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Knotty Lamb opens Saturday with yarn, classes

Fiber arts store replaced old Mainline Trains

Forest Grove residnet Karen Rhyne is opening The Knotty Yarn on 19th Avenue.Twists of richly colored yarn and charming fiber-arts accessories fill The Knotty Lamb on the corner of 19th Avenue and Main Street in Forest Grove.

Karen Rhyne remodeled the old Mainline Trains store into a space that welcomes both established fiber artists and those aspiring to learn. Rhyne is hosting a grand opening reception and ribbon cutting at her new yarn shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, where she’ll raffle off gift baskets and give shop tours.

The shop offers yarns, spinning fiber, tools and notions, patterns, books and harder-to-find items such as Addi Olivewood circular needles. Many of the skeins' color schemes are designed and hand-dyed specially for the shop.

Rhyne also hopes the store will double as a fiber arts learning hub. Experienced crafters and Forest Grove residents Lynn Venghaus, Marinda Lariz, Krista Jensen and Anita Vermilyea will teach classes, along with Jessie Hegwood of The Dirt Fairy, a hand-dyed yarn business. Knitting, crocheting and spinning classes have already started and different levels will be offered throughout the month.

After the grand opening, “Knitting studio Sundays” will also start up, along with open-studio times complete with instructors to help attendees work through projects.

“I have a vision of what a nice yarn shop is and I feel like someone in this area just has to say, ‘I’ll do it,’” Rhyne said. “I think it’s something the town needs.”

Now 44, Rhyne learned to knit at 13 and has been dabbling in the fiber arts ever since. After working as an architect, she eventually became a stay-at-home mom for her two kids and moved to Forest Grove in 2011. She had trouble finding a good yarn selection in western Washington County, so she took a small-business class at the start of the year and decided to take the plunge into business ownership.

“I want somewhere people can go to learn locally,” Rhyne said. “If you don’t learn through 4-H or your family, the fiber arts are something that’s missed.”

Rhyne is an advocate for the yarn crafts not just because they are creative and relaxing, but also because they can serve as a strong connection to personal pasts and family histories. She still has afghans her grandmother knitted, for example. Family heirlooms are often handmade: hats, baptismal gowns or wedding accessories.

“You can create something that has character and is meaningful even if it has some flaws,” Rhyne said.

She’s taking suggestions for classes and products.

“I want this to be a place that no matter your skill or background, people can feel comfortable to come, experience and enjoy,” Rhyne said. “It’s all about just loving the fiber arts.”

Check it out:

n Order products online at www.theknottylamb.com

n Store hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

n 2003 19th Ave. in Forest Grove

Complete list of yarn vendors:

Blissful Knits

Brown Sheep

Mosaic Moon

Wee Chickadee Woolery

Sweet Georgia

Cedar House Yarns

Malabrigo Yarn

The Dirt Fairy

Juniper Moon Farm


Local Color Fiber Studio


Debbie Bliss

Ella Rae

The Fibre Co


Zen Yarn Garden

Nature Spun