Twirling textiles

Morgan Hill yarn shop offers quick projects in time for the holidays

KNIT RIGHT When only handmade will do, knitters can purl up with Continental Stitch in Morgan Hill for the best gifts this season. Photo: Robert Eliason

Experienced knitters know working with luxury yarn really feels wonderful. Quality yarns glide easily through the fingers.

“As knitters become more experienced, they become more educated on benefits of working with quality yarns,” explains Shirley Todd. “Luxury and hand-dyed yarns truly elevate the projects.”

Continental Stitch owners, mother and daughter duo Shirley Todd and Nadine Berthiaume, are a longtime staple in the yarn community. Open for 35 years and relocated a handful of times, Continental Stitch is South Valley’s only knitting store in a 35-mile radius.

The Candy Park Center location offers high-fashion luxury yarns from the U.S. and imported yarns from Peru, Uruguay, Italy, Australia and Japan. Top brands include Noro, Queensland Collection, Rozetti, Malabrigo as well as hand-painted yarns Cat Mountain Fiber Arts.

“I love all the yarns we carry because they all have something special to offer,” says Todd. “Our shop favorite is Noro because of all the amazing color combinations within the yarn. Noro also has wonderful pattern designs for their yarn.”

With many high-quality yarns in various fibers to choose from including alpaca, wool, organic cotton, bamboo, blended yarn and more, yarn lovers can find almost anything at the Morgan Hill store. And Todd offers her expertise to knitters in selecting yarns and patterns—even for quick projects like cowls, scarves, hats and socks that are great for beginners.

Continental Stitch offers variety of patterns to help keep loved ones warm in the cool winter months, including knitted socks, hats, lap afghans or that one-of-a-kind knitted baby hat.

Too busy to knit or aren’t sure what to buy? Ready-made fashionable garments for all styles are available for sale and gift certificates or classes make great last-minute gifts.

Yarn bowls, hand thrown by local artists and essential for keeping yarns in place, are for sale. “Knitting notions, stitch markers, scissors, shawl pins, and jewelry by Julie make great stocking stuffers,” says Todd. Special orders like swifts and ball winders can be ordered ahead in time for the holidays.

After more than three decades in business, Todd has a passion for knitting and creating but is most fulfilled by teaching others to knit.

In recent years, Todd has seen a shift in interest from more complex projects to fast, single-skeined designs. Shirley and Nadine have taken a new approach by offering single-skein kits like “Paint” or “Fashion Box” to make fashionable shawls in the latest trends and colors that cleverly include a pattern on the packaging for less than $30.

“Knitters used to knit lots of complicated sweaters,” Todd explains “Now they knit quick projects like cowls and scarves. We think this is because life has become so much more fast-paced over the last 35 years.”

Continental Stitch is an inviting place, where knitters can drop in and work on their projects.
Visit Continental Stitch, 16375 Monterey Road, Suite J, Morgan Hill in the Candy Park Mall or online at knitboutique.com. View their Facebook page for class and event schedules.

Mary Bartholomew

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