Reported by Julie Tiu
Anywhere I go now, it’s as if crafting and tea call out my name. We’ll talk about tea another time, but Churchmouse Yarns & Teas is the place you want to visit and where you can surround yourself in amazing colors and textures if you’re visiting Seattle. Take a 35 minute ferry to Bainbridge Island, walk a few minutes into town and the yarn will be calling out to you.
Actually what caught my eye was this contraption, which later I found out (not being a knitter at this time) is an Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder. Laura was kind enough to show me how they wind their skeins.
She introduced me to Kit Hutchin, Proprietor, who welcomed me to her store and showed me around. After a few minutes of talking with her, I quickly forgot it was a store and had the distinct feeling of being welcomed into a home. Warm and inviting, Kit’s personality certainly is carried out throughout the details of Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. (There is no tea service, yet, just products. That may be a future endeavor.)
Skeins of yarn in every fiber and color, patterns, accessories, tools, needlepoint and crochet… and a knowledgeable staff; you can find what you need here. There’s a wide selection that would seem to satisfy anyone.
The featured projects or samples, handcrafted by staff, are not for sale, but you can buy the patterns or even take a class. Churchmouse Yarns & Teas also provides space for some informal conversation while you work with their “Circles”, private or community, social or charity.
After I came home, I had a couple of questions I wanted to ask Kit. She was on a deadline and scheduled to leave for a conference when I e-mailed her with some questions, so John, her husband and business partner, was ready to answer.
Q: What is, or do you have, anything new that you’ll be featuring for the Fall and Winter? Products, accessories, services?
A: Next for Fall. Her pressing deadline is for the next round of Churchmouse Classics patterns. Very exciting! We published our first 11 shop patterns last November and they have been very well received by our customers in the shop, online and even by fellow yarn shops who are reselling them. You can now find Churchmouse Classics in more than 100 yarn shops across North America. To grab lovely images of these patterns, please visit http://churchmouse.myshopify.com/collections/patterns. (Photos by the talented Jared Flood of brooklyntweed.net)
The new line will feature a dozen or so more patterns including several for baby. Jared came back from New York for us to shoot adorable little bundles of joy in Portland, Seattle and Bainbridge Island. This photos are not yet available for distribution. We will launch this line to coordinate with our 10th anniversary celebration on September 9th.
Q: And, (I should have asked you when I was there) how did you name your store “Churchmouse Yarns & Teas”?
A: Before opening Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, Kit worked as a commercial freelance writer and named companies, products, services and even buildings. She developed a solid criteria and an analytical system to find just the right name for her clients.
For herself, well, just a few days after she decided to open a yarn shop, a name popped into her head and stuck. “I noticed a small ceramic mouse that lived in a teacup on my kitchen counter. It seemed inevitable that I should call my shop Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.” Among other things, she wanted something that sounded English and friendly, and this name met all her criteria in retrospect.
Kit and John just celebrated Churchmouse Yarns & Teas 10 year anniversary this September. Many wishes for continued success!
We’d love to hear about your favorite fiber stores! Let us know what’s in your area!