, dedicated knitting and crochet devotees love helping new fiber artists with their projects and are on hand daily to help choose and interpret patterns, explain the merits of different yarns and encourage you on your projects.
They also offer a drop in work session every Thursday afternoon from 1pm to 6pm. Just bring your project and join the group for an afternoon/evening often described as fun, fiber, and friends. They also have a knitting group that meets on Thursday evenings called Knot Just Knitting, a diverse group of dedicated knitting ladies and sometimes gentlemen. They bring their projects, compare notes, help each other and solve all the world’s problems. This group always welcomes new knitters to their group so, bring your project and get started with them for an enjoyable evening of stitching and conversation. You may want to call first as it is summer and hours may vary.
Yarn from all over the world fill the shelves and brighten the walls at Yarns to Dye For. Their very capable staff of knitting & crochet instructors take part in all vendor meetings to ensure that they always carry some of the best yarns you will find in Chicago’s South & Southwest Suburbs. They change their displays periodically to give their crafting customers inspiration and encouragement. You will find inspirations here through the many finished projects hanging on the walls, showcased on their shelves and almost finished projects being worked on by their staff.
They carry a wide variety of notions to help you with any and all projects. Just one look at the wall of knitting needles, crochet hooks, stitch counters, hand-made project bags, etc. and you will know they try their best to have exactly what you need but, if you don’t see it, they will do their best to find it for you. Chances are that Jean, the shop proprietor, can order whatever you need.
Check their Facebook page for the latest specials and their website for hours and classes. As the weather begins to cool and we start thinking about new sweaters, scarves, gloves, mittens, etc., it would be fabulous to have a unique sweater or some other knitted project with colors chosen by you, pattern decided by you, all hand knitted by you, especially just for you. And remember, Christmas is coming and knitted projects are always a welcome gift but, you need to get started now.
Whether you are an experienced artisan or never contemplated making a stitch in your life, Yarns To Dye For should be on your list of places to visit the next time you stroll thru the streets of Historic Frankfort. Who knows? It could provide the inspiration for some fabulous knitting!