After over 12 years as a fixture in the Portland knitting community, Twisted is in search of a new owner. If one isn't found, at the end of March we will be closing the brick and mortar location to focus on our online store. Owner Emily Williams says building Twisted into a successful business has been a dream, but she also has other life interests she is eager to pursue.
The online store will remain open indefinitely and will still carry many of the same brands as now. Store credit, gift cards, and loyalty rewards can still be both earned and used either in-store or online. They will all remain easy to use online if the brick and mortar shop closes.
Twisted's brick and mortar shop will be closed on Tuesdays starting this week. Our fantastic staff members are committed to providing excellent customer service and have been working exceptionally hard during this tumultuous time. To maintain our high standards for the in-store experience as team members move on to new opportunities (and in one case motherhood!), we need to reduce our hours of operation. We're having to take this step earlier than hoped, and we apologize for any inconvenience it causes.
The online shop will remain open all days and hours. Orders placed online will continue to be fulfilled and shipped without interruption.
Thank you for understanding and continuing to support our incredible team of staff members as we search for Twisted's next owner!
Twisted - both the shop on NE Broadway and online at twistedyarnshop.com - remains for sale. Seriously interested parties may request more information by emailing email@example.com. Sincere inquiries only, please.
Twisted owner Emily Williams cannot pick her favorite knit item. Not even close. A Christmas stocking by her mother Carol, a blanket by her grandma Helen, scores of hats and shawls designed by friends… each item, and the person who made it, is uniquely precious. But it is when describing one particular piece that she inevitably cries: the final sweater knit by her grandmother Marian.
“I remember her hands so distinctly,” Emily says. “They were usually knitting, and she used them to make that sweater just for me. She knit every stitch with her hands and mind and memory and time and love.” Emily’s grandmother was unable to finish the last part of the sweater when she grew ill, so Emily picked up where she left off and worked the last few rows sitting at her side. Marian watched, sharing tips for the perfect mattress stitch seam.
Emily had learned to knit years before that, picking up a love of warm woolly yarns and intricate cable patterns from her mother and grandmothers. It would be years before she took up the craft in earnest, when a bad dorm-room haircut left her with a buzzed, chilly head in need of a hat. After graduation, Emily worked in the Mental Health Division at the Portland VA Medical Center. It was a rewarding job but also a taxing one, and to unwind after work Emily would knit in a group with friends. She found herself drawn not only to the process of knitting, of creating something tangible after a day spent on data entry and hard conversations, but also to the sense of community she experienced knitting alongside other people.
Emily and one of those friends, Shannon Squire, hatched a plan to open a friendly, warm, supportive yarn shop that would welcome yarn lovers exactly as they were. A space where knitters of all ages, genders, skill levels, and backgrounds would gather, feel appreciated, and have access to experts who could help them source the best products for their projects. That idea eventually became Twisted.
A YARN COMMUNITY IS BORN
Twisted opened in June 2007. Across the nation, people of all ages were discovering a renewed interest in DIY and craft, and particularly the arts of knitting and crocheting. Over the years, Twisted contributed to a burgeoning regional craft and DIY community in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to its wonderfully talented and hardworking staff, the shop thrived.
Over the last 12+ years, Emily met some of her closest friends at Twisted - several she refers to as sisters. She is grateful to her friends, customers, employees, and the Portland small business community for their endless support over the years. “I can’t even begin to figure out how to say how much I appreciate every person who has shopped here. And the team of brilliant, funny, wise, creative, loyal people I’ve worked with is like something from a novel,” she says. “They all helped me make my dream come true. It’s amazing.”
A SMART SMALL BUSINESS
Running a small business of any sort isn’t easy, especially a boutique craft shop focused on customer service. After becoming sole owner of the shop in 2013, Emily worked diligently to streamline operations and run Twisted as efficiently as possible, without losing sight of the original vision for a warm atmosphere where all people were accepted.
Along the way, Emily built an online storefront - often coding the site herself in the wee hours of the morning - to allow customers all over the world to easily find quality knitting products. The online store expanded over time and is now a thriving business in its own right.
