The Knitting Tree

4 Oct

After an almost wintery-cold weekend we’ve had to strip off our woolies today.  It was even warm enough to justify a trip to my favourite frozen custard place for an addictive pumpkin shake.

After satisfying my sweet (and pumpkin) tooth I conveniently go across the road for a bit of stash enhancement.

This is the Knitting Tree on Monroe St in Madison, owned by the same woman as Lakeside Fibers.  You can tell this lady knows her yarn, both shops are charming but incredibly different.  The Knitting Tree is a convient location near downtown but is a much smaller space than Lakeside, but every inch is packed with loveliness.

These are not chain stores, each has their own unique selection of yarns, making them both equally worth going to if you’re in the city.  Knitting tree stocks a lot of Berrocco, Noro, and Rowan yarns, and plenty more to satisfy your needles.  Both shops make great use of light, too often in the UK yarn shops are tiny hole-in-the-walls with no natural lighting, making it impossible to choose colours accurately.  Also I just love how they both arrange yarns by colours as well as brand, so if you have a palette already in mind it’s  a great help.  If you’re like me and a bit colour challenged prepare to be overwhelmed by choice.

I have to give a big thanks to the shopkeepers at both stores who put up with my indecisive wanderings and a toddler who just has to touch everything (they gave him a much appreciated box of toys at Knitting Tree).  Everyone in the shop is extremely helpful and there are books and patterns everywhere to oogle.  I had a flip through “Brave New Knits” and “Knits Men Want” and my queue has suddenly doubled.

Of course, I brought home just a little something, but mostly I brought home a great appreciation for a city that has not one, not two, but three yarn shops within city limits.  I don’t think I’ll ever get so lucky again.

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6 Responses to “The Knitting Tree”

  1. denise October 4, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Haven’t been to the Monroe St. store yet. Seems I only get to yarn shops when we are out of town on weekends…and then little small town lovely shops. I am allergic to lanolin, so have a hard time finding a great selection of non-wool yarn in Madison so far. Although today I found a new favorite material for home stuff…kitchen twine! 100% cotton. 😀

    • Mel October 4, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

      Is there much lanolin in alpaca? Because they have a great selection of berrocco alpaca in beautiful colours at knitting tree. Also lots of cotton and cotton blends. Love the idea of knitting with twine! So thrifty!

      • denise October 5, 2010 at 9:42 am #

        Oh, and thanks for the info – I should go check it out. I keep telling myself to wait until we to to Minneapolis next week since there are several amazing yarn shops, but should really check out the local ones too. 😯

  2. denise October 5, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    I’m fine with alpaca. And I have an angora rabbit for angora. Mohair goats don’t have lanolin either. I have found alpaca is usually so ridiculously expensive that I don’t really like messing with it since I’m not so great a knitter yet…BUT in many small towns we visit, the alpaca is local from animal to spinning, and not so much! 🙂

    I have several bags of local alpaca and a few huge bags of hand dyed mohair from Oregon, but haven’t spun it yet. Hand spinning is intimidating with the big thick stuff. 😉

  3. Virginia October 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. I am superjealous that you have a frozen custard store across the street from a yarn store.

    2. What you call “small” is like a gigantic superstore of yarn for us NYC knitters… That place looks huge! I’m used to tiny holes in the wall with no floor or shelf space.

    • Mel October 5, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

      This is the same deal in the UK, no floorspace and no custard! That’s why I can justify indulging in both 😉

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