The Yarn Guys, Jeffrey & Dennis have a Wall of Yarn

The Yarn Guys, Jeffrey & Dennis have a Wall of Yarn and came to share what it’s all about with us on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird.

Yarn guys and Franklin HabitJeffrey Wall and Dennis Rinkenberger own the LYS Wall of Yarn, in Freeport, IL. Their yarn shop just hit it’s 5 year anniversary this May and they are also the North American Distributors for Rauma Yarns from Norway.  Rauma has been producing high quality yarns for about 90 years.  Their shop can also order pewter buttons and clasps from Norway and have an Amish family make wonderful wooden yarn bowls for us as well.

Jeffrey started knitting at age 9 and stopped in high school but picked it up after graduating from college in 2000.  Dennis started knitting in 2011 when they were in the planning stages of opening the shop. He says the mechanics of how yarn works attracted him, weaving initially as many guys who take up crafting. Jeffrey’s mom is the one that thought they should open a yarn store. Their customer’s call Jeffrey ‘the Yarn Whisperer’ because he can recall what they’ve been working on, fix what they’ve been working on, can find and identify patterns.

In the shop, The Yarn Guys try to carry a little something for everyone though they do specialize in Scandinavian/stranded knitting.  Because the shop is in a small town, they try to find other ways to keep the business viable, first becoming the distributors of Rauma yarns and patterns. They have a large variety of colors and yarn, perfect for fans of color work. Jeffrey translates all of Rauma’s patterns from Norwegian into English and teaches knitting classes throughout the midwest.  Dennis is also a yarn rep so he travels around the country trying to find good homes for our yarns. They both travel to large events to share the yarns, like Stitches (where they are news sponsors of the events), Interweave Yarn Fest, Vogue Knitting Live and KnitLab so that they can share this yarn to people who don’t know about it!

YG KAL shawl
Beitha shawl by Anne Podlesak

For the fifth year anniversary, they worked with Anne Poldesak of Wooly Wonka Fibers. The conversation began with realizing the traditional anniversary gift is wood, which made them recall that Birch is the first letter of the druid alphabet which uses tree with a lot of meanings and interpretations in fairy tales. For the shop’s knit-a-long (they’ve had one every month) Anne created The Beitha Shawl pattern and two yarns to represent the leaves and the bark. The next is blackberry (which is a luscious purple), and later will be holly, further out is apple… So much inspiration but a huge project!

They have also recently worked with Alasdair Post-Quinn who was on the program recently, who created a pattern with their yarns for Yarn Box.

Our distribution website is www.TheYarnGuys.com.  Our website for the shop is currently under construction but will be www.WallofYarn.com.  People can follow us on Facebook as the Yarn Guys (the shop) Facebook for Wall of Yarn. They have a Ravelry page for the shop and one for that fantastic Knit-A-Long Ogham, and Instagram.

As a couple, working together they are finding a lot of adventure within the industry. They also look for more of their other interests as they have to travel, breweries that serve vegan food tops the list. We can’t wait to see what their inspirations will come from and what their followers will want to knit.
If you missed getting to hear this live you can still hear this as an archived episode:
https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/08/16/the-yarn-guys-dennis-and-jeffrey-have-a-wall-of-yarn or with your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

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  1. Colleen McAvoy says:

    I love the pictures I have always seen of Norway and I would love love love to be able to use a yarn that has been directly sourced from there or one of their beautiful patterns!

  2. Anita says:

    I have met the Yarn Guys twice and was happy to learn more of their story. Their ties to Norway and their love of Norwegian yarn and patterns is a gift to the knitting world. It was a great interview.

  3. Staci Lockman says:

    This podcast was so interesting! The Yarn Guys have a great story and I wish I lived closer to their store so that I could shop the yarns of Norway.

  4. Trisha says:

    Nice podcast. Now I’m excited to touch and knit with yarns from Norway. Glad you’re able to do what you love. Someday I hope to make it to Norway.

  5. Linda says:

    I enjoyed listening to the podcast with Marly, Jeffrey Wall and Dennis Rinkenberger. It was very enjoyable.

    I’d love to visit Norway some day. I don’t get to travel much but that would be an exciting experience.

  6. Nikii says:

    This was the first time I had listened to a Marly Bird podcast. I recently returned from a trip to the Midwest, and had I known about their shop, I would have altered my route to include a stop over. Norway!

