Knittery Nook opens in downtown Ames, bringing a yarn shop back to town

Ronna Faaborg
Ames Tribune
Rochelle Nickolay has opened a yarn shop, The Knittery Nook & Fibre Co., in Suite 115 of the Town Center building, located at 328 Main St., in downtown Ames.

What began as a hobby a few years ago has grown into a business for Rochelle Nickolay, who opened a yarn shop in downtown Ames Feb. 12.

The Knittery Nook & Fibre Co. is in Suite 115 of the Town Center building, which is located at 328 Main St.

“I’ve been knitting for about five years,” Nickolay said. “I just really enjoy it — it’s a really fun hobby.”

The store is small and cozy with wall shelves full of colorful skeins of yarn.

“That’s why I came up with the name Knittery Nook, because it’s a little nook of a space in this building,” she said.

For many years, Nickolay has enjoyed trying different hobbies and learning various arts and crafts, especially through classes at the Memorial Union Workspace.

The Knittery Nook & Fibre Co. offers a variety of yarns, tools and instruction books.

Nickolay was inspired to learn to knit one day when her friend, Kristin Hanson, showed up at their book club meeting wearing a really cute hat.

“I said, ‘Where’d you get that hat?’ and she said, ‘I made it,’” Nickolay said. “Kristin is a knitter, and I was like: 'I need to learn how to do that.'”

Hanson taught Nickolay how to knit and those first few stitches led to more classes and lessons, and now her hobby has become a business.

Nickolay offers a variety of colors and types of yarn as well as knitting and crochet tools.

“I started off by bringing in things that I’ve worked with and that I know and like,” she said. “I’ll keep building from there.”

The current selection includes cotton blends, 100% Peruvian wool, 100% Merino Superwash wool, an alpaca-and-wool blend, nylon-and-wool blend and acrylic-and-nylon blend.

The Knittery Nook & Fibre Co. is currently open part-time hours in Suite 115 of the Town Center building, located at 328 Main St., in downtown Ames.

Nickolay is still employed full-time as the office manager for Cutting Edge Painting in Nevada, so the yarn shop is open part-time for now, and she’ll be looking for an employee to help run the shop when hours expand.

The response has been great so far, she said.

“People have been very enthusiastic when they come in, and they’re pretty excited to have a yarn shop back in Ames again,” she said. “It’s been about four years since the last shop 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 wove swatches to create a giant likeness of Georgia O’Keeffe’s “From the Lake, No. 1.

The completed tapestry was displayed on the Art Center’s exterior for two weeks that summer, but it was so heavy it needed a backing for the artwork to keep its shape. Nickolay contributed her knitted swatch for the tapestry and then volunteered to help strengthen the structure of the giant art piece by helping attach the backing.

“That was pretty cool,” Nickolay said. “There were so many people involved in it and so many people who submitted their swatches.”

The Knittery Nook offers a large variety of yarn, including 100% Peruvian wool, alpaca-and-wool blend and cotton blends.

She wants to share that enthusiasm for knitting with her yarn customers, whether they’re beginners or experienced.

The Knittery Nook is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 2 p.m.