Monday, June 9, 2014

Get Togethers with the Ladies of the Purple Iris

In my previous blogs I mentioned the Purple Iris yarn shop. Well, I would like to tell you a little about the Purple Iris yarn shop and the ladies of the Purple Iris Yarn Shop. 

The Purple Iris Yarn Shop
The Purple Iris yarn shop, established in November of 2005, was located in my hometown of Marshall, MN. Marshall is a small community with a population of about 13,000. Whenever you went into the yarn shop, you knew you would find at least one or more of ladies of the Purple Iris yarn shop there. They would be either helping out the owner, Jana, or were sitting at the table crocheting or knitting with other regular customers who also shared the same passion. 

Every Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m. was knit/crochet night. Anyone could come down to the yarn shop; work on their projects and socialize. Sometimes the ladies would organize potluck dinner. Everyone who knew about it would bring a dish to pass. If you just happen to come in that night without knowing about the potluck, there was plenty of hotdish to go around. Everyone was always interested in the projects others were doing. 

It was also a place where anyone who had an interest in knitting or crocheting could take a few lessons for a nominal fee. Peggy and Jana were the "go to" people when whatever you were working on wasn't turning out quite right; messed up your stitches or didn't quite understand the directions.  They seem to be able to fix and explain anything. 

The other 2 ladies of the Purple Iris yarn shop were Nancy and Amy, Jana's right hands. They knew where everything in the shop was located and would always help you find that perfect yarn for your project.

The Purple Iris Yarn Shop was a staple of our downtown in Marshall, MN. However, last fall Jana decided to retire due to some medical issues and tried to sell the yarn shop. Unfortunately there wasn't any buyers so our wonderful yarn shop closed. This was an article in Marshall Independent our local newspaper.

Purple Iris yarn shop to close this weekend

November 15, 2013
By Karin Elton Marshall Independent
MARSHALL - The store that has been supplying area knitters with an assortment of yarn, knitting needles and how-to books will close for good Sunday.
"I'm retiring," said Purple Iris Yarn Shop owner Janna Milbradt.
Milbradt chose Nov. 17 to shut her doors because it seemed fitting - that's the eighth anniversary of her opening.

Article Photos

Photo by Karin Elton
The Purple Iris is having a 75 percent off liquidation sale as owner Janna Milbradt is retiring.
"I wanted to end on a positive note," she said. "It's been a great eight years - no regrets."
Milbradt said her future plans include spending more time with her children and grandchildren.
In the meantime, she has been liquidating her assets with a 75 percent off sale. She has coffee and bars on a table available through Sunday as "a thank-you to the community," she said.
"The community support has been phenomenal," she said.
All remaining inventory will be consigned to an online liquidation company. Fixtures and decorations that haven't been sold by Sunday will be for sale Nov. 21-23 at the shop in a kind of garage sale format, she said. Milbradt has use of the location through November.
Her husband, Marc, has already moved his business, the Marshall Sewing Center, from the Purple Iris to the Fabrics Plus building on Main Street in Marshall.

We, the loyal customers of the yarn shop, were sad that it was closing and there wasn't a buyer for the shop. Not only was it a yarn shop, but it was a social gathering place as well. Where were we going to gather to chit chat and do what we loved? 


Well as it turns out, Sara. the owner of the Hunan Lion, offered the restaurant as a place to meet and do our craft. The Hunan Lion is a Chinese restaurant that's located a few doors down from the former Purple Iris yarn shop. So every Thursday at 1 p.m., people meet; have lunch if they choose, and crochet or knit until 3-4 p.m.
The Ladies Enjoying Their Craft at the Hunan Lion
On the right side of the table are Peggy and Jana (Ladies of the Purple Iris)

Joyce and Nancy (One of the Ladies of the Purple Iris)

For myself, I wish I could get there more often than I do. My Etsy shop keeps me busy because I also do a lot of sewing. Lately, I've been making bridal and special occasion clutch purses.  Perhaps this Thursday I will be able to make it. I hope so. In the meantime I suggest that if you ever get to Marshall, MN on Thursdays, you can always make a day of it. Stop in at the Hunan Lion for some lunch and socializing. And oh! Don't forget to bring something to do.