The Yarn Guys, Jeffrey & Dennis have a Wall of Yarn and came to share what it’s all about with us on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird.
Jeffrey Wall and Dennis Rinkenberger own the LYS Wall of Yarn, in Freeport, IL. Their yarn shop just hit it’s 5 year anniversary this May and they are also the North American Distributors for Rauma Yarns from Norway. Rauma has been producing high quality yarns for about 90 years. Their shop can also order pewter buttons and clasps from Norway and have an Amish family make wonderful wooden yarn bowls for us as well.
Jeffrey started knitting at age 9 and stopped in high school but picked it up after graduating from college in 2000. Dennis started knitting in 2011 when they were in the planning stages of opening the shop. He says the mechanics of how yarn works attracted him, weaving initially as many guys who take up crafting. Jeffrey’s mom is the one that thought they should open a yarn store. Their customer’s call Jeffrey ‘the Yarn Whisperer’ because he can recall what they’ve been working on, fix what they’ve been working on, can find and identify patterns.
In the shop, The Yarn Guys try to carry a little something for everyone though they do specialize in Scandinavian/stranded knitting. Because the shop is in a small town, they try to find other ways to keep the business viable, first becoming the distributors of Rauma yarns and patterns. They have a large variety of colors and yarn, perfect for fans of color work. Jeffrey translates all of Rauma’s patterns from Norwegian into English and teaches knitting classes throughout the midwest. Dennis is also a yarn rep so he travels around the country trying to find good homes for our yarns. They both travel to large events to share the yarns, like Stitches (where they are news sponsors of the events), Interweave Yarn Fest, Vogue Knitting Live and KnitLab so that they can share this yarn to people who don’t know about it!
For the fifth year anniversary, they worked with Anne Poldesak of Wooly Wonka Fibers. The conversation began with realizing the traditional anniversary gift is wood, which made them recall that Birch is the first letter of the druid alphabet which uses tree with a lot of meanings and interpretations in fairy tales. For the shop’s knit-a-long (they’ve had one every month) Anne created The Beitha Shawl pattern and two yarns to represent the leaves and the bark. The next is blackberry (which is a luscious purple), and later will be holly, further out is apple… So much inspiration but a huge project!
They have also recently worked with Alasdair Post-Quinn who was on the program recently, who created a pattern with their yarns for Yarn Box.
Our distribution website is www.TheYarnGuys.com. Our website for the shop is currently under construction but will be www.WallofYarn.com. People can follow us on Facebook as the Yarn Guys (the shop) Facebook for Wall of Yarn. They have a Ravelry page for the shop and one for that fantastic Knit-A-Long Ogham, and Instagram.