Set Your GPS to 39 East Main Street!

RoadTripDay4

Pin #4 drops on Ewebiquitous in Lititz, PA!

From Anne,

Ewebiquitous is a cute, little fiber arts shop located on Main Street in historic Lititz, PA–a town that was voted “Coolest Small Town In America” in 2013.  Here are a few of the many reasons that you just HAVE to come to Lititz and visit us at Ewebiquitous……

FF&WY: Why/when/how did your shop come to be?

EWE: Creating, planning, organizing, starting, and running not just a yarn shop, but a fiber arts shop, has been a goal of mine starting in my 40s as something that I wanted to do sometime in my 50s.  The only thing that I didn’t know was that God saw it fit for me to open my doors for business not even one month after I turned 50!  It was all about being in the right place at the right time for the doors of opportunity to open for me!

The credit for the name, “Ewebiquitous” goes out to my college friend, Paul, who studied with me at Drexel University in Philadelphia.  Paul always prided himself on using big words; this is probably why he is a successful neurosurgeon today!  Ha!  Well, he used the word ubiquitous back in 1987 and it always stuck with me.  Well, being one that loves to have a play on words, I opted to alter the spelling a bit and, as a result, Ewebiquitous was born!

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Anne!

FF&WY: What makes your shop unique?

EWE: Ewebiquitous is a very new shop and just celebrated its 16-month birthday.  We not only offer a wide variety of yarns for knitting and crocheting, but we also carry wool yardage and materials for rug hooking, needle punch supplies, perle cotton threads, needles and hoops, rug braiding supplies, and a plethora of notions, needles, and gifts.  And, oh, did I mention that we carry a host of little felted pouches from a certain company located in Vermont?

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The other aspect of Ewebiquitous that we pride ourselves on is the promotion of the creative works and talents of artisans from 11 different states and Prince Edward Island.  We promote a number of artisans that are local residents of Lititz, in addition to the surrounding area.  Every Second Friday of the month, we feature a different artisan and promote their talent and have them in the shop for a live demonstration with the hopes of not only promoting an interest in that artisan’s work but also an interest in perpetuating that specific craft.

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FF&WY: What do you love about Lititz?

Geez, where do I begin???  Let me start by saying that my first visit to Lititz was as a college student back in 1985 with my future father-in-law.  He knew Lititz and the surrounding rolling acres of farmland located in Lancaster County like the back of his hand.  I remember strolling down Main Street for the very first time and totally being taken aback by the quaintness of the town, how clean it was, how everyone was so pleasant, church bells ringing from every corner, and the ducks coming out of the stream to be fed like they were on cue!  And then there is the chocolate….. oh, the heavenly chocolate that Wilbur’s Chocolate Factory creates.  Hershey may have their Kisses, but let me tell you that the Wilbur Bud, whether it be milk or dark, has it all over the little Kiss!  Wilbur’s has been a staple to Lititz and has put us on the map for 113 years!  And, by the way as a consumer note, when you visit the factory to sample your first buds and can’t decide how many bags to buy, it is cheaper to buy a 5 lb. box!

Of course, what is the next best thing to chocolate you ask?  Why, pretzels of course!  And if you are smart enough to come to Lititz, then you have to visit Sturgis Pretzels, the first commercial pretzel factory in America, dating back to 1861.  Here, you not only learn their history, but you get to make your own pretzel as well!  And no trip is complete until you stop by their store and indulge in some pretzels, especially the chocolate caramel covered ones!  Just saying….

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And then there is our local pub, The Bull’s Head Public House, was recently honored as the Best Beer Bar in Pennsylvania.  I mention them, Wilbur’s and Sturgis Pretzels since they are from as few as a 100 steps (The Bull’s Head)–OK, if you take big steps it is even closer–to right around the corner or right down the street for the other two!  But, in all seriousness, I have tried to highlight what we are known for.  What you might not see listed in the travel brochures is the generosity and kindness of the people that call Lititz home.  I say this because, as I noted in the beginning, my goal for my 50s was to open a fiber shop in Lititz.  What I didn’t mention was that my goal for my 40s was to purchase a home in this beautiful little town.  I did accomplish that, however, I don’t actually live there.  I am a full-time resident of New Jersey and I make the 82 mile junket each and every weekend to run my shop.  Who would do this unless the location of their shop was in Utopia?

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  In the 31 years since my first visit to Lititz I knew that this was a place that I wanted to call home one day.  It was the place that I wanted to take my method of relaxing and turn it into a business.  I have a long way to go, but I have been truly blessed with everyone and everything that has crossed my path since I started on this journey.  My creative and entrusted employees:  Jeannot, the knowledgable and ever so polite and courteous one; Kate, my friendly Southern Belle who is just so good at everything; Rhianna, the bagpipe playing knitter and artisan; and Io, the master at knitting and crocheting, especially socks!  These ladies are the backbone of Ewebiquitous.  They are the “Me” when I am not there since I work a full time job.  These ladies bring their talents with them everyday and promote the upbeat aura that I want relayed to my customers.  We have strived to create a visually stimulating atmosphere for the customers to enjoy.  My goal is for you to want to come back, not only because of our merchandise and classes offered or that we strive to know “Who” you are when you grace our door, but more importantly, that we are a small company and that we are constantly on the hunt to bring you the handworks of artisans from all over the country.  My goal is to not be like every other yarn store and so far it’s working!
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Jeannot, Kate, and Io

EWE: I have a passion for Lititz and for how it and its people that I have been blessed to meet have changed my life for the better.  I promise that if you get your map out and project 40.1573169 Latitude and -76.3069014 Longtitude that you won’t be disappointed, other than to wonder why you didn’t experience the charms of this town previously.  So, here’s hoping that you grace our door one day!

