Monthly Yarn Store Spotlight Series: Yarnology

Basic yarn store info:  Yarnology, 65 East Third Street, Winona
We’re currently open Tue + Thu — Noon to 6 pm, Wed + Fri + Sat — Noon to 4 pm
We allow only 6 customers in the shop at a time (both to allow room for distancing and so that we can do our best to assist)
Tell us about your team: Kelly is the creative genius of our lead team–she literally wakes up in the middle of the night with amazing ideas for window displays and shop samples. Ingrid is the warm, perceptive heart of the shop–she’s likely to remember not only your name, but also what you were working in last time you stopped in. Gaby specializes in “back of house”–she makes sure the bills are paid and loves to pack the online orders.
What yarn do you stock that you feel doesn’t get the attention it deserves:  We are known for stocking some amazing European yarns that are hard to find (La Bien Aimee, Biches et Buches, etc.)–and we’re very proud of that. But a yarn company that I feel doesn’t get the attention it deserves is Minnesota’s own Blue Sky Fibers. They offer a breathtaking array of yarns, topnotch design and marketing materials, and are some of the kindest, most generous people in the industry.
What class offerings do you have coming up: While we are not offering classes during the pandemic, we have figured a way to give a bit of guided help for customers who’ve gotten stuck in the middle of a project. We offer a very limited number of 10-15 minute appointments on Wednesdays and Fridays before we open. Both the customer and the Yarnologist stay masked and distanced, but we have seating for two set up with good lighting and tools–and it’s often just enough to get people back on track.
Are you offering virtual classes: We decided not to offer virtual classes during COVID, as so much of the fun in teaching a class is in the proximity. We do encourage people to look for online classes offered by many of knitting’s “rock stars”…like those offered via Vogue Knitting Live, for example. Now is a wonderful time to take a class from your favorite designer.
Do you have any upcoming trunk shows or other events: We are in the midst of our 2021 Sweater Challenge, which is lots of fun. It’s good to make a commitment out loud to that you are really going to start and finish a sweater. The Challenge officially began Jan 1–but you are welcome to cast on later–and the goal is to bind off by Feb 28. Any yarn, any adult sweater pattern, just go for it. We love the camaraderie and the fact that, even though we’re knitting apart, we’re also knitting together. Go to the website for more information on signing up.
What is your favorite sample: Oh, wow. This is such an unfair question to ask of a yarn shop owner! Yarnology is a shop that loves samples–so we have a LOT of them. It is lovely to be able to try a thing on before you decide to knit or crochet it, isn’t it? I guess my favorite sample at this moment is the Wave of Change Jacket (by the talented Denise Bayron). Kelly knit it using Biches et Buches Le Gros Lambswool and, for me, it achieves the perfect balance between rustic and sophisticated.
Do you offer a MKG discount or a frequent buyer club: We offer a 10% discount to MKG members and have a Reward Card system for everyone. We keep track of your dollars spent and send out a $20 gift card in the mail when you reach the mark–no punch card in your wallet.
Other than shopping, what are the best ways we can help support your yarn store: We very much appreciate it when people take the time to like, follow, and comment on our social media posts. The algorithms are always in flux, but having a strong base of active followers helps us get our message seen in a broader way. Also, think about joining our Ravelry group and going to our website–both to browse and to sign up for our emails. We are minimalists when it comes to mailings, so never worry about being deluged.
Is there anything else you’d like us to feature? ie: are you committed to providing extra benefits to employees? are you involved with a local charity? are you committed to being green?: We are committed to keeping everyone (most especially our talented Yarnologists) safe during the pandemic. To that end, our hours are shortened, our gathering spaces temporarily removed, and our capacity in-shop is reduced. On the flip side, we continue to be as full-service as we can be and are able to offer short bursts of shopping assistance, blocking/finishing services, and a lovely on-line shopping experience. We hope customers are willing to work with their LYS to make things work.

