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.
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.
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.
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.)
Next Stop: Imagiknit
My two days in Omaha were a whirlwind of family visits, all of which involved eating and imbibing and a healthy dose of laughter-through-tears (Dolly Parton’s favorite emotion). On the knitting side of things, even though my flights were nonstop, I got in plenty of rows on my Ranger man’s cardigan.
Late Saturday afternoon, MY ADDI CIRCULAR BROKE. The needle sheared clean off the cable. Like WHOA how did that even happen? The sight of that severed cable just dangling there, with the stitches hanging loose—I experienced symptoms of shock.
The closest local yarn store was ImagiKnit, and it was closing in one hour. My driver put her foot down.
ImagiKnit Yarn Shop, 12100 West Center Road, number 602, was not very easy to find, but we were determined.
Inside, it’s cozy and lush. But I did not linger over the yarns, so close to closing time. I needed a size 7 circular, and I needed it now.
“Calm down! We have size 7 circulars!” OK, ImagiKnit’s owner, Karla Rasmussen, did not actually tell me to calm down. She did produce a selection of size 7 circulars, however, which had the same effect.
Crisis averted, Karla and I got to chatting. I mentioned my association with Mason-Dixon Knitting, and Karla suddenly got very excited. Karla knew me! Well, kind of.
“Your nephew sold me a Smart Car!” she said.
“Great,” I said, “but how the heck did you figure that out?”
It seems that back in 2009, my nephew was showing Karla a Smart Car, and he asked her what she did, and she said, “I’ve got a yarn shop.”
Nephew said, “That is so cool that you have a yarn shop my aunt loves yarn shops she’s a big knitter she has a blog.” And Karla was charmed that such a young man would think that owning a yarn shop is cool, and she even knew the blog. (ImagiKnit still stocks both of our books, Ann. Moment of silence.) Karla bought the Smart Car, which must have been a very nice moment for my young nephew.
Karla also told me that her Smart Car is named Macy, after Mason-Dixon. (I’m skeptical about that part of the story, but Karla seems totally legit, and who am I to doubt that there is at least one Smart Car named after us?)
Omaha is not that small a city. But Karla knows my nephew and asked after him by name. (Jon: Karla is all caught up now. She sends good wishes.)
Anyway, I think there is a moral to this story somewhere but I’ll be darned if I can think of one. Oh yeah: talk to people in yarn stores. And: don’t be shy about sharing your hobbies and interests with young relatives; it may help them in their careers. And also: visit ALL the yarn stores. Sitting there, quiet as can be, on West Center Road, Imagiknit is stuffed to the gills with beautiful yarn, and the welcome could not have been friendlier.