Best Arts & Crafts Shop 2017
Perfectly Knotty, Arlington
Perfectly Knotty is not your average yarn shop. You will not find the typical yarns there. No sheep wool, cashmere, angora, or mohair. Why not? They are high allergen yarns that can irritate the skin of many, including shop owner Suzi Quillen.
So what types of yarn can you find there? Suzi puts in a lot of time researching the yarns carried in her shop. Among her picks are alpaca and llama fibers, but you will also find more unique ones, made from silk, bamboo, soy, milk, peppermint, and even sugar cane.
Folks don’t just come to Perfectly Knotty for the unique yarns though, they also come for the feeling they get while there. From the moment shoppers walk through the door, they feel welcomed and nurtured. They come to see it as not just a place to buy their yarn, but a safe place to go when they have a bad day.
Suzi is the driving force beyond that. People come into the shop, follow along with her on social media, and watch her YouTube tutorials, because she authentic and open about who she is and what she is about. She keeps it simple, but is fun and playful at the same time. So much so that she is known on social media and by many as the Empress, a name that she acquired during her corporate days.
It was a time where she wasn’t feeling heard, where her creativity wasn’t being allowed to shine. Frustrated with it, one day she wrote on a piece of paper “Empress of my own free will,” and slid it into her nameplate. She may not have had control over her work environment, but she made sure it was known that she had control over herself. It stuck with her, becoming a nickname, one that rings true in everything she does these days.
Bottom line, she is simply Suzi, she does things her way, and it makes people want to keep coming back to see her and watch her. Don’t think the love is one sided though, she loves her customers as much as they love her. After meeting a few while interviewing her, its not hard to see why. They are quite the set of characters. She has formed friendships with many of them, they have become like family to her, and would still be there if she were to close up her shop tomorrow. For her, that is what it is all about. It is not just about making sales, its about the people behind them.
That is a big part about what sets her, and Perfectly Knotty, apart from other yarn shops. It also doesn’t hurt that she is a crocheter that knits. What the heck does that mean? I didn’t know either, so I asked. It turns out crochet is less popular than knitting (according to Suzi that is because the 70’s gave it a bad name). It is the reason why most yarn shops are considered knitting shops. Perfectly Knotty caters to both. She offers supplies and classes for both and has been known to turn knitters into crocheters. They see her simple and elegant, yet challenging, crochet patterns and want to create them. Lucky for them she is a master crocheter, and up to the task.
Suzi’s classes are available to all, from beginner to advanced, and children to adults. There is something for everyone. More importantly, Suzi is the Empress of helping those she teaches find their learning style, what works best for them. It is something that can make a huge difference in someone’s progress and success. That is something I am grateful for, because the SnoCo Kid and I will be taking one of her classes for a later issue, and we are going to need all of the help we can get.
Beyond that, Suzi also offers free Sit and Stitch sessions, informal social gatherings where crocheters and knitters alike can come together, work on projects, interact with and encourage each other. They are offered Tuesday mornings, Wednesday afternoons, and every second Friday in the evening. If you are someone that puts off projects, these sessions are just the thing, they force you to block out time to work on them, and have fun at the same time.
Yarn and classes aside, Perfectly Knotty also offers a variety of antiques. They are things that are useful, like hand tools and furniture, and more often than not, they have been cleaned and fixed up by Suzi’s husband. When I say fixed up, I don’t mean made new like you find in most shops these days, I mean made functional. They are a fun and unique addition to the shop, a step back in time, and worth stopping by to see even if you aren’t a yarn person.
I can’t end this article without saying what an awesome and amazing individual she is. I, like many of her customers, would stop by Perfectly Knotty just for the chance to hang out with her and talk about life.
She also has a huge heart, supporting numerous causes as an individual and through her shop. If you donate blood, you can get a discount at the shop. Her stitchers create baby and carseat blankets that are donated to community organizations and the shop also collects and creates cold weather clothing and items for local shelters.
As if that wasn’t enough, Suzi has spent the last year putting together Sailor Boxes. She collects donations through her shop, and online, putting together care packages for sailors on duty overseas. It is a project that is near and dear to her heart, and that is growing every year.
Now that you know all about Suzi and Perfectly Knotty, what are you waiting for, get over there and say hi!
Find out more about Perfectly Knotty
Via Social Media & Youtube – @perfectly knotty
And at www.perfectlyknotty.com
Let us know what you think! Share your comments and experiences below and don’t forget to spread the love on social media at the bottom of the page.
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