I've just had a conversation with Mary Ann, the owner of Knitter's Niche at 3026 N. Southport. Knitter's Niche isn't a big place, but it's one of Chicago's oldest yarn shops and Mary Ann is known far and wide for her deep knowledge (particularly of lace knitting), her enthusiasm, and her loveably gruff persona.
On Monday night, somebody broke into the shop and made off with $5,000 worth of yarn and, perhaps worse, eight lace stoles representing years of Mary Ann's work.
Whoever the thief or thieves are, they know the craft. With the exception of an entire shelf of inexpensive cotton, all the yarns taken were the cream of the crop, including chunky and worsted weight hand-dyed Misti Alpaca.
The finished works taken included:
- a white lace stole with clematis edging
- a capelet of mossy green, hand-dyed kidsilk with ribbon trim
- a stole in grey-beige hand-dyed alpaca
- a shoulder scarf in sage green cashmere
- a stole in rose hand-dyed cashmere/silk
- a stole in pink hand-dyed kidsilk
- a large feather-and-fan stole in variegated red, turquoise and copper bamboo/silk
If you have any information, please get in touch with Mary Ann at (773) 472-9276.
And if you're the person who did this, I hope:
- every skein of yarn you own or touch gets moths,
- every finished object you've ever made gets torn to pieces, and
- your fingers twist into knots so painful you can never knit, crochet or otherwise create anything ever again.
And karma, may I remind you, is a bitch.
ADDENDA: Well, you can always count on knitters for lightning-fast reaction in a crisis, eh?
Some updates and answers to FAQs. Please read them, I beg you, before you write to me. Please.
- Knitter's Niche doesn't have a Web site, or I'd have linked to it.
- As far as I know, there are no clear photographs of the finished pieces that were stolen. As for patterns, I think several were her own designs or heavily modified versions of other designs.
- When I spoke with her, Mary Ann didn't have handy a full inventory of the stolen yarn, so I can't post one.
- Mary Ann's contact number for anyone who has information is above. I don't have an e-mail for her or a Ravelry name. Honestly, I don't know that she uses either.
- As I'm not the victim or the Chicago police, I really can't do more than offer the above alert in the hope that it might help. If you have information, the best thing to do is contact Mary Ann. If you don't have info, please think twice before calling unless you're looking to place and order or some such–she is still open for business and trying to wait on customers.
- I know what I posted is not a detailed police report, but I'm not a cop. I did my best. Lengthy e-mails taking me to task for not meeting modern law enforcement standards in my note-taking are a waste of your time, and mine. Thanks!