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On the very north end of Clark street in the very top of Andersonville, new yarn store, Windy Knitty opened last week. Acting as a community meeting point focused on promoting both the crafts of knitting and crochet, owner, Mandy Petersen has a weekly thursday knit night meet-up for yarnies. Only open for one week she's seen a tremendous response from the Andersonville community and sales have been nearly nonstop since the first fifteen minutes of her first day in business.
Throughout the store there are tables where community members and yarn enthusiasts can sit down any time of the day and have an impromptu stitch n' bitch. If you're schedule is a little more planned, you can join the Knit Night every Thursday. If you're interested in male bonding Mandy tells us that within the past week, about 13% of her clientele has been male and thinks this is definitely related to the neighborhood demographics. Mandy tells us she'll soon starting to host a men's night each Sunday.
Speaking on the recent Andersonville developments as a new business owner and an neighborhood resident who is starting a family, Mandy tells us the reasons she opened her shop. "I Don't want to loose the feeling of Andersonville- the neighborhood feeling." She goes on, "As my tagline says, 'A place for Yarn and Friend'. These two things have been the two most important thing about knitting- yarn and friends. One part is the community and the other part is the product. I love the color and the texture. I belive in it"
Windy Knitty's Chicago exclusives right now are Three Irish Girls hand dyed by professional yarnistas in Duluth Minnesota and independent Canadian-based Sweet Georgia Yarn which ranges from $25 to $40. One of Mandy's book selections that she's really excited to have is The Close Knit Gang. The book is written by two Swedish sisters who wanted to give appreciation and a true reflection to their Swedish Heritage. As Mandy tells us, "I thought it would be fun to have it in the store given the dense Swedish population here."
There are a lot of specialty yarns in the store but they also sell the affordable and the must-haves like Cascade 220, Malabrigo, Louisa Harding Yarns, and Madelintosh Yarns out of Texas. One of Mandy's goals when buying stock for the store was to have a super-wide variety for every budget taking into account design, color and quality in a ways that are different.
The large store is already pretty full with yarn and Mandy wants more. We overhear say something about wanting to carry even more Alpaca yarns and work with Blue Sky Alpaca. Windy Knitty has already started a Loyalty program where over time, when you spend $300, you get a $30 gift certificate back toward more purchases at the store.
Join Windy Knitty for their grand opening celebration this Saturday from 3-5pm. The shop will be alive with a ton of giveaways including drawings, patterns and yarn from some of the vendors- like Fleur de Fiber, a hand dyed yarn studio just a few blocks away from the store.