Park Street Cultural Tour

Home on Park Street
Four Days in the Corridor
Experiencing Community
What the Kids Said

Day One
Chadbourne College
Sadie Pearson & Richard Davis
Trinity Church
Ideal Body Shop
Park Street Shoe Repair
Yee's Laundry
La Movida
Mercado Marimar
Bram's Addition

Day Two
Early Childhood Center
Yue-Wah Oriental Foods
Boys & Girls Club
Style & Grace Salon
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
Romnes Apartments
Yasmin's Halal Meat Market
Miracle's Home
Neighborhood House
Italian Workmen's Club
Family Potluck

Day Three
Meriter Hospital
Bayview Mural
Bocce Ball
Beth Israel Synagogue
Wisconsin Union Hoofers
Mexico Lindo
Fishing Along Wingra Creek

Day Four
AFL-CIO (Labor Temple)
Eugene Parks
Quality Ace Hardware
Oriental Shop
Lakeside Fibers
Chicken Underground
Family Daycare
Tropical Fish World
Quann Community Gardens
Multicultural Center

Street Scenes 1
Street Scenes 2
Park Street Delights 1
Park Street Delights 2

Dane County Cultural Tour
Hmong Cultural Tour

Fuzzy yarns

Lakeside Fibers

402 West Lakeside Street

Colorful woven and knitted itemsColorful spoolsWhen we entered Lakeside Fibers I was in awe. Those radiant colors of yarn and fibers. The brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows. The warm, subdued greens, blues, and purples. The antique furniture, the welcoming people!

Interior of Lakeside Fibers with colorful spoolsBalls of string. That’s the first thing I saw when I went into Lakeside Fibers. There were big shelves full of baskets of colorful string, yarn, silk, and other things. A table in the middle of the first room was piled with knitted bags and purses, and bags of shiny scarves.

When I went inside, I blinked my eyes. There was so much color.

Watching as Kathleen weavesInterview with KristiOur hosts were Kristi and Kathleen. They told us that if you are a beginner, you should start out knitting a scarf or a sweater. They recommend going to knitting classes.

We went downstairs and saw a twelve-foot loom! It was so big that it had to be controlled by mechanical devices.

Wooden knitting needlesThe front room is where they sell wool, cotton, silk, embroidery floss, etc. They try to sell The 12-foot loomall-organic fibers but they have a few non-organic fibers like the fancy, sparkly stuff.

In the back room there are a lot of looms and yarn used for weavings. Pedals lift the harnesses so you can make different patterns in your weaving. When the harness goes up, you slide the weft yarn between the lifted-up part of the warp and the bottom part. The warp goes on the loom first and the weft makes the pattern. The next step is to take your foot off the pedals and beat the weft so all the stitches are tight and close together.

Bright yarns and two sweaters

The loom in the basement creates weavings that have been displayed internationally.

Knitting at Lakeside Fibers is a good way for some people to have a sense of community.

I remember so vividly the wood architecture in that back room. The way that the fibers, thread, and yarn were organized really complimented the style of that room.

Inside Lakeside Fibers with the loomsA loomIn the basement is where the twelve-foot loom is kept. The small looms take a day to prepare. This one takes much longer than that, three or four days if two people work nonstop. It is an electric loom, run by computer. There are six pedals on it, so the weaver can tell the loom computer what to do. It would take a very, very long time to weave something if it wasn’t run by computer.

When you enter these rooms
You see colors
That brighten you up
They are sorted in great detail
Colors that go with each season
And there’s a back room
Where these colors are weaved
Into each other
With designs that just go
And they are used by the maker
Or sold to someone in the world
Or given to the poor
And it makes the world
Look beautiful.
One foot over the threshold
Then the other
Entering a parallel universe
Miles of rainbow colored yarn
Royal violet
Roll after roll
Spring green
String yarn and thread
Sky blue
A spinning wheel
Chocolate brown
Millions of looms
Fiery red
Lovely weavings on the walls
A complete rainbow

Learn to knit kit



Link back to the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures

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Page Last Updated: January 12, 2005