The Jorstad Creek Dye Studio is a place that morphs from day to day. Sometimes it is a place to create beautiful things. Sometimes it is a place to learn, celebrate, console, or meet up with a friend. I often call it my “public living room.” We love our comfy couch (there are those who have been known to nap on it from time to time!) and find it to be the most pleasant place to spend a morning or liesurely afternoon.
One afternoon earlier last week we brought food and cider from our neighbors, the FishTale Pub, and lifted a glass to commemorate an accomplishment of a friend. Surrounded by beautiful woolie braids and yarn, it seemed like the perfect place to be happy with a group of friends.
When people first enter the doorway of our studio often we see them stand stock still, a bit dumbfounded by what they see. The building isn’t easy to find, and the front door can be elusive. So when a person steps from a rather rough and tumble parking lot into our little wonderland of color they are a little perplexed. This is the “Jorstad Effect.” Local people gaze at us a glassy-eyed and ask, “How long have you been here?” “About three years.” And next they say, “How could I not know you are here all this time?”
I think of about a thousand different things I could say. “We only appear in this location every three years, kind of like Brigadoon?” Or “You’ve crossed over a dimensional threshold to another world inhabited by color?” The fact is the Studio is one of those places that you find because you stumble upon it, or someone tells you about it. We don’t advertise in the newspaper (many reasons, ask me about it sometime), so we spend our meager advertising budget on Facebook. And we count on visitors to be amazed at our little warehouse that we’ve turned into a knitter and spinner’s Shangri La.
If you come to find Jorstad from out of town you can find us when you “Google” or search “Safari” on your iphone. We’re also in a yarn shop directory for yarn tourists. In a way it can be easier to find us if you are traveling here from out of town – local people don’t think to search “yarn store” in their own burg. I confess I am conflicted about the Studio being labeled a yarn store, due to the fact it just doesn’t quite fit the formula. We make most of our products here, or we do essential pieces of the process in making what we offer retail and wholesale to other stores. But we also have classes, knitting needles, needle-felting supplies, bags and stitch markers by local artisans, and now buttons!
The Studio is a multi-faceted place, and it has to continue to grow and change because we aren’t just a great stop on your summer travels (the pub next door is a great place to park the non-knitters among your group), but it is also part of a local community, this downtown Olympia, with its arts, colorful characters, craft brew, wine, cholocate, traditional music, farmer’s market, boats, and foodie destinations. Folks are passionate about the quality of life here, and having thriving local yarn sources are part of this ever-changing northwest town on the shore of the Salish Sea. That’s Puget Sound for those unfamiliar.
I wrote about change in a previous blog post, and how we were making adjustments to meet new expectations, and we have. The Studio now has permanently expanded our hours to include Thursdays from Noon to 5 p.m. You will find Pam and Heather at the Studio ready to help knitters find a new project, pattern, or fiber, or to get help with knitting questions.
In addition to our classes planned for the rest of May and June (see Class Schedule page), we have some “Jorstad Jaunts” that take us into July.
Black Sheep Gathering in Albany, Oregon. On June 28 the Studio is closed as we pack up most of our inventory and open a pop-up store at the Market at the Linn County Expo Center. This is a “sheep show” with live sheep, sheering, judging, and a sheep-to-shawl event. Classes and a market place with a spinner’s circle is also part of the festivities, find out more at www.blacksheepgathering.org. Lots of great farm and ranch booths are there selling their homegrown and crafted products, too. These events are important opportunities to support and sustain small land-holders who raise fiber animals and love what they do. We focus on outreach to new customers and returning friends who may not come north to Olympia to find us. The location is a beautiful drive south of Portland.
Stitch and Pitch at Safeco Field in Seattle. Thursday July 26 at 7:10 pm. Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals. We welcome the Northwest Yarns group to Safeco field, all the way from Bellingham to join us at our pop-up booth on the concessions deck. They sponsor our booth, and we show our appreciation for the support! You will find me and my crew ready to help you find something special directly from our Studio to this fun event.
We’re planning more events and trunk shows, and we’ll let you know when and where you can find us as dates are solidified. In the meantime thank you to everyone supporting our company, we love the feedback and appreciate the effort you make to find us wherever we go. Hope to see you soon! Kerry
A scoping project to establish a fiber company in Mongolia based on the principles of Fair Trade
A yarn and fiber company.
(and crochets, and stitches, and is otherwise generally crafty)
Interweaving life with fiber arts! (Photograph by Carly Moskat.)