The little shop with the big yarn is how Jan Batt describes her business, Jan’s Yarn Barn.
Opened after parting with her former business partner, Batt has filled her shop, 326 First Ave. W., with various varieties of yarn and supplies and plans to start knitting, crocheting, spinning and loom classes.
Batt started four years ago spinning wool into yarn. About two years later, after acquiring a large amount of yarn from spinning, Batt decided to learn how to knit and make something of the yarn. She had owned a loom for 20 years, making mostly flat items such as scarves and shawls.
“I have new yarns coming in all of the time, in fact there is a big shipment coming in next week,” Batt said.
Batt caries Ella Rae, Araucania, Debbie Bliss and Mirasol yarns among others, with the last supporting the children of Peruvian shepherds. The project aims to raise enough money from the sale of alpaca wool and cotton yarns to finance the building and day-to-day running of a boarding school and to support the children of the alpaca shepherds in their educational studies. Currently, classrooms and dormitories have been built along with accommodations for the teaching staff and cook.
“They shepherd and spin the yard in Peru. I like the fact that part of it is going back to educate their kids so they don’t have to, so they have other options,” Batt said. “Last I heard they are getting ready to build a high school for them. It is a good thing, I think.”
In the four part knitting class, which lasts 90 minutes each and cost $15 per class or $50 if all classes are paid for at once, beginners can learn how to cast on and do knit stitch, followed by learning the purl stitch and to bind off in the second class. During the third class, learning hot to increase and decrease will be taught and the garter stitch, seed/moss stitch and stockinette stitch will be explained at the final class. The class will be taught by a friend of Batt’s who has been knitting for 70 years.
“We need to take advantage of (the knowledge) while the older generation is still around. So many thing are lost by the older generation dying out,” Batt said.
The crochet class also has four classes at the same cost start with learning to do the foundation chain and single crochet stitch. The second class includes learning the half double crochet and double crochet stitch followed by learning the treble stitch, V stitch and how to increase and decrease. Finally, at the last class, the shell stitch and piece stitch will be taught.
Along with the specific classes, Batt has the knitting and crochet corner every Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. Anyone is invited to bring their knitting, crocheting or crafting project for some dedicated time to work on their art. For more information about any of the classes or what is available at the store contact Batt at 641-791-1173 or on Facebook at Jan’s Yarn Barn.