  7. Mary Kay Smith says:

    A friend of mine just moved to Norway, so maybe I will have to go visit her and check out The Yarn Guys! Great podcast!

  8. marimariknit says:

    great podcast, interesting guys. must be great yarn if it is from Norway. and everybody should check out Slow TV knitting on Netflix streaming…it is from Norway.

  9. Lee Ann says:

    I listen to the podcast on the way home from work. I’ve always wanted to visit Norway on vacation. I have it on my list. Thank you for the wonderful pod cast. Truly some extremely passionate and talented people.

  10. Laura says:

    I don’t know much about Norway but it sounds like they make great yarn! Loved listening to The Yarn Guys story and how they have made a place for themselves in the fiber industry.

  11. Julie says:

    Loved the podcast and the discussion of the Norway patterns and yarn. Love to hear about family business partnerships.

  12. Susan B. says:

    I have long admired and studied the heritage of Norway knitting. I’m excited to have a source for some of their yarns

  13. Vicki says:

    Norway is on my bucket list of places I’d like to visit. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ll be checking to see how I can find your yarn. Hopefully I’ll get to try it without waiting for a trip to Norway.

  14. Geraldine Scott says:

    Loved hearing about a thriving yarn shop and all their wonderful KALs! Would love to visit Norway someday…sounds wonderful!

  15. [email protected] says:

    I used to go to Freeport for work. I wish I had known about the shop =) I also haven’t ever been to Norway and would love to visit. I think I will need to plan a trip to Freeport soon. Thanks for a great podcast.

  16. Suzanne says:

    My husband and I have a warm feeling about Norway after a trip many years ago to Epcot where the spirit of Norway is ADVENTURE! You two definitely have exude that in your energy and enthusiasm for the yarn world.

  17. Donnie Herrington says:

    I’d love to take a trip to Norway at some point in my life. I hear the baked goods are superb.
    And the Yarn Guys are so nice at all the shows I’ve seen them at.

  18. Michelle says:

    I am drawn to all things from Norway. I have been Nordic Walking for 2 years now and LOVE that. And now I am interested in the Yarn Guys Norway yarn!

  19. Lauren says:

    I love the idea of KAL’s based on trees- how fascinating. And, I’m very interested in trying their yarns from Norway, as I just found out that I have some Norweigan ancestry.
    Thanks for this great podcast.

  20. roseruffolo says:

    Hi All,

    Congratulations to both Dennis & Jeffery on their 5 year anniversary! Lord knows starting a business is no small feat and to be so successful in just 5 years is amazing! Also, thanks for making products from “NORWAY” available to all of us here!

    Wishing you continued success,

  21. Robin says:

    I loved this show. Dennis and Jeffrey were charming. Thanks for introducing US knitters to yarn from Norway. It is exciting to try new products in our fiber crafting.

  22. Rosanne Oggoian says:

    After listening to this podcast, I am feeling adventurous! I live in Illinois and am planning on visiting Wall of Yarn so that I could experience some of the beautiful yarns from Norway! Thank you for a wonderful podcast!

  23. Belinda says:

    I admire the courage of the Yarn Guys to leave the traditional workforce and embark on work that they enjoy. I also love the way they take the time to translate patterns from Norway into English.

  24. amy says:

    My cousin just spent a year living in Norway and I was finally able to knit something super bulky that I normally can’t knit since all my family lives in Texas.

  25. Lisa says:

    When I went to Norway last fall, I was so tempted to buy yarn for some amazing colorwork – but I didn’t have enough room in my suitcase!

  26. Amy L. says:

    I love that Jeffrey and Dennis are living their dream and constantly finding new ways to build their business. I will be checking out their website when it’s up and running to see the beautiful yarns and patterns from Norway. Thanks, as always, Marly and Tammy for another excellent podcast episode!

  27. Lisa Lee says:

    I would love to learn more about the history of knitting in Norway. I had great-grandparents from Sweden and would enjoy visiting the area someday. It is exciting to hear that Jeffrey and Dennis will be at Stitches Texas later this month.

  28. kim dawson says:

    Right now there is No way I can get to Norway 😉 (see what I did there? lol) but I can enjoy patterns and awesome yarns from and inspired from there.

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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