Located in the picturesque, archetypal American small town of Ligonier, PA, Kathy's Kreations resides in a store that has been in the Zimmerman family for generations. The establishment, once an appliance store, features classic American architecture including bay windows and a stamped tin ceiling. When you enter the store, you're transported back to a gentler, better, simpler time - all while getting the very latest in knitting yarn, patterns, and projects.
Meet Kathy! She's always there with a smile to greet you and help you with your biggest knitting challenge. That's Tracy in the back; she and the rest of the staff are just as kind, knowledgeable, and helpful.
The store personifies order. You can actually find yarn in this store! And if you can't, Kathy and her staff can dig up the most esoteric knitting-related item in an instant.
I love Kathy's Kreations. It's my most favorite yarn store of all and I've been to a gazillion of them. Of course, the main reason the store is fabu is Kathy. Here we are, me adorned in my Augusta for the first time, a sweater that Kathy helped me with from the beginning. And look how much better it looks with a non-baggy shirt underneath.
Yesterday, she helped me with the entire basketful of projects I hauled from Maryland. First up: Tom's sweater. ACK! I showed Kathy the sweater, lamenting that the pattern calls for a half-repeat at one end, making the sweater unbalanced. I hate that! But Kathy took one look at it and said, "How big do you need this to be?" She measured and it's at least eight to ten inches too narrow. Damn! Yet another thing to rip out and start over again. Oh well, this debacle lets me fix the half-cable problem. This time, I'm going to do eight full pattern repeats rather than that half-repeat. Kathy sagely pointed out that I'd just completed one hell of a swatch. True that.
I was supposed to learn about combining cables and lace yesterday but got sidetracked by hours of discussion about the knitting industry in general and sweater designing in particular. Towards the end of the day, Kathy suggested that she show me how she designs and prepares patterns for submission for publication. Fascinating! I loved seeing how her ideas morphed into swatches and then into full-fledged patterns.
But then she reached into her own personal knitting bag and pulled out the most gorgeous cabled swatch I've ever, ever seen. Ever. She whipped up this lovely cabled masterpiece using a modified Japanese stitch and it's just plain glorious. It was love at first site. I must make make a cardigan with this stitch pattern! It's required by law.
But that's only half the miracle. The other part is the yarn. It is the most amazing DK weight alpaca/merino yarn I've ever seen and it hasn't even been released yet. She's got the very first skeins ever made. I'm telling you, I've never felt anything as glorious as this yarn. It's got all the softness of alpaca topped off with a dollop of soft merino that stablizes the often droopy alpaca. The result: the most perfect yarn ever. It will soon be released by Kraemer Yarns - but not soon enough.
I'm lamenting this fact when Kathy picks up her cell phone. It's 3:00 on a Saturday afternoon and I am drooling (figuratively - not literally!) all over this amazing yarn. I thought maybe she was calling her husband or something, but the next thing I know, Kathy's got the head of marketing at Kraemer Yarns on the phone and she's ordering me the very first bag of this yarn ever sold in the United States. WOW WOW WOW! Unbelievable!
SO... instead of making the Katharine Hepburn cardigan, I'm going to make an aran style sweater of my own design, created just for my own personal lumpiness, using an exclusive, unpublished cable pattern created by the illustrious Kathy Zimmerman, with the most glorious alpaca/merino yarn that hasn't even been released yet. Talk about knitting nirvana. I mean REALLY. Really! We start in two weeks. Can't wait!
I will keep you posted about this new sweater, the release of the yarn, and when Kathy's pattern will (hopefully) be published. Stay tuned.
But now you know why I venture every month 160 miles one way to see Kathy Zimmerman. Who wouldn't? Knitting dreams do come true, it can happen to you, if you're
young at heart willing to make the trip! I can't say enough about Kathy and Kathy's Kreations. Go if you can. You will love it.