The Story of Missouri Sky
Today I wanted to share with you a little bit about my inspiration for creating the Yarn Year Round Club! The idea has been marinating awhile in the back of my mind because of a collaboration for a beautiful custom color that the folks at SweetGeorgia Yarns did for us.
In early March of 2014, I was busy planning the celebration for our one-year anniversary at Stitch Space. I had opened the store in June the year before with a “If you build it, they will come” philosophy, and in less than a year in business, the community we were building was just blowing me away with support and positive feedback. Believe it or not, I knew very few people who were knitters, crocheters, or fiber artists before I opened, but I knew that if I was desperately missing having a shop locally that there had to be others out there.
For our anniversary, I knew I wanted to host some special events, and really do something to commemorate that first milestone in business. I approached the folks at SweetGeorgia about doing a custom color for the event! They agreed to make a color for us in one of my favorite yarns, Tough Love Sock. I sent over the photo below for inspiration:
You see, I wanted something uniquely Missouri, so I chose this photo of a sunset that I had taken a few years back. You may not know that I minored in photography in college, and my husband & I have a little collection of film cameras. This was a shot that I took on a Diana Film camera. I truly believe we have some of the best sunsets in Missouri! I have visited many places, but I always find the sunsets here at home have something special because of all the wide open westward views we have. Little did I know that this photo/project/collaboration/yarn would take on so much more meaning to me.
Just a week or two after I contacted SweetGeorgia to put this project into motion, we had the fire at our shopping center that caused us to lose all of our inventory and shut down from the end of March through to August. Now, I don’t know that I have ever fully told this story anywhere online, and I don’t know that I will ever be able to put it into words. I actually had the opportunity awhile back to talk with Felicia from SweetGeorgia about it on her podcast, and it is just something that is hard to describe. It is heartbreaking to sit in the parking lot of a burning building, knowing that inside that building is the business that you poured your whole heart and soul into. Knowing that the next day at work (and weeks, and months) will be nothing like what had been the joy of walking into the dream that you finally created. I’ll be honest, I shed so many tears throughout that time, had so many breakdowns, and wanted to give up over and over and over. I have amazing family and friends that I have to credit for helping me make it through this tough time.
But I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I have finally found the thing that makes me excited to get out of bed each day and go to work. There have been other times in my life where I had less hope, because my purpose wasn’t as clearly defined. There are always people out there who have it worse. So each day I pulled on the same smoke-smelling hoodie and I went to work cleaning it up. I had created Stitch Space once, there was no reason I couldn’t do it again, right?
Only this time, I had the support of my entire Stitch Space community behind me. This time I already knew people would show up. I didn’t have to rely on the same Field of Dreams/Wayne’s World philosophy. The custom color project with SweetGeorgia became a motivator. So we weren’t going to be open for the anniversary? Ok, we’ll make it the re-opening colorway! It will be a celebration that we made it through to the other side of this mess.
And so it was. When I got the samples and we decided on the final colorway, it was so colorful and cheery, and exactly what we needed to celebrate what we had been through. A Missouri Sky in all its complexity and beauty. I went to work designing a pattern to accompany the yarn, and that is when I realized how much fun the whole process had been. How much of an escape thinking and dreaming about this collaboration had been from the difficulties.
The pattern, Sunset Sky, had to show off the contrast in colors, and had to have fun details. It can be hard, sometimes, to really show off a variegated color without completely obscuring the design, or just giving up and going for garter stitch.
I realized through this process, that this was my design sweet spot. Seeing an entire story through from start to finish. Having an inspiration, collaborating with talented people like those at SweetGeorgia, starting the pattern idea with the requirement that yarn and pattern must be friends. Making something I love to wear, that is fun to knit.
This is where the idea for the Yarn Year Round Club came in. It has been hanging out on the backburner for quite awhile, but this year we got settled into our permanent location, and now it’s time to push forward with all the big projects we have in store for Stitch Space!
So this week, we will be opening up registration for the Yarn Year Round Club. We are kicking it off in January with another custom color from SweetGeorgia, and then a different custom yarn each month of next year. Full details will go out at the end of this week, and if you want to be the first on the list, make sure you get your e-mail on the list over at www.yarnyearround.com.
Registration will only be available for a short time, because we have to get numbers to our custom dyers! You even get a free pattern for joining the notification list, so make sure you are on it today! The free pattern uses another SweetGeorgia Yarn, CashLuxe Spark. (Can you tell we’re SweetGeorgia fans?!? How can you go wrong with their colors?!?)
And, if you want to get your hands on some SweetGeorgia Missouri Sky, we have a limited quantity left! We had another run of the color produced for our booth at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago, and the leftovers are available for purchase! If you are local, you can come on in to pick yours up while supplies last, but we are happy to ship as well! Give us a call at 417-673-2240 and we will get it sent your way. Each skein is $30 and includes a download code for the Sunset Sky pattern. We are open Tuesday 11 AM-8 PM, Wed/Thurs/Fri 11 AM-6 PM, & Saturday 10 AM-4 PM (Central Time)
I hope you have enjoyed hearing a little bit more about the process and thoughts behind Missouri Sky, and the Yarn Year Round Club!! I cannot wait to show you all the fun things we have in store for the Club!
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