Christmas in Omaha was wonderful this year. When we arrived on the 22nd, it was raining. Raining! In Omaha! In December! We tried to accept it–after all, the temperature in New York was 70 degrees that day, so the whole world has gone crazy and we shouldn’t expect the frozen tundra to be frozen, or tundra, anymore. But on the morning of the 23rd, in the course of a few hours, 8 inches of snow fell. Perfect, powdery, fluffy snow. The kind of snow that knows when to quit, so that the roads get plowed and stay plowed, and everybody can enjoy walking around in the snow. It was magical.
But enough about Christmas.
No trip to visit family in Omaha would be complete without a stop at Personal Threads Boutique at 86th and Cass. Every time I visit, I am awed by the place.
I know that when in Omaha, you used to stop in at Personal Threads’ previous location, a bit further east, on Dodge Street, as I did. (It was where I first saw Kaffe Fassett’s fabric collection on the bolt–a big moment.) In that location, the yarn shop shared space with the Lewis Art Gallery; it continues to do so today, but in a spacious new building that owners Joe and Julie Wynn constructed in 2008. (I am trying to think of another yarn store that is in a purpose-built building, and I can’t think of one. Readers: come at me bro.)
The sheer variety of yarn is incredible. Joe has his finger on the pulse of what knitters are knitting, and he stocks it. All of it. In quantity.
He seems to have a firm grasp on what is on fire on Ravelry, too:
I was particularly wowed to see a deep selection of Rowan yarns, which I have trouble finding in New York these days. Joe’s got it, and he’s got it in all the colors. He’s got Rowan garment samples. He’s got the magazines, and he’s got the yarn-specific booklets. It warms my loyal anglophile heart.
There’s a wall of Koigu. To tell the truth, there’s a wall of everything. Because why would you not have a wall of every kind of good yarn that knitters like, if you were a yarn shop? That’s the Personal Threads approach, apparently.
This time I even got to see the storage room.
(No, that’s not the Personal Threads storage room. It’s the beer warehouse my brother manages. I like to Visit Interesting Stuff when I’m in Omaha. Brother Guy has always been very organized. He told me that what he likes about yarn is that it’s not perishable–like beer for example–but he noted that if something is not perishable, there is a danger that you might keep too much of it sitting around. Tell me about it, brother!)
The storage room at Personal Threads is as beautiful as the sales floor. There’s so much yarn that Joe has installed those moving shelves that are used to store vast archives of medical records or research materials. I made a video of them for Instagram. (If you’re not following @kaygardiner and @annshayne on Instagram, YOU ARE MISSING SOME GREAT STUFF.)
Personal Threads is very 21st Century. As yarn shops go, it’s very 22nd Century.
Omaha knitters are blessed, as are Omaha conventioneers and people who stop in Omaha on their way to the West Coast, and people who come to Omaha for the College World Series or to see the zoo. (The Henry Doorly Zoo is a destination zoo. It’s the Personal Threads Boutique of zoos.)
And one more thing: the annual sale at Personal Threads Boutique is THIS WEEK.
I’ll just leave that hanging there.