Always fascinated with the variety of creative paths one can follow, we started to ask our collaborators, LYS owners, to share their experiences on our blog.
Today, we introduce Melissa Clulow and Lisa Di Fruscia, owners of Espace Tricot in Montreal, QC.
Espace Tricot has become an important gathering place for the knitting community in Montreal for the past 8 years, and at the heart of their shop’s inspiring atmosphere is the friendship that Melissa and Lisa share and the community of fiber lovers of all ages and skill levels that have joined them on their journey.
How did Espace Tricot come to be?
We had been knitting together for about two years and often discussed, in an aspirational, unattainable sort of way, what we wanted to do in the next chapter of our lives!
Lisa had left her teaching career to stay home and raise her son, while Melissa was working from home and managing a paediatric health-care coalition based out of Ontario. We often discussed opening up some sort of shop/café but it was simply wishful dreaming!
One day in March 2010 when Melissa went to visit one of our local yarn shops, the owner asked if she knew anyone who wanted to sublet her space since she was moving back to Ontario. Melissa called Lisa, and within 5 seconds, they agreed to open a new yarn shop in that space! Three months later, Espace Tricot was born!
How did your fibre journey evolve since you opened the store?
When Espace Tricot first opened in 2010, the trend on the North American knitting scene was focused mainly on alpaca and merino yarns that were soft, machine washable and mostly available from large yarn manufacturers.
However, over the past 8 years, we have seen a rise in the popularity of the Indie Hand Dyer with their beautifully variegated and speckled colorways on bases containing various blends of merino, silk, cashmere, and nylon.
Additionally, smaller, independently and family owned businesses have been popping up, creating bespoke fibre combinations and spinning yarn using both woollen and worsted techniques.
More recently, in the past couple of years, there has been a move towards what we would call more rustic and less processed yarns that show the integrity of the various sheep breeds in
How did your shop evolve since opening 8 years ago?
Our little shop has grown in leaps and bounds since we first opened our doors in 2010! In 2012 we moved from
A few years later, we then created our online store, which allowed us to reach a broader community of knitting enthusiasts and to diversify our product offering by sourcing products from wonderful artisans, both local and from afar, whose notions, accessories and yarn we loved.
Finally, our most recent evolution came after the launch of our video podcast on YouTube, which then gave us the forum to connect with our customers in a more meaningful way, and to share our passion and love for our craft with the worldwide knitting community!
What do you want to focus on in the future?
We are always on the lookout for new and exciting products, whether it be yarn, notions or accessories, and are ready to jump on them as soon as we find them without necessarily waiting for a new season! Our super sleuth Melissa is always on the hunt!
This season though, our heart is singing with all the beautiful rustic and sheep breed-specific yarns that we are bringing in! We are turning our focus towards colorwork projects and wanting to bring our customers on a journey with us in appreciating the incredible properties of 100% wool.
We want to move away from the gut reaction that these wools are scratchy or picky and show our clients that, once knit, they can be warm, comforting and beautiful!
We plan on continuing this focus for the near future and are always ready to move in new directions as we feel inspired and discover new products, trends
For knitters wanting to visit your store, what are some of the best things to do and see in the area?
Espace Tricot is located in the borough of N.D.G. (Notre-Dame-de-Grace) on Monkland avenue, which is chock-full of shops, cafés, and restaurants! Montreal is also a city of great walkable neighborhoods and taking the time to stroll through the Plateau, Mile-End, Old Montreal, Downtown, and Little Italy will keep you busy for hours!
If visiting during the summer months (June through August), make sure to check out the Festival scene as you are sure to find one that suits your fancy!
Finally, don’t forget to partake in the great Montreal food scene! From bagels and smoked meat, to fine dining, Montreal has a great ethic and cultural diversity that will stimulate your palate!