“I wasn’t a huge knitter, but I needed some knitting needles, and the closest [yarn shop] was in Plano, and it had closed,” Hayes said. “I had always wanted to open a quilt shop, but I thought maybe what we needed in downtown McKinney was a yarn store.”
In 2015, Hayes opened McKinney Knittery in a small space in Doozie’s Corner, a boutique mall in downtown. Due to growth, two years later, she moved to a bigger space on Church Street, then a bigger spot at 107 W. Louisiana St., and in 2020, she moved to the current location, which is the biggest of them all.
But the space needed some work to help it live up to its potential. The building owner agreed to let her renovate the 120-year-old building. In November 2019, she began what would be eight months of renovations, including removing the ceiling to reveal original beadboard, scrapping three layers of flooring to expose original wood flooring, adding a restroom and much more. She worked with the Texas Historical Commission to get a historically correct rendering for the facade, and that transformation is underway.
Hayes said most of the yarn she sells consists of all-natural fibers, such as alpaca, silk, cashmere and cotton.
“We have a lot of blends because two fibers make each other behave better,” Hayes said. “A little bit of nylon helps a sock last longer; a little bit of wool helps the alpaca from stretching out so much.”
In July 2020, Hayes launched Downtown Dry Goods, a quilting and garment-sewing store within McKinney Knittery.
“I always wanted a quilt shop, and there was a need because the two quilt shops nearby had closed,” she said.
McKinney Knittery offers classes for all skill levels. The shop’s three most requested classes are “Intro to Knitting,” “My First Sweater” and “Making Loops,” which is an intro to crocheting class.
117 W. Louisiana St., McKinney
Hours: Mon., Wed., Thu. 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tue., Fri., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun. noon-4 p.m.