Sunset Yarn and Fiddlesticks Knits fill Madison’s yarn void – Isthmus

For some reason everyone remembers the building. It was a bike shop, pastry shop, and Fit 2 Eat, a healthy deli. There is something charming about the little gabled house where Speedway Road meets Mineral Point Road. Sunset yarn That’s what owner Lynette Tucker thought when she and her husband walked by in December 2019 and saw a rental sign. The owner of the building and Fit 2 Eat closed the deli and started looking for a tenant. And Tucker had dreamed of opening a yarn store.

After the knitting tree disappeared and the Wisconsin Craft Market sold out, Madison was missing a real yarn business – almost unthinkable, Tucker notes, since Madison has one of the largest knitting guilds in the States.

She remembers saying to her husband Tom, “We have to do this, it should be like this.” The lease was already signed when COVID-19 hit in March. “I didn’t know what to do,” says Tucker.

But there were advantages. The shutdown gave her time to remodel the space. The kitchen equipment was donated to Catholic charities, with the exception of an oven, which is now behind a wall. And Tucker had all summer to build a website and online ordering platform before finally opening the doors to real customers in November 2020.

Tucker carries national brands such as Cascade, but also local yarns from Blackberry Ridge, GalPaca, Sun Valley Fibers and Ewetopia. “I noticed that I had a lot of solid fabrics with me,” says Tucker, “and I needed colored yarns. But the supply chain was slow, so I looked on site. “

The yarn is sorted by weight in several small rooms, which are filled with sample knitwear from hats, vests, mittens and sweaters. Customers wanted classes too, and Tucker followed suit. Next up courses include knitting, socks, and mosaic knitting. The café tables in the south-facing front windows are just as suitable for knitting groups as an armchair by the large gas fireplace.

Fiddlesticks knit Atwood Ave. 1976 opened in August. Owner Erica Hainz emphasizes inclusivity and accessibility. “We want to welcome everyone,” says Hainz, who has various tools ready for knitters who struggle with joint and muscle pain. A basket with beginner sets with needles, instructions and a small ball is available free of charge for anyone who wants to try knitting or crocheting but has no money. Fiddlesticks also has a lending library of knitting needles, crochet hooks, and more that anyone can borrow like a library book – a boon for someone who needs a custom-sized needle for just a small part of a project that may never be used again.

Classes currently include sessions with knitting experts and instructions in socks, and the store’s calendar is littered with social knitting evenings and handicrafts. A large oval table in a back room can be reserved for fiber-optic events.

The shop carries national brands such as Cascade, Rowan and Malabrigo, but also a good selection of locally produced or hand-dyed yarns without duplicating those from Sunset: Lady Purl, Evergreen Fiber Works, Hook and Shuttle, Fangirl, BlackCat and Ohmi Fibers. Fiddlesticks is also committed to supporting brands owned by BIPOC and women who operate sustainably.

“When you put so much work into a project, you want to feel comfortable with the materials,” says Hainz. “We do as much as possible to obtain ethically sound from mills and farms that pay well and have safe working conditions.”

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