We are currently a dealer for and carry the full line of Silver Reed knitting machines as well as Design-A-Knit, Garment Designer & Stitch Painter computer knitting programs. We are the United States and Canadian importers for Tamm Yarns which also includes CottonTale 8.  

If you are visiting Indiana or just driving through, we would like for you to drop in and see us. We are open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST, except holidays.

Happy Knitting

History of the Knit Knack Shop & Charlene Shafer

Charlene Shafer, purchased her first knitting machine January 1969. Now a veteran shop owner, Charlene is a perfect example of a hobby knitter turned pro, who can now boast of a business over 40 years old.

Location, location, location is the maxim of every business orientation class of the’90s. If you want to go into business for yourself, you have to find a product everyone wants and then plant it in the middle of a good-sized city. Charlene Shafer’s Knit Knack Shop isn’t exactly at the crossroads of the Internet, but when she first opened her shop in 1978, today’s business professionals were still in diapers and she hadn’t heard that there was a bonus on opening a shop in the middle of a cornfield.

We are located near Peru, Indiana, out in the country, and there are cornfields on all sides of us. We’re set off the road a bit, and the zoning laws won’t even let us put up a sign to direct travelers to our shop.”

“I had knitting machines since before I had children,” Charlene says. “I was a farm wife who waited at home for my husband to send me off to get a part for some piece of equipment. I knit because I loved it and when the opportunity came to buy the very shop from which I purchased my first machine, well, there really wasn’t a question of whether I should turn my hobby into my business.”

In truth, Charlene probably had enough “extra” yarn at home to restock the shelves of her newly acquired business, but what serious knitter doesn’t? What she brought to the business besides her love of knitting was a close connection with friends and neighbors of her rural community, plus a strong family tie. Her mother, who lived next door on her farm property, was the perfect grandma to take care of the four little Shafer children when she wasn’t helping out in the shop.

Charlene’s husband Harold eventually realized that running a cozy shop beat out endlessly riding the John Deere around, so he joined her as a much valued partner. Son, Noel, is in charge of advertising and yarn purchasing. He toddled around the shop as a youngster, so it’s safe to say that he is at home in the family business.

Charlene’s daughters are all knitters. Although they have not joined their parents and older brother in the shop, they all consider the knitting machine to be a household appliance. Daughter, Tricia, is currently teaching at FIDM (a design college in Los Angeles, CA).  She also created Knitter’s Edge an online machine knitting magazine & technical resource which has since been sold.  Cheri was National VP of Sales for Vera Bradley (a quilted purse company and other items) but now runs her own recruiting business and Missy is a free lance designer in Los Angeles as well.  

But does knitting become something other than pleasure when the very design of the next jacket or sweater is all tied up in economics? According to Charlene, she loves to knit now just as much as she always has.

What a bonus that one woman in America is doing exactly what she wants, where she wants to live, with friends she has known all of her life and with the wholehearted physical and emotional support of her family. Who could ask for more?

The Next Chapter

Saturday December 1, 2007 the unthinkable happened. The Knit Knack Shop caught fire and burned to the ground as well as the house next door that Charlene’s mother had lived in. No one was at home or in the shop at the time. No one was hurt. The shop was gone. The warehouse (known as the Out Back) and the barn were saved which were full of yarn. The ware house was remodeled (more changes are coming) and the shop re-opened on Thursday December 6, 2007.

Thanks to generous help of friends, customers and other knitters, the Knit Knack Shop was up and running. Books are back on the shelf, machines are on the floor, parts and repair service is available. The sample garments are taking shape and we are working on new designs.

The Knit Knack Shop is here to stay!