What started as a hobby a few years ago has turned into a business for Rochelle Nickolay, who opened a yarn store in downtown Ames on February 12.
The Knittery Nook & Fiber Co. is located in Suite 115 of the Downtown Building, located at 328 Main Street.
“I’ve been knitting for about five years,” Nickolay said. “I really like it – it’s a really fun hobby. “
The store is small and cozy with wall shelves full of skeins of colorful yarn.
“That’s why I came up with the name Knittery Nook, because it’s a little nook of space in this building,” she said.
For many years Nickolay enjoyed trying out different hobbies and learning various arts and crafts, especially through classes at Memorial Union Workspace.
Nickolay had the idea to learn to knit one day when her friend, Kristin Hanson, showed up to their book club reunion with a very cute hat.
“I said, ‘Where did you get that hat?’ and she said, “I did it,” Nickolay said. “Kristin is a knitter, and I was like, ‘I have to learn how to do this.'”
Hanson taught Nickolay to knit and those first stitches led to more classes and lessons, and now his hobby has grown into a business.
Nickolay offers a variety of colors and yarn types as well as knitting and crochet tools.
“I started by bringing in things that I have worked with, that I know and that I love,” she said. “I will continue to build from there. “
The current selection includes cotton blends, 100% Peruvian wool, 100% Superwash merino wool, alpaca and wool blend, nylon and wool blend, and acrylic and nylon blend.
Nickolay is still employed full-time as an office manager for Cutting Edge Painting in Nevada, so the yarn store is open part-time at the moment, and she will be looking for an employee to help run the store when hours increase.
The response has been excellent so far, she said.
“People were very excited when they walked in and they are very happy to have a yarn store in Ames again,” she said. “It’s been about four years since the last store closed in West Ames.”
One of Nickolay’s favorite knitting projects was a collaborative project organized by the Des Moines Art Center in 2015. The community tapestry involved more than 400 fiber artists, who knitted, crocheted or woven samples to create a likeness. giantess from Georgia O’Keeffe’s “From the Lac, No. 1.
The completed tapestry was displayed outside the art center for two weeks that summer, but it was so heavy it needed a backing for the artwork to hold its shape. Nickolay provided her knitted sample for the tapestry and then volunteered to help strengthen the structure of the giant artwork by helping to secure the backing.
“It was pretty cool,” Nickolay said. “There were so many people involved and so many people who submitted their samples. “
She wants to share this enthusiasm for knitting with her yarn customers, whether they are beginners or experienced.
The Knittery Nook is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 3pm to 5pm; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m.