Long-time crocheter and knitter, Lorrie is passionate about yarn. And not too long ago, she was also in need of a new career. Though she wasn’t at first sure what her next step would be, she says,
[…] I knew I wanted something entrepreneurial. A friend owned the yarn store in Newton, and something she said one day, about a year ago, got me to thinking about opening a store. At first, I thought in Wichita, but then I decided I liked the slower pace of my hometown. I started planning at the first of the year–my sister and I were going to have knit/pastry shop, but she decided not to, so I focused on plans for just yarn to start with.
Lorrie had planned to begin business in the fall or winter, “but gas prices kept going up and the insecurity of [Lorrie’s] grant funded job became greater; then [her] friend in Newton decided to close her store for personal reasons.” Even though it seemed to be the time to open, Lorrie still had to find the right space for her store, and so far, this didn’t seem likely.
The first of April, I was having one of those “woe-is-me-nothing-will-ever-work” weeks. Then I’m driving down Main on Thursday evening, (ritual by then looking for miraculous for rent signs,) and see a “for rent” sign in the window of one of the retail spaces at the Opera House. So, I took the next morning off from work, went and looked at it. I’m pretty sure I heard a choir of angels singing, but it may have just been the stained glass! I asked to rent it then and there; the Board of Directors voted over the weekend and it was mine on Monday. I turned in notice the next week at work. Too many flashing signs saying “do this now” for me to ignore!
An oasis for yarn crafters, Oh Yarn It is much more than just a retail store. There are usually light refreshments and there is always someone to chat with. The shop is cozy and comfortable, and Lorrie is not only a knowledgeable owner, but a charming hostess, as well. And of course, in addition to all this—it is still a store, and the wares are fabulous. Walls and shelves are lined with soft, scrumptious, and all-around lovely fibers, in addition to books, patterns, needles, and other supplies.
When asked about Oh Yarn It’s mission, Lorrie said,
…it is to supply knitters and crocheters with great yarn and to provide them with classes, resources and accessories. And with a welcoming place to come work on projects. I want people to feel comfortable hanging out and knitting or crocheting–a community feel. I also want to showcase American yarns–made here entirely like Brown Sheep, or small dyers and spinners. I love handmade yarn, unique yarns, and I want others to have the chance to work with them, too. Beyond all of that, I want to
make sure that traditional yarn “crafts” continue to thrive and do not disappear into history books!
Indeed, while Lorrie’s introduction to the world of yarn craft has roots in the past, it was very much a result of her life at that present time: “Mamaw crocheted–I have one of her afghans on display in the store. Aunt Delila knit–I loved to listen to the ‘click click click’ of her needles when she was knitting and wanted to be able to do that. [I] don’t click like she did, but I knit as fast as she did!”
If you’re a yarn user, or think you might want to be, drop in for a visit! Oh Yarn It is located at 221 South Main (in the McPherson Opera House) in McPherson, KS. Lorrie blogs at ohyarnitshop.worpdress.com, and the facebook fan page can be found here.
Oh Yarn It is also proud to be participating in the 5th Annual Central Kansas Yarn Hop. (Visit centralksyarnhop.com for details.)