THE NEXT CHAPTER UNFOLDS
Over the past dozen-plus years, running Twisted has become an all-consuming labor of love for Emily. She knows every creak of their century-old building, every bug in the point of sale program, and exactly how to Fonzi open the cash drawer when it sticks. Though Emily had obsessively optimized Twisted operations, it required every ounce of her energy, leaving room for little else. In the past few years, it became clear that heaping all her time and attention on work meant she was neglecting other aspects of her life, and that it was time for a change.
Desiring a more sustainable and healthy life and unable to find a buyer for the shop, Emily made the difficult decision to shift her focus to Twisted’s online store, create space for balance, and close the retail location in Portland.
A LASTING LEGACY IN THE KNITTING COMMUNITY
Knitting is as much about legacy as it is about craft. A knit sweater is more than just a piece of clothing; it is a link in a chain of love and learning, a physical manifestation of technique and care passed down through generations. Just as Emily’s grandmother lives on in the knowledge she passed to Emily, Twisted’s legacy will live on in Portland’s thriving knitting community.
You can stay in touch with Twisted through the online store and by subscribing to the Twisted newsletter. Though the retail store in Portland is closing, Twisted’s story is far from over.
Dear Beloved Customers,
With a new decade comes big change.
Twisted is transitioning to become an online-only shop. At the end of March I will be closing Twisted’s brick and mortar location on NE Broadway to focus on our online store, as well as foster a healthier, more sustainable personal life. Store credit, gift cards, and loyalty points will all remain valid and easy to use online.
This hasn’t been an easy or quick decision, to say the least, so I wanted to share with you more about why this is happening.
A KNITTER’S STORY
I began my knitting journey as a child, learning from my mother and grandmothers. During a year abroad in college, I took it up in earnest. After college I worked for several years in the Mental Health Division at the Portland VA Medical Center, a particularly taxing (and rewarding) job. To unwind, I would knit in a group with coworkers. I found myself drawn not only to the act of knitting, but also to the sense of community I experienced knitting alongside others.
That knitting group is where a friend, Shannon Squire, and I hatched the idea to send our lives on a hard left turn and start a small business. We wanted to create a yarn shop where knitters of all ages, genders, and skill levels could gather, a welcoming place where experts could help them find the best products for their projects. Twisted opened in 2007. It’s been a dream come true, and a labor of love—humbling, hard, joyful, and everything in between.
Thanks to an incredibly talented and generous staff, who I can never ever possibly thank enough, the shop thrived. I couldn’t be more proud of the welcoming environment we created in our shop.
A TIME FOR CHANGE
Running a small business of any sort isn’t easy, especially one so focused on providing exceptional service for luxury goods. After over 12 years of running a retail shop on NE Broadway in Portland I have come to realize that my passion for Twisted means I am neglecting far too many aspects of my personal life. This is not how I want to move through the world, and it is time for a change. Having been unable to find a buyer for the shop, I’m choosing to re-balance my life by closing the brick and mortar shop.
I am so thankful to you for your support over the years. This dream would have never been possible without you. It has been a true joy getting to know you.
COME CELEBRATE WITH US!
These next few months will be amazing, if bittersweet, as we wrap up projects in the shop and prepare to bid farewell to the space. We hope that shop hours will remain the same through the end of March, though that could change as our staff members begin to move on to new opportunities.
Twisted will still participate in the annual Rose City Yarn Crawl March 5-8. Always an extravaganza, this year will be an extra special thank you to the Portland knitting community for its years of support. Stop by to share your memories and chat about your projects. We’ll share more information on our social media and in upcoming store newsletters.
ONLINE STORE + STORE CREDIT + GIFT CARDS + LOYALTY REWARDS
Accumulated store credit and gift cards and loyalty rewards points are valid both in-store and online! The online shop will continue to sell many of the same brands, though some we will not be eligible to carry any more after the retail location closes. The brick and mortar shop will be open through the end of March - about three more months. After that you will still be able to earn and spend your store credit, gift cards, and loyalty points online just as always.
STAY IN TOUCH
I know this change may be hard for you, as it has been and will be for me. When you're feeling sad, please still be kind to and supportive of the Twistedistas, each and every one of whom is an extraordinary human who I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work beside. If you have any questions, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!