Eight years ago, Elizabeth Finn considered buying an available shop in Woodbury, Knit’n from the Heart. But, as often happens, the circumstances weren’t quite right. So she stayed connected to the store over the years, teaching classes and selling patterns. “I had kids at home so I worked there part-time for a hobby,” says Finn, who also spent time teaching knitting to inner-city students.
Then, this past summer, the previous store’s owners decided to close the shop and asked Finn to lend a hand. As she was helping with the transition, she was struck with an idea. “I thought, wait a minute! I should buy it now!”
Finn took over the store in July, and tweaked the name to Knitting from the Heart. With the help of longtime employees Heidi Mitchell, Judy Thompson and Pam Olson, Finn is enthusiastically running the store and mentoring new and advanced knitters. The store sells high-quality yarn and offers classes for groups large and small on projects ranging from afghans to complex Nordic sweaters. An avid knitter, Finn’s mission for the store truly lives up to its name. “I wanted this to be a place where people could gather and build community,” she says. “I love Woodbury, I love the people, and I love the community we have.”
Finn has seen a variety of groups, from Bible studies to families, come through the shop to knit and bond. She mentions a group of women (the Divas) who come and knit regularly, and have become lifelong friends in the process. She also knows how valuable warm clothes can be in the frigid and lengthy Minnesota winters.
“In Minnesota winters, we’re all stressed, we’re all cold, and knitting is so therapeutic,” Finn says. “And why not knit wonderful, cozy clothes and items you can give to your family and friends. There’s nothing like a hand-knit gift to give.” Indeed, Finn has seen many a treasured family gift, and future heirlooms, created in her classes.
Taking ownership of the shop is yet another step in Finn’s lifelong passion for knitting. Starting as an 8-year-old, she was immediately hooked. “I couldn’t get enough—I’d knit with string and pencils if I didn’t have yarn and needles,” she says. “It’s relaxing, creative and productive. I feel like I want everyone to try knitting, because I don’t think people really get how great it is. Many people find it stressful when they just start out and I want to bring them to the shop and say, ‘Keep going, it’s a wonderful thing.’”
Finn’s passion for knitting and those who practice it is clear to everyone, especially those who frequent her shop. “She loves what she does and it has really been a benefit to have had her come in with all of her own ideas,” says Linda Lofdahl, a longtime visitor of the store. “She’s very knowledgeable, and is easily accessible to talk you through any ideas or problems you may be having. I think she’s doing a great job; she’s an asset to Knitting from the Heart.”
Knitting Beyond Mittens
Take a winter class at Knitting from the Heart.
Knitting from the Heart offers a variety of classes for all skill sets. Finn anticipates having many classes available year-round, but this winter’s classes will showcase an afghan knit-a-long, furry-lined mittens, hats, scarves and Fair Isle patterns.