Get out your pens and planners and draw a big heart around April 27th because Local Yarn Store Day is one of the most special days of the year, you won’t want to miss this!

We’ll have one-day-only cafe specials!

We’ll have limited-edition gradient cakes from Four Crows Fibers, a surprise selection of indie-dyed, self-striping sock yarn from PNW Purls, and a limited number of Madelinetosh exclusive LYS Day colorway skeins, and free patterns with purchase of Malabrigo Rios and Ultimate Sock, all of which will be available in-store only!

We’ll have a special on crafting kits to help you jump-start a new adventure in felting, embroidery, crochet or knitting!

We’ve also got the shop loaded up with goodies from our newest vendors like brand new stickers to show your crafty pride; stunning leather shawl cuffs, earrings, gauge rulers for knitters and spinners, row counters and other handcrafted wooden notions from Sunrise Grove; and of course we are busting with pride to be the newest stockist for Knitting for Olive!

Above all we’ll have a festival vibe going on and we invite YOU to come by and be a part of celebrating the fact that we have such a thriving craft scene right here in our backyard!

A stack of books with the title Knits from the LYS are displayed in the foreground with shelves full of yarn in the background.

Live, Love, LYS!

Local Yarn Store (LYS) Day is a day that invites you to celebrate and support local yarn stores! Pretty straightforward on the surface, but here at the Ear we like to take this chance to dig a little deeper and talk about the fact that in an age of instant gratification, of pandemics and big box stores – all of which can and have spelled doom for small, locally-owned businesses, we still have a thriving local craft scene right here in Dane County.

When it’s so easy to shop online or to learn from video tutorials, the fact that you continue to choose to keep your dollars in your community by shopping local and also to LEARN in community is truly a big deal! A brick-and-mortar LYS offers more than just yarn and needles; the staff at the Sow’s Ear collectively have dozens (if not hundreds!) of years of experience with our crafts and a passion for passing our knowledge along. (Browse our class offerings here!)

And that knowledge bank doesn’t begin and end with us: YOU ALL have your own unique experience and expertise that you bring to our Sow’s Ear community. Have you ever asked for or offered help or said, “Let me show you how I do it,” to a friend or a stranger while sitting and knitting in the cafe? You are a part of this amazing collective of knowledge and wisdom of our local crafting family. We think of it as CSC: Community Supported Crafting.

Whenever you shop at the Sow’s Ear, it has a ripple effect of supporting not just the staff who are working their dream job but dozens of other local artisans in both the cafe and the yarn shop. 

Celebrating 24 years of the Ear

No conversation about the Sow’s Ear would be complete without a nod to the women who opened our doors 24 years ago! Melissa Brown (left) and Amy Armstrong (right) met by chance when they spotted each other knitting at a coffee shop in Madison and recognized the need for crafters to have a place of their own to gather and learn from and enjoy each other’s company. That the Sow’s Ear is going stronger than ever 24 years later is a testament to their vision and our ongoing commitment to crafting a welcoming, inclusive, and above all a JOYFUL space for crafters of all stripes.