Spinning in Knitting Shops

Mmmmm, handspun

Recently I’ve had a few knitting shops ask me about adding spinning to their mix, and I’ve been asked to write an article about it for shop owners.

What do you think spinners? Is a spinning section in knitting shops a good idea or not? What would you want to see? Keep in mind we can’t take over the whole shop (right away).

For me, it’s about all about a good variety of fiber. I would love to be able to buy yarn and fiber in the same place. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but I want variety and I want fresh fiber fairly often. There is nothing sadder to me than to try to support spinning in a knitting shop by buying fiber, but what they have has obviously been there for a long time. I’ve even seen dusty fiber!

What is it for you? Wheels, classes, spin nights? Or do you not want spinning in a knitting shop?


(506 Posts)

Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

11 thoughts on “Spinning in Knitting Shops

  1. Deb in MD

    Fiber, definitely. I have a hard time finding much in the shops locally. I’d vote for a variety, not just dyed braids, though. One shop near me stocks a nice quantity of nearly solid roving. It’s brilliant idea, since sometimes I actually want to spin/knit with solid yarn. Also natural, undyed fiber would be great.

    This shop also has spinning drop in nights, classes, and so on. Can you tell it’s a great place?

    1. Su1282

      Sounds wonderful! I think you live in a different part of MD than I do. I’ve given up on our local shops, but luckily there’s that whole festival every year that leaves my stash looking like a spinning shop.
      Would love to know where you are and about classes. It would be great to have something local that goes beyond drop spindle 101.

  2. Amy

    I think Weaving Works in Seattle has a pretty good model going, with the exception of having shiny new things often. They have supplies for knitting, weaving, spinning, and felting, and they’re my go-to lys because of it. They have a good selection of colorful corriedale for felters, and merino top from Ashland Bay. They also have some higher end things (breed-specific, non-wool) that are nice, and they carry some Frabjous Fibers and Malabrigo Nuno. There’s local fleece and roving, too. They also great wheel-supply support and knowledge, as well as beginning and intermediate spinning classes, and spin nights. It’s pretty awesome.

  3. Rowena Philbeck

    Yes, we have spinning, weaving and yarn/fiber in our local Knitting shop. If it has fiber yes,,I would say. Its all related.

  4. Evonne

    Yes! Please! Spinning and knitting are naturally related and interconnected. As a knitter I was attracted to handspun yarns and loved to purchase them from hand spinners online. For me, it was my second attempt at learning spinning, one year later, with the right teacher, when spinning took hold. I think you would need a skilled teacher or a staff who spun to justify the spinning section. At a LYS I worked at, the boss and staff were not familiar with spinning, thus the dusty, outdated fiber selection, which dampened my interest too.

  5. CatieP

    I’d like a spin night – or some sort of classes with spinning. And for fiber, what would draw me over buying online would be if I could get something locally dyed.

  6. Kathy

    Right now I am hooked on using a blending board. I think it would be fun to have color packs of a variety of colors to blend. Also basic neutrals to blend with them for gradients. Luxury fibers that could be purchased in amounts per ounce. Trial packs of new fibers. I would think it might be harder to sell these items unless classes were offered on how to use them.

  7. Marie Bryan

    I am a non-spinner who would like to learn. I think it makes perfect sense to have spinning as a part of knitting shops. I love the diversity at The Web-sters in Ashland, OR!

  8. Leslie F

    My lys is trying to support local spinners, offering some roving/top and a few braids. It would be nice to have a few add-ins (like Tencel, sparklies, etc.)

    I like the concept of a spin-in (but many shops are just not big enough to accommodate many spinners). I would also like to see “next step” classes to develop your skills.

  9. Tia

    Yes to spinning in yarn shops! I’m very lucky in that I am close several LYS that carry spinning fiber, spindles, wheels, and hold classes (and also other supplies such as carders, etc). I’m pretty spoiled.

    I think the biggest things here would be a) fiber–basics like BFL and merino and some wool blends with silk/tencel/bamboo/etc in various colors, and if possible, local fiber from local animals, and b) some basic spindles. If the shop owners/staff are actually spinners already, likely basic spindles and possibly a line of wheels from a preferred maker, plus classes.

    Then classes and spin-ins to draw interest. Classes on making a CD spindle, and basic techniques, etc.

Comments are closed.