by Loreanna Thomas
Cecilia Tkaczyk, the owner and creator of CeCe’s Wool Yarns and More, has been a sheep farmer and knitter for more than 20 years. She says, “I know the value of wool and its many amazing properties. I wanted to create a place that highlights wool and how we can use it. I started my online business making dog beds, pillows and comforters filled with wool, and have expanded to include yarns for knitting and weaving in my retail location.”
The retail shop makes connections between farmers and consumers. Customers can see and feel the beautifully dyed yarns and wool products and get their questions answered. It’s also a place to learn through workshops and visiting speakers.
Sustainability is key. “There are so many ways to explore wool and natural fibers. As we move away from petroleum-based products, we are relearning how to use wool and natural fibers in our garments, yarns, bedding products and rugs!” says Tkaczyk. “We want to be a resource for local consumers who want to surround themselves with natural fiber products. We have several crafters who help out in the shop. If you have an issue you are struggling with in your project, we can help.”
Every Friday after 5 p.m. is social time where customers work on their projects and CeCe’s provides refreshments. They also host classes to develop skills in knitting, crocheting and weaving, and invite speakers in.
The store specializes in local fiber and stocks colorful yarn in many fiber blends, roving for spinners and felters, felted wool for rug hooking, sample pillows and dog beds filled with wool, socks and a large loom in the window for weaving rugs with fiber from their own Jacob sheep. Tkaczyk says, “We are a resource. We love to help people get the yarn they need for a special project or to develop their crafting skills and to share information about using natural fibers like wool and cotton batting for pillows. Moving to our current location was a challenging and necessary step in our growth. Now we are working hard to get the word out that our business is not just a yarn store, but also a place to learn and purchase pillows with natural fiber fill.”
“Wool is a wonderful bedding product,” adds Tkaczyk. “ It’s insulating and adjusts to your body temperature, and it’s naturally fire retardant. Plus, its renewable and biodegradable. Any small particles that come out in the wash biodegrade and don’t pollute the ocean and harm marine life.”
CeCe’s will be hosting free workshops to explore wool fiber as bedding with the opportunity to make pillows using wool. They are also planning a fall open house.
CeCe’s Wool Yarns and More is located in the Hamilton Square Mall, located at 2080 Western Ave., in Guilderland. For more information, call 518-779-9985 or visit CeCesWool.com.