Learn how-to make a magic yarn ball in #ShopShowcase with Ram Wools Yarn Co-Op in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
How did you get started?
Our co-op is the second incarnation of Ram Wools. When the previous owner made plans to retire, she offered the shop to the employees and we took her up on it and turned Ram Wools into a worker owned cooperative.
Where are you located?
We are located in Winnipeg, Canada. That's right smack in the middle of North America.
Which products do you specialise in?
We carry a wide range of quality yarn for knitting and crochet as well as a variety of fibres for felting and spinning. We've noticed felting and spinning are really taking off, so we will be expanding our range of fibres and supplies.
Do you have a particular favorite product that you sell?
That's like asking who your favourite kid is! All of us at the co-op have our favourites, especially natural fibre yarns that come in large colour ranges. Some of us get all drool-y over alpaca, llama and the camelids (who doesn't?). We carry a line of local hand dyed yarns and rovings that all the co-op members love a lot. Beautiful, soft and colourful merino gets our creative juices flowing too. Completely different from these luxury types is a line from New Brunswick called Briggs and Little that we find ourselves using and designing with over and over again. They have several types and weights, all in a lovely, rustic pallette with a wonderful, authentic feel.
What's on the stereo?
We listen to an internet radio station out of California called Radio Paradise. They play the most eclectic variety of tunes that we've ever heard, from Placebo to Billy Holiday. The customers love it and many of our regulars are now listening to it at home. Right now they are playing Garbage, preceded by Catherine Wheel, Crosby Stills and Nash and Kaleida. Check them out! http://radioparadise.com
Where else should we visit in your area?
I think any crafty types would love Artist's Emporium on St james St. It's full of supplies for painting, silk screening, fabric printing, modelling and so on. It's hard to control yourself in there! Winnipeg is full of really cool specialty shops for crafting, ethnic food, fabric, etc.
Do you host any workshops, classes or special events?
We have classes and workshops in knitting, crochet and felting scheduled throughout the year. In the summer, we host free pop-up classes on all kinds of yarn crafty topics like pom pom making, different stitch and finishing techniques and so on. We also have a week long Stash Bustin' Festival in August with free workshops to inspire you to dig through your stash, put together great colour combinations and make something great from all those left overs that add up over time. In the fall, we head out to the woods for a fibre retreat. We book a lovely hotel at Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park, hire a chef and spend the weekend doing our workshops, eating, knitting, spinning, eating, hanging out and eating. For the brave retreaters, there is a pre-Halloween Fright Night put on by the park staff and people from the nearby villages. It's really fun and genuinely scary! Twice a week we host Hide and Go Stitch where people are invited to bring in their projects and sit around our big table and stitch together. People often bring snacks and baking to share, which is always nice! On top of our own events, we participate in the Manitoba Fibre Festival and have sponsored craft events throughout the city.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
Our shop might sound like any other yarn shop, until you come by for a visit. We've worked on creating a really fun, inspiring and comfortable atmosphere. We have filled the store with lots of quirky, humourous, strange and wonderful things from our personal collections and some of the customers have caught on and brought things in to add to it. We've have a really great group of crafters here and together we have been able to do some really good work for the community at large.
Do you have a favorite craft, art or supply shop in your town that we should feature? Send us a message!