Look Inside a Local Yarn Store: Yarn & Coffee in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Yarn & Coffee, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the perfect combination for many of us: caffeine and wool…drinks and yarn…good cheer and warm fuzzies.  Call it what you will, owner Deborah Grossman calls it her local yarn store.

YC Store shot 1

Happy Fuzzy Yarn: What did you do before you opened a yarn store?

Deborah: I worked in a medical clinic in the IT department, but I crocheted every day at lunch and taught others at work to knit and crochet. I also taught crochet at a local bookstore.

YC store shotHFY: How did you get into the business of owning a yarn store?

Deborah: I was laid off from my IT job and, within a couple of weeks, decided to pursue the long-held dream of opening a yarn store/coffee shop. After five months of one-day-at-a-time, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other progress, I opened Yarn & Coffee.

HFY: What is the best part about running a yarn store?

Deborah: There are a lot of great things about running the store. The best thing I thought would happen–being able to knit and crochet all day long–is not happening, but there are plenty of others. My favorite thing at the moment is teaching people to knit and crochet. It’s a little like teaching someone to read–you see the light go on and the excitement build, and the person’s delight at stepping into a whole new world. That’s a wonderful feeling. I also love helping people put together yarns and patterns for that “just-right” project, chatting with the groups that come to knit and crochet in the store, and telling visitors about my lovely town.

HFY: What is the hardest part about running a yarn store?

Deborah: Not being able to carry every lovely yarn, every type of needle or hook, and every ingenious gadget that there is. There’s just not enough room! Also, walking that fine line between having a really good selection and having an overwhelming selection is pretty hard.

HFY: How do you choose which yarns to carry?  And then how do you choose which colors?

YC cup of yarnDeborah: Mostly, I buy what I love. It also must be soft to touch–the yarn might look beautiful and come in lovely colorways, but if it’s not soft enough, I won’t buy it. I choose colors I love, and I also ask my employees to choose colors they love, then I channel my customers and add in a few that might not be my favorites but that others like.

HFY: What is the strangest request you’ve had from a customer?

Deborah: Do you sell washing machine parts? (Our location used to house an appliance parts and repair store for about 30 years. They’ve been closed for over 2 and a half years now, but we still get people looking for them.)

HFY: What is the most popular Happy Fuzzy Yarn colorway with your customers?

Deborah: We sold out of Steel and Pearls pretty quick–but black and gray are really popular this season. We also sold out of Autumn Indigo. Now that we’ve knit up a shawl in Papaya, that color is moving as well.

HFY: Anything else you’d like to share with fans of Happy Fuzzy Yarn?

Deborah: Follow your heart. Don’t fight it if you always gravitate toward the same color palate. When you’re ready to branch out, you will. And with Happy Fuzzy Yarn’s unusual combinations, you can stay in your comfort zone while at the same time sticking your toe into another zone.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and your shop with us, Deborah!

 

An Interview with Riin

Want to read an interview with me? Penny Shima Glanz posted an interview with me on Little Acorn Creations. You can read the interview here.

 

shadow-and-blanket

Penny’s very attractive cat, Shadow, and the blanket she’s making out of Happy Fuzzy Yarn.

 

Speaking of interviews, we’re soon going to start a series of interviews with LYS owners who carry Happy Fuzzy Yarn. Watch this space!

 

Thank you and a Sale!

Did you have a good Thanksgiving? I meant to write this yesterday, but I found myself knitting and watching 6 episodes of Game of Thrones, so today will have to do!

Each Thanksgiving I like to take time to reflect on what I’m grateful for. This year, I am grateful for Rob, my customers, my health, and my relative safety. I hope some day all people will be safe.

To express my gratitude for you, my customers, here is a coupon for 20% off everything in the store:

SAVE 20% WITH

COUPON CODE: THANKYOU

EXPIRES MIDNIGHT 12/1/14

newcolorways

I’ll be taking a few days off, but in stock items will ship next Tuesday or Wednesday. Until then, some Doctor Who DVDs need to be watched and knitting needs to happen.

 

What’s new?

I thought I should post an update of what’s new around here. First of all, I got enough votes to move to the next round of the Mission Main Street Grants Program. Thanks to all who voted for me! They will announce 20 winners in January, so I just have to wait until then. Keep your fingers crossed!

In the mean time, I looked at what I could afford right now in terms of hiring, and I hired my first paid employee! Meet Carol.

carol

Among the many other things she does, she’ll start posting here soon.

I’m also working on a new scarf design, and we’ve got a couple of new patterns soon to be released (we have to finish our new wholesale catalog first). I’ll probably design some super warm mittens next, because it already feels like January here, and my mittens are inadequate. Necessity is the mother of invention!

 

It’s Fiber Expo time!

This weekend is Fiber Expo, so if you’re anywhere near Ann Arbor, come on out! There are over 80 vendors, including Happy Fuzzy Yarn. I’ll have some new colorways. This is Neptune.

neptune

I’ll also have the yarn I spun during Spinzilla.

all the yarn

And this may be your last chance to pick up some yarn from my Local Wool Project. I’ve dyed the last of the yarn, so that’s it. I’m also giving you a chance to buy some of the undyed combed top from the Local Wool Project, both the wool/alpaca blend and the 100% Washtenaw wool blend.

And after you leave my booth, you can go give neck rubs to my favorite camel, Humphrey!

Hope to see you this weekend at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds!

 

6,652 yards

I spun 6,652 yards during Spinzilla. That’s 3.78 miles.

all the yarn

I spun 5.14 pounds of fiber. Merino, yak, BFL, tussah silk, Polwarth, Falkland, alpaca, Corriedale, Romney, and I’m not even sure what else.

I spun enough yardage to get to Ypsilanti.

No wonder I’m tired.

 

Spinzilla Day 6

Yesterday was Day 6. I plied two bobbins of the happy happy fun yarn of happiness.

2 full bobbins of happy

It was way past my bedtime by the time I finished, so no post yesterday. This past week has wreaked havoc with my sleep schedule, so next year I won’t try to post photos at night. I’ll wait till the following morning.

Today is the last day of Spinzilla. I won’t even think about trying to take pictures tonight. I’m just going to spin and ply as much as I can before the 11:59pm deadline.

Tomorrow: pictures of everything I’ve spun this week and total yardage spun.

 

Spinzilla Day 5

I’m still working on the happy happy fun yarn of happiness.

happy happy fun yarn

When the darker bobbin is full, I’ll ply the two together. I’ve got enough fiber to make about 2 pounds of this yarn, and I’ll use it for a sweater for yours truly.

It seems like I used to be able to spin more in a day, and I’m wondering if that’s just nostalgia, or if I really just can’t spin for as long as I used to. I had to stop this evening before I really wanted to because my hand and back both ached. It may be that I used to spin more hours in a day, but not for so many days in a row.

 

Spinzilla Day 4

Today I finished the Kandinsky merino/yak skein I started yesterday. Stuart was kind enough to hold it for the photo.

Stuart and Kandinsky

In the evening I started spinning the happy happy fun yarn of happiness!

happy yarn in progress

 

Spinzilla Day 3

Today was Merino/Yak Day.

merino yak day

I spun 2oz of Purple Kale and 2oz of mumble-mumble-something-or-other (I’ll have to look that one up) and plied them together, then spun another 2oz of Kandinsky. Tomorrow I’ll spin the second 2oz of Kandinsky and ply those together. I wanted to finish that skein tonight, but my hand is feeling claw-like, and that spot on my upper back right below my neck is telling me to give it a rest for a while, so that’s enough spinning for today. But the merino/yak is soooo sooooft!

 

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