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Jess Dahlberg

Newsletter Editor

Jess learned to knit in middle school and attempted (but never quite finished) a few garter stitch scarves. Years later, she picked up crochet with her best friend in law school and eventually fell back into knitting. Ever since then, she's been a daily knitter (commuting time for the win!) and has never looked back. She enjoys knitting gifts for friends and family and loves trying new techniques. (she, her, hers)

Laura Haave

Great Guild Getaway Committee Chair

Laura learned to knit in 2003 by taking a four-week class during MIT's annual January Independent Activities Period. The class project was a striped hat knit in the round, and since that time, Laura has been a big advocate of 1) helping other adults learn to knit for the first time, 2) hats as a manageable first project, and 3) circular needles for everything. She enjoys thinking about knitting and planning her next project almost as much as she enjoys actually knitting. Laura is highly motivated by knit-alongs and loves to knit in community. (she, her, hers)

Anne Rojas


Janese Evans

Yarnover Committee Chair

Bio to come. (she,her,hers)

Kate Westlund

Social Media and Technology Director

(Term 2, Year 3)

Kate became enthralled with knitting when she was a young girl and saw a fellow young person knitting on a plane. She implored her mother to teach her everything she knew, which as it turned out was only casting on and the knit stitch. Once Kate learned to purl froma beginner's kit, there was no end in sight. Kate is the type of knitter who doesn’t always swatch, which is often obvious in her finished projects.

Melissa Mintern

Marketing and Outreach Director

(Term 1, Year 2)

Melissa has been knitting for 15 years. She loves socks and sweaters. She is a new member who hopes to use her marketing background to lift up the MKG. While she isn't local to MN, she really loves the atmosphere created by the Guild. Melissa and significant other Al enjoy traveling, wherein Al graciously offers to drive so Melissa can knit in the passenger seat. (she, her, hers)

Nikky Heidel

Membership Director

(Term 1, Year 2)

Nikky was first introduced to knitting in 2012 when her visiting sister-in-law taught her the basics of casting on and the knit stitch. A few weeks later, she learned how to purl from her mother-in-law. From there, it quickly became a passion and she has taken on each new project with a desire to expand her skill and discover new techniques. She loves a good mystery (knit-a-long) and knits way more shawls than a single person can wear in a month.

Betsy Preston

Service Director

(Term 1, Year 1)

Betsy never had patience for knitting, until she found herself spending a lot of time at little league games and waiting for the last kid to emerge from the locker room after swim practice. With her background in graphic design, stranded colorwork has a natural appeal. Not to mention the practicality of an extra layer of warmth. Betsy has recently begun publishing her original hat and cowl patterns, which are available on Ravelry. (she, her, hers) (See our Service Knitting Page for more information about our current projects and donation process.)

Position Currently Open

Programming Director

(Three-year term)

This board position is currently open. If you are interested in helping to source and book teachers and speakers for Guild meetings, please contact Kathy at [email protected]

Rose Tobelmann


(Term 1, Year 3)

Rose learned to knit from her mother at the age of ten. She started knitting on the ends of small paint brushes. She continued to knit off and on through her teenage and young adult years and became a more avid knitter after taking a Norwegian sweater knitting class through community education. Today, knitting has become a passion and she knits for charity, herself, and her family her stash. She enjoys meeting other knitters and learning new techniques.

Kelsey Sorenson


(Term 1, Year 2)

Kelsey learned the knit stitch from her grandmother in middle school, and filled in the gaps enough to make lots of scarves for quite a few years. She began expanding her skills in college and is always looking to learn more. Kelsey is drawn toward projects that are seamless or include stranded colorwork. (she, her, hers)

Kelly Amoth

Vice President

(Term 1, Year 2)

A visiting friend from Seattle taught Kelly the very basics of knitting (a twisted loop cast on and just the knit stitch) in 2008 before flying home. Turning to the internet (thanks!) Kelly taught herself through a lot of trial and error. Uncontent to keep knitting the scarf she’d started as her first project, she jumped into knitting a pair of striped mittens for her non-knitter, but very knitworthy, twin sister. Twelve years later the mittens are still in her sister’s glove box, and Kelly is usually horrified when she pulls them out and sees the mistakes she made using double pointed needles for the first time. Kelly loves knitting socks and is thankful for the many months of cold weather when she gets to exclusively wear her handknits. (she, her, hers)

Kathy Lewinski


(Term 1, Year 2)

Kathy has always been into crafts, but didn’t teach herself to knit until after college. She really got hooked while living in San Francisco when a friend opened a knitting store. To pitch in, Kathy started knitting up fun (and odd) things for window displays, as well as teaching classes. In the last couple of years, she has started designing her own knitting patterns (many of them available for free on Ravelry!) with toys and mittens being her primary obsessions. (she/her/hers)