Midwest Yarn Debuts
June 1, 2012
By Jennifer Kresse
Melina Gingras has loved to knit since second grade when she would sneak her mother’s knitting needles to school so that she could knit during recess.
The business started with the establishment of Midwest Yarn as an online store earlier this year, and now a brick-and-mortar store at 3385 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in the former eco • batik space. Gingras said her new store sprang from her love of crafting, of the knit/crochet, community, and her love of yarn. She wants to teach needlecraft to members of her generation so it will be passed on to future generations.
Midwest Yarn caters to the hook and needle novice as well as the knit and crochet aficionado. Gingras offers a wide range of yarn. “My main focus is on carrying high quality yarns that are great to work with and a pleasure to wear,” Gingras said. These are not yarns you find in your average craft store, but they won’t break the bank, either.” She also carries notions, patterns, and tools of the trade like Clover brand knitting needles and Susan Bates crochet hooks.
Originally a musician, Gingras played flute and piccolo in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and sang classical music in ensembles during college. She earned a degree in sociology with a focus in business operations and management at the University of Wisconsin. She also earned a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in health care management from UW-Milwaukee.
She has worked as a clinic manager, medical assistant, and devoted time to promoting women’s health education in rural Spanish-speaking communities. When her parents embarked on a bed-and-breakfast business venture, Gingras lent a hand.
While confined to bed rest during her pregnancy, Gingras reconnected with her love of knitting and began to see the knitting craft as the path she was meant to take.
The projects she created turned out so well that her mother encouraged Gingras to start selling them. As fan of the Bay View neighborhood, locating a retail knitting store in its midst was a natural choice, Gingras said.
In addition to selling the work of other local artisans, Gingras will offer knitting classes ranging from stockings and sweaters to felted bags. She will also offer free-form open knit sessions.
“The best part about the store is that it is a very relaxing atmosphere. Once you get into knitting or crocheting and become a part of this community, you’ll never cease to have a good time. I’ve found members of the needlecraft community to be supportive, friendly, funny and quirky. And you’ll never run out of people who have similar interests. Like to knit while watching fake news on TV? There’s a group for that,” Gingras joked. “Like to knit just socks? Obsessively? Competitively? There’s a group for that!”
3385 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
midwestyarn.com + Facebook
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