When a customer walks into Yarn Tree Studio, owner Lynn Goldenberg already has an idea for his or her next creation.
Projects that serve as examples hang near the materials needed to make them. Goldenberg has a large supply of pattern books to help, too.
She regularly walks around with customers, feeling the softness of the yarn and fibers they can turn into a sweater, scarf or an original garment.
“It’s zen,” Goldenberg, 59, said of knitting and crocheting. “It’s just so relaxing.”
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Goldenberg said she used to knit to relieve the stresses of being a working mom in a demanding corporate environment.
In 2011, she was ready for something new. She left her job in finance and opened Yarn Tree Studio on Lead Mine Road in North Raleigh.
Now, customers come to the store to buy yarn, and they also come as groups to hang out and knit together.
Goldenberg also holds classes as part of Yarn Tree University. She hires instructors to teach customers how to knit and crochet.
“It’s about learning to love the art,” she said. “It’s not just about fabulous fibers.”
Recently, the store has started offering time to spin, which is how raw fibers are turned into yarn. The change has helped attract younger people, Goldenberg said.
She learned to knit as a child and has passed it on to her two children, who are now grown. But a love and understanding for knitting isn’t always carried on to younger family members, Goldenberg said.
“It’s important to pass it on to the next generation,” she said. “There’s so much technology out there, going back to something basic is very fulfilling.”
Students at Yarn Tree University can take beginner classes to learn the basics of knitting. Some classes are more advanced. One class taught students how to make a Fair Isle sweater, which has patterns with multiple colors.
Students don’t just learn the movements of knitting, Goldenberg said. They also learn why they have to do certain things, which gives them the skills to continue practicing the art.
“Once you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, you can do anything,” she said.
The store has created a close community of knitters, spinners and others. Last year, Yarn Tree Studio participated in Spinzilla, a global competition in which teams try to spin the most yarn in a week.
Yarn Tree’s 25-member team finished 11th in the world, which showed how dedicated they are to their craft, Goldenberg said. The competition included teams made up of employees from companies that make yarn and knitting tools professionally.
This year’s Spinzilla event runs Oct. 5-11. Yarn Tree Studio’s team is once again ready to spin.
“This year, we’re definitely breaking the top 10,” Goldenberg said.
About the series
The North Raleigh News and Midtown Raleigh News are publishing a series of stories about locally owned businesses in Raleigh. Do you know of a business you’d like to see featured? Email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more
Yarn Tree Studio is located at 8801 Lead Mine Road. For more information, go to www.yarntreestudio.com.