The “Yarn Dude” of Ocean Park, Washington

Gary Smith – aka “The Yarn Dude”

We just stopped in for breakfast. As we walked up to the building we noticed that it was also a yarn store. I started drooling. A combination restaurant and yarn shop! What a great idea! We wandered into the yarn shop to quickly look around before going to order breakfast. As my husband rounded a pile of yarn, he stopped dead in his tracks, with his mouth open and he said, “I expected to see a pretty gal here, not some gnarly old dude.” Now, to be fair, the gentleman behind the counter does not look like the “Big ugly man doll” from Toy Story.

Gary Smith is a gray-haired, bearded gentleman, but yes, not what a person expects to see in a yarn store.

At breakfast (of course we had to eat there!) the waitress told us she calls him The Yarn Dude.

So how did Gary get started knitting? Yarn hasn’t always been his life. Until 12 years ago he worked in construction and installed sprinkler systems in new buildings. He learned to knit when he married his wife, Colleen, who owns the restaurant/yarn shop. His wife runs the restaurant and Gary “mans” the yarn store. And he loves it. He says it’s very relaxing and fun.

And Gary knows his stuff. While we were talking he received a phone call and went right over to some yarn and gave the caller the information they needed.

Gary helping a customer on the phone.

Ask Gary about felting and he can explain every step to you. Ask to see what projects he has knitted and he can show you several beautiful items around the store. What needles or hooks do you need? He can tell you.

When asked if he was involved in any men’s knitting groups, Gary said no, he doesn’t want to be separated by gender. The store, Tapestry Rose, has open classes where anyone can bring in whatever project they’re working on and he encourages men to bring their projects there. “When a guy has a problem with a project, there are three women there helping him figure it out. It’s great!” He also said that men have egos. By the time they have showed you a beautiful project they have knitted or crocheted, they have torn it out and restarted two or three times because they want it perfect. But then of course, so do women!

Gary and his wife, Colleen, have two more restaurant/yarn store combos in Tillamook, Oregon and spend some time in those locations as well. So next time you’re on the Long Beach peninsula, head north to Ocean Park, take a left on Bay Avenue, go about two blocks, just over a hump in the road to where you see The Full Circle Café and Tapestry Rose yarn shop on your right. Go in, enjoy a hearty breakfast, pick up some Russian Tea Cakes for dessert then head back to the yarn shop and pet the soft yarns. Then ask Gary about the bear problem in the area. He knows as much about that as he does about yarn!

360-665-5385 or 866-923-5385, 1024 Bay Avenue, Ocean Park WA 98640

       Some of Gary’s creations!

Categories: People, Washington | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “The “Yarn Dude” of Ocean Park, Washington

  1. Nancy,

    If you missed out on the lemoncello torte at Colleen’s, you need to go back.

    Trust me on this one!

  2. So we heard! So good, in fact, that they sell out quickly and we weren’t able to try one that day. But we are certainly going to next time we have a chance!

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