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Little Hawk Yarns Connects Local Producers, Crafters

12:15 AM · Oct 5, 2022

For Kat Tylee, making yarn is a little connection to her dad. She "wound up" learning how to spin in 2012 and wanted to make yarn her dad would have wanted to knit with. Now the shop bears his nickname for Tylee who was born "looking around like a hawk." She sells yarns and equipment from primarily sheep ranchers and small farms in the US that produce yarn and other fiber-related products. She actually goes out and meets the sheep that give the wool she sells. "We moved a couple of times in Nebraska and each shop was a little bit better and a little bit more focused," Tylee said. "Now I carry a full retail outlook, but my focus is still local and connecting local producers with local makers. I've been able to hook in and meet several of the local sheep ranchers and people with small, hand-spinning flocks." She opened Little Hawk Yarns in 2016 in Nebraska where she was living. When she moved back to the Pacific Northwest, closer to family, everything fell into place to open it again. She intended to keep her yarn boutique online, but first Knotty Lady announced it would be closing, then she found a perfectly-sized shop for lease, and discovered her new landlords are also knitters. "Even my weaving and spinning equipment is from Colorado," Tylee said. "Most people don't even know it's here." She's an airplane mechanic by trade, but grew up with a dad who knitted everyone's socks and mittens and clearly remembers sitting with a woman her father called the "goat lady" and watching her spin all day when she was nine years old. "It apparently planted a seed," Tylee said. "I went to a fiber fair and bought a spinning wheel on a whim. I figured I had better learn how to use it." Having a store as large and well-stocked as the Knotty Lady showed Tylee how strong the fiber community was. A former employee comes and sits in the shop with Tylee to work on her own projects and mentoring. Tylee said she thinks they complement each other well since they have different styles and meet people in different places. Her stock is smaller than Knotty Lady and she focuses on more boutique, high-end, wool yarns. She can special order just about anything someone might want. Tylee keeps her website operational so people can sign up for her spinning, knitting, and rigid-heddle weaving classes, but if it doesn't work, call her or drop in. She hopes to add after-school classes soon. Classes are offered based on demand and equipment availability. She has set hours, but as the only person in the shop, if she is sick or needs to be out, the shop will close. Address: 544 SE Main St Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Phone: (458) 262-0046 Website: littlehawkyarns.com

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