Offering classes and 'knit nights,' Knittery Nook moves to Main Street storefront in Ames

Ronna Faaborg
Ames Tribune
Rochelle Nickolay's business, The Knittery Nook & Fibre Co., has a new, larger space in downtown Ames.

A yarn shop in downtown Ames moved to a larger storefront location July 1 and recently expanded its hours.

When Rochelle Nickolay of Huxley opened The Knittery Nook & Fibre Co. in downtown Ames on Feb. 12, the key word may have been “nook.” The 300-square-foot suite in Main Street’s Town Center building was cozy.

The store moved to a spot with at least twice the retail space at the beginning of July. Knittery Nook’s logo of a plump, smiling sheep can be seen on the exterior glass of 219 Main St. It’s the former location of Z.W. Mercantile, which moved to 301 Main St., Suite 8, in November to be closer to its sister stores, Cooks’ Emporium and Nook & Nest.

“We're pretty pumped about our new location,” Nickolay said. “We weren’t really planning on this because we’re still really new, but when the space became available on Main Street, we just couldn’t pass it up.”

With soaring ceilings and a long interior brick wall on one side, the store offers a texture that seems just right for textiles.

“I feel like this is the perfect size. It’s more space, but it’s not too big either,” Nickolay said.

Having a Main Street storefront is helping new customers discover her store, she said.

“I knew Ames had quite a few fiber artists, but I’ve also had a lot of people come in who have no experience and are interested in learning,” Nickolay said.

Classes are available and a schedule can be found on Knittery Nook’s website,

Nickolay also planning “knit nights,” where knitters can come in and socialize while they work on their creations.

Nickolay has a long history of being involved in events that combine art and community. Most recently, her store hosted a gathering at Tom Evans Plaza on Main Street to celebrate worldwide Knit in Public Day on June 12.

“Quite a few people came to knit in the park throughout the day. It was pretty cool,” she said.

The Knittery Nook will be included in the Mid-Iowa Yarn Shop Hop from Aug. 5-7.

“That's a pretty big event that is normally in April, but it got canceled last year. This year, they pushed it back to August,” Nickolay said. “This will be my first year of participating in that as a shop owner. I've done it for years, just as a customer. So it’ll be kind of fun to do it as a shop owner this year.”

The Knittery Nook will offer discounts and prize giveaways. Shop hop-goers who get stamps from all the participating yarn shops can be entered to win a grand prize.

Along with The Knittery Nook, the Mid-Iowa Yarn Shop Hop includes Knitting Next Door in Ankeny, Yarn Junction Co. in West Des Moines, Jan's Yarn Barn in Newton, Esther & Company in Newton and Heartland Fiber Co. in Winterset.

“It’s a nice collaborative effort between all the other local shops in the metro area,” Nickolay said. “We’re excited to be part of that.”

Nickolay is still employed full-time as the office manager for Cutting Edge Painting in Nevada, but she’s hired an employee to help her expand the yarn shop’s hours, including Saturday mornings when the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market is active.

The Knittery Nook’s current hours are Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.