Knit a Kindness Is Everything Shawl & First Impressions Cowl in #ShopShowcase with Knitcircus Yarns in Madison, Wisconsin.
How did you get started?
It was a winding road! I began the Knitcircus print magazine in 2007, took it online in 2009 and began selling hand-dyed yarn in 2010. First, I developed gradient colorways in my basement, then started a Kickstarter to move into the Knitcircus Dyeing Studio. Two years ago, we were able to add a brick-and-mortar store in the same building, too! Now Knitcircus has an amazing team of dyers, yarn processors, admin and shipping people and our Store Manager, Jennifer. Our landlord just told us we can double the Knitcircus store space, so watch for exciting new expansion this summer. And current Production Manager Bug will take the helm of Knitcircus starting in January 2020.
Where are you located?
You'll find us just off the Beltline on Madison, Wisconsin's west side. We share a building with many lovely small businesses and are currently about halfway up the building. The expanded Knitcircus will feature an entrance right from the road and the new sign will face the street and the highway, so we'll be easier to find!
Which products do you specialise in?
Of course, we're the world's best source for Knitcircus Yarns! We're known for innovative dye techniques, with a new Big Thing coming out each year, so you can choose your favorite Gradient, Gradient Stripe, Matching Socks Set, Impressionist, Abstract, Modernist, Semi-solid or Speckled Handpainted Merino/Heritage Breed wool yarn. We just added Blue Sky Fibers and we always have trunk shows from other indie dyers. Watch for the Local Yarn collaboration with Ewetopia Fibers later this summer and more indie dyers coming into our expanded store!
Do you have a particular favorite product that you sell?
How could I pick one? My favorite is always whichever is our freshest dye technique, so right now I can't stop knitting with Knitcircus Modernist yarns, which change colors in short stripes with non-repeating intervals. We love the handmade Soxyzz foot measures, Katrinkles' small-batch stitch markers and pins, local bags by Papa Sews Too and the genius Ann Budd Stitch Gauge Rulers!
What's on the stereo?
It varies by shop person/DJ! I often choose upbeat swing jazz or 80s-00 favorites, while Jenn likes more coffeeshop/folk/country, Katie chills with relaxing piano and Liz surprises us every time.
Where else should we visit in your area?
Definitely go to the Sow's Ear Yarn and Coffeeshop for more yarn and delicious quiche for lunch! If you're in town on a weekend, everyone's favorite Madison thing is the big Farmer's Market downtown, or explore the Capitol building and State Street pedestrian mall.
Do you host any workshops, classes or special events?
We love hosting events! We have a rotating menu of classes from Two-at-a Time-Toe-Up Socks to Picking Projects for Gradients to Felted Halloween Mini-monsters. We organize the yearly Madtown Yarn Shop Hop in October, have special events for Pi Day, LYS Day, our Birthday and a Holiday Party, bring in nationally-known teachers from time to time, and are rolling out a series of Knitcircus Outings, featuring partnerships with other local businesses. We also host in-store KALs several times a week, and online KALs at various times during the year, too.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
If you can't get to Madison, lots of Knitcircus Yarns are available online, but we always have special yarns just in the store for people who find us in person. If you want to learn to knit, have questions about technique or want a creative eye helping you pick out colors just ask, we're always ready to help!
Do you have a favorite craft, art or supply shop in your town that we should feature? Send us a message!