Oh, Anne, thank you so much for sharing the story of Ewebiquitous with us! We hope to visit in real life very soon, as we’re sure some of our readers will!
Next stop: Natural Stitches in Pittsburgh, PA!
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Pulling in at Main Street Yarn!

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Today, we’ve landed in Rebersburg, PA, at Main Street Yarn, located at 121 E Main St.

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FF & WY: Why/when/how did your shop come to be?

MSY: Main Street Yarn will be celebrating its 3rd anniversary on April 11. We are partnered with my husband’s shop, Forefathers Books Shop, in a former brick bank building in Rebersburg, PA, which is a very small town in Centre County — definitely a destination stop. Keith and I have kept the integrity of the building from the high pressed tin ceiling and gorgeous bank vault in the book shop area to the crash bar bank door which is the entry from the parking lot to Main Street Yarn. We looked for several years for an appropriate location that would be large enough for both shops and sturdy enough to hold over 30,000 hardback books. We work together in the business, although Keith is there much more than I, because I continue to work fulltime for U.S. Senator Bob Casey in a regional office in Bellefonte, PA. Keith or one of his staff handles yarn shop business when I am not available. Over the years there have been a few texts or quick telephone calls to clarify something. Fortunately, I have very understanding customers.
I learned to knit at age 4 and stopped at age 6! I picked it up again in college in the early ’70s but moved to counted cross stitch for 20 years. During a break in University employment I went to work in a local yarn shop and loved it. I learned so much — including how to knit socks, which are my knitting passion. I haven’t stopped knitting and the rest, as they say, is history.
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Kim and Charlie
FF&WY: What makes your shop unique?
MSY: My portion of the building was renovated with white walls and natural ceiling lighting to show off the colors of the yarn. I try to keep the atmosphere homey from the electric fireplace to coffee and snacks which are always available on Saturdays. I am an avid fan of hand-dyed yarns and I estimate at least 60% of my inventory is hand-dyed fingering weight yarns with a bit of DK and Worsted tossed in for variety. Some of my customers favorite dyers are Frabjous Fibers and Wonderland Yarns (mini skein sets are growing in popularity); KnitMona; Unplanned Peacock; Meadowcroft; Nooch Fibers; and Wandering Wool. The latter was the first hand-dyed in the shop and it will always be a staple (along with Wonderland Yarns, of course!)
Getting known is difficult in a rural area, so I started setting up at local/regional fiber shows. I love meeting new people, “selling” my yarns, and building a customer base. Each is a different venue and often different people, but I’ve never had a bad time at a fiber show! My newsletter is  gaining readership as is the Facebook page. If someone wants to sign up for the newsletter go to the website and register. Also, for those who are on the internet but do not have a personal Facebook page, my shop page scrolls in the middle of the website, so you can keep up with the latest.
This year I hope to do 5 shows and the first is tomorrow — For The Love of Fiber in Bellefonte, PA. It is hosted by the Centre County Knitting Guild and is a very nice event. I have some new items for shoppers and lots of mini-skein sets. I will be displaying WIP samples to provide ideas and insight into how to work with a mini-skein set. I recently wrote a post on my blog Sock-Crazy and several shops have shared it.
I will again be doing a Knit in Public event this summer and hope to see growth from last year. We have lots of fun and as always, there are door prizes.
FF&WY: Do you have regular social meet-ups, like a knit night or KALs?
MSY: The Penns Valley Area Knitters, a group I formed 10 years ago, meets in the shop two Saturdays a month. It is a very casual group and not a dues collecting organization. We share projects, offer help to each other, and snack. I always make sure there are goodies for everyone. They can range from cookies and punch in warmer weather to dip and crackers along with soup in the winter. I have my first KAL planned but can’t reveal quite yet (however it does involve yarn from your company!) We strongly believe in charity knitting and annually donate at least 100 hats, scarfs, mitts, mittens, lap robes, etc. to the local community outreach center. They are distributed with the Christmas food baskets and are so appreciate. It warms our hearts knowing we are helping others ward off cold temperatures.
FF&WY: What are the most popular patterns/yarn bases/colors among your customers right now?
MSY: The majority of my customers are sock and shawl knitters so fingering weight yarns are a large percentage of my inventory. Superwash merino with a nylon additive and great yardage makes them smile each time they look at a new indie dyer product. Many are also hat and cowl knitters and like more commercial yarns for those projects, although the multi-color worsted weight yarn I recently purchased from Frabjous Fibers and Wonderland Yarns is very popular.  I carry a nice selection of commercial yarns from Berroco, Plymouth and Universal yarn companies. These are good, solid basics which everyone needs at some point in their knitting.
I continue to knit shop models which help people with ideas. I have learned that creativity needs a little push sometimes and I am trying to help people with color combination and pattern choices.
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FF&WY: What is your favorite yarn brand (yes, this is a trick question)? 🙂 
MSY: Personally, I’m hooked on your Mini Skein Packs in Cheshire Cat fingering. I also really like yarns from KnitMona and Wandering Wool.
Thank you so much, Kim!
Next stop, as we knit on down the road is: Natural Stitches in Pittsburg, PA.