Catherine Den Tandt and Josette deBrouwer welcome you to Riverside Yarns, their little knitting and crochet haven in downtown Owen Sound.
Riverside Yarns has been a fixture in the Grey-Bruce knitting scene for the past 15 years, and it’s a popular stop on the annual Lakeside Yarn Crawl. The store supports local knitters and crocheters by providing regular “Sit and Knit” sessions and carrying a wide range of yarns and knitting and crochet accessories.
Cathy and Josette have been friends since grade 5. They grew into typical teenagers, if a bit nerdy, and they had many ridiculous adventures together in high school. They helped each other through intense university years and remained pals while Josette backpacked through Europe and eventually settled down in Blenheim, and Cathy completed a master's degree and a Ph.D. Through subsequent moves and relationships, they kept in touch the old-fashioned way - with long chatty phone calls and longer handwritten letters.
There were less phone calls as the women settled down, built their careers and had families. They took to visits ‘en famille’ -- Josette would load up her four kids and drive cross country to Owen Sound, where Cathy and her daughters would be visiting her parents. The real fun started when Cathy and her husband and daughters moved to Owen Sound to take on teaching jobs locally. So began what they lovingly call ‘the knitting years.”
As their children grew and their visits became fewer, each short visit would end with a sigh and the wish that some day, some how, they would be able to sit and knit together. So imagine Josette’s reaction when Cathy called her in April 2019 to tell her that Riverside Yarns was for sale.
What at first seemed impossible -- because really, it’s more than a four hour commute from Blenheim to Owen Sound -- clicked a few days later when Josette realized the potential of the online store format. So the pair put their heads together and with the support and great ideas of their spouses and children, they’ve been able to pull this off.
Catherine and Josette have continued to supply the local and online knitting and crochet community with all the tools they need to create and craft beautiful, funky and unique woolens. They've expanded their lines of ‘workhorse’ products, those lines that you turn to time and again for sweaters, afghans and baby blankets. They've also brought in new products and plenty of locally-dyed yarns. Watch for shop updates on our Instagram and Facebook pages.