From charming window displays to inviting yellow walls and comfortable chairs, the delightful atmosphere of The Knitting Knook will entice you to learn more about fiber arts. The Knitting Knook opened its doors on Central Square in April of 2011, but the store has been a fixture in Keene since 1946 and has been voted the Best of Monadnock.
"We're the only dedicated yarn shop in this area, and I wanted to make the environment welcoming to everyone." says owner Carol Mueller.
Alongside Carol work Katherin Henley and Lil DeCoste. Both women are gifted knitters who have tremendous knowledge of their craft. Each woman teaches at the store, as well.
At The Knitting Knook, you'll find a wide selection of yarns for every budget and taste, including locally dyed, eco-friendly yarns. There is an area dedicated to baby yarns, a line of cotton yarns, vibrant novelty yarns, and an increased selection of sock yarns. There are also lovely finishing yarns with ribbon and velvet that make projects look unique. In addition, the store carries notions, knitting and crochet needles, buttons, and patterns.
On Thursdays, from 6 to 8 p.m., people at all skill levels are invited to knit and crochet with others. Knitting is very Zen. Our Thursday night group is a place to come and relax. You just sit. You're handling beautiful fibers. The colors are wonderful. There's a commonality when we sit here and knit. There's a bond you have with people. Some friends I've made through knitting have become lifelong friends.
The store frequently showcases or sells the work of local artisans. One of local knitters makes distinctive nonu scarves and Knitting Knook sells them. If it has anything to do with fiber, there will be local offerings, especially at holiday time. Check our website often to see the latest from Carol's Corner.
Those looking to develop their skills can participate in the store's on-going group and private lessons.
Customers are encouraged to take advantage of the store's appreciation discount cards, which can be punched every time you shop. When you have spent $250, you'll receive $25 toward merchandise.
If you're not sure what the fiber artists in your life need, the store sells gift certificates. The staff is also able to ship merchandise throughout the United States.
Besides all that the store offers, there is often an extra attraction: Buddy the dog. Bursting with friendliness, Buddy clearly adores his task of making sure customers feel welcome. One woman told Carol, "I put an extra quarter in the meter just so I could play with Buddy!"
The Knitting Knook cheerfully debunks the stereotype that knitting and crocheting are just for women. There is one gentleman who knits on Thursday evenings. He's an artist and he makes amazing spirals that look like coral at the bottom of the sea. Also, a man came in recently and said 'I've got to buy these needles for my wife. My wife taught me how to knit, and that's how I quit smoking. Now I've got to give her needles back".
The store stays involved with the community in diverse ways. Staff and friends knit for the Cheshire hospital, and have donated hats for preemie infants through adult chemo caps. They have also donated yarn to local schools, and just offered a cocktail party during Art Walk.
Carol herself began knitting years ago, but gave it up when she had children and later worked as a mortgage banker. Upon moving to Keene, Carol planned to take up needlepoint and walked into the Knitting Knook looking for supplies. Although the store didn't carry the needlepointing materials, she and the owner became friends, and Carol began knitting again. When the owner, Liane Wiley, decided to retire, she let her customers know. Carol and two other women decided to buy the store in 2009.
Today, both customers and local businesses have been supportive of the store in its new downtown location. Carol enjoys getting walk-in customers who are drawn by the colorful window displays and beautiful yarns. "One day two women came in from Italy. They would never have found us on West Street."
Located at 36 Central Square, The Knitting Knook is open six days a week, Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's also open till 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Call 357-0516 for more details, or walk right in to discover the treasures this store holds.
Thanks to the Monadnock Shopper for the lovely article.