Tips for Visiting Our Shop
If you are visiting our shop via public transit, our most convenient mode is actually the Capital Corridor Amtrak,
as the station is a two minute walk from our shop. This is also a super fun way to plan a special trip with friends if youre coming from far away, as you can all spend time together on the train and have an impromptu mobile Stitch & Bitch!
Our closest BART stop is North Berkeley Station, which is a 20 minute walk from the shop.
There are also multiple AC Transit and Transbay busses that stop within a short walk of our shop.
If you're planning to visit us by car, there are multiple parking options within a block or two of the shop if you know where to look:
Free two-hour parking can be found along Essex Way, which is a lot between the 4th&U Apartments and the train tracks.
Free all-day parking can be found off of Second Street under University Avenue. Even though it looks a little sketchy, its a great place to park during the day and is well-lit at night.
Metered, paid parking can easily be found off of 4th Street under University Avenue or along Addison Street before the train tracks.
And if all of these options are full, which is very unlikely, there's a huge paid lot at the corner of 4th and Hearst that is a short walk to the shop, and it's close to the other lovely shops along 4th Street.
Check out this handy-dandy map we made for you!
At The Black Squirrel we strive to deliver top quality crafting supplies and tools into the hands of all our customers, regardless of the type of craft, skill level, or varied style. Check out all the great brands we carry:
Indie dyed yarns are at the heart and soul of our shop's commitment to supporting independent artists, woman-owned businesses, and small US-based manufacturing. All of these beautiful yarns are hand-dyed, sometimes by just a single person. We are proud to carry:
Earl Grey Fiber Company - Berkeley, California
Camellia Fiber Company - Nashville, Tennessee
Twisted Owl Fiber Studio - Longview, Texas
Forbidden Woolery - Burbank, California
Material Culture Fiber Arts - Claremont, California
Desert Bloom Yarns - Clarkdale, Arizona
Apple Tree Knits - Sommerset, New Jersey
Chickpea Yarns - El Cerrito, California
Spun Right Round - Rochester, New York
Nox Yarn Co. - Murrieta, California
Birdie's Knits - Centreville, Virginia
Fresh From the Cauldron Yarns - Palm Bay, Florida
Lazer Sheep Yarns - San Diego, CA
Machete Shoppe - Sciota, Pennsylvania
The Farmer's Daughter Fibers - Missoula, Montana
Knerd String - Castle Rock, Colorado
Cedar House Yarns - Bellingham, Washington
Ritual Dyes - Portland, Oregon
... And many more are on their way!
USA Made, Sustainable, and Carefully Curated Yarns
In addition to our indie-dyed yarns we carefully select the rest of our stock so that it adheres to our standards of sustainability, quality, and good manufacturing processes. Some of the other yarn companies we're proud to carry include:
Love Fest Fibers - Ethically sourced New Zealand wool, Tibetan yak, and American Alpaca fibers are milled in Washington state, sometimes with the addition of recycled plastic fiber from South Carolina, or hand-spun, felted, and dyed by artisans in Tibet and Nepal.
Lani's Lana - Rambouillet sheep are raised in Northern California and Northwest Nevada, and their wool is milled in the Midwest, but what makes their yarns unique is that they are Climate Beneficial, sustainably farmed, and Fibershed Certified.
Brown Sheep Company - American wool is spun and dyed at this family-owned mill in Mitchell, Nebraska.
Swans Island Company - Certified organic merino wools from South America are milled in New England and dyed by hand in small batches in Northport, Maine.
Misti Alpaca - A family owned producer and miller of fine alpaca fiber located in Arequipa, Peru, they hand-dye all their yarns in small batches from their Fair Trade dyeing studio.
Range Farmed Mongolian Cashmere - We've found a special maker of cashmere laceweight yarn in China who sources their cashmere from a new producer, who combines the traditional ranging methods with farming practices that are easier on Mongolia's grasslands.
And our favorite workhorse yarns:
A small selection of Lion Brand acrylics, milled in Turkey.
A small selection of Lily Sugar 'n Cream, milled in Canada from 100% USA cotton.
And all of the DMC Top This! varieties, which are made in China but they're too darn cute not to have them in our shop!
Knitter's Pride, ChiaoGoo, and LYKKE Needles and Tools
We're proud to stock Royale hybrid knitting needles from Knitter's Pride (they feature wood bodies with metal tips and 360 degree swivel cords - they're our very favorite), LYKKE birch wood needles and sets, and ChiaoGoo Red Lace steel needles and sets. We keep 16-40" circulars plus DPN's in US sizes 000-17 in stock at all times. We also carry Basix birch oversize knitting needles, Marblz acrylic knitting needle sets, and several special edition sets from Knitter's Pride. We can quickly and easily custom order any size, length, or style of Knitter's Pride, Chiaogoo, LYKKE, Addis, Tulip, and Clover needles for our customers with specific needs.
We carry Susan Bates crochet hooks and sets in various materials and styles including afghan hooks, Bryspun's sustainable, ergonomic palmwood crochet hooks, and LYKKE birch wood hook sets.
You'll also find a selection of their wonderful blocking tools and knitting accessories throughout the shop.
Fiber Arts Tools and Patterns for All Skill Levels
We've selected only the best fiber arts tools and accessories for our customers, including wooden knitting tools from Katrinkles, project bags and tool cozies from Just Sew Jana, Susan Bates crochet hooks, notebooks and the Knitter's Graph Paper Journal from Rowan Morrison Books, and Eucalan delicate wool wash. We also have beautiful embroidery floss sets from Lecien, and subversive cross stitch kits from the original potty mouth crafter, Julie Jackson.
We carry weaving looms and tools, plus some spinning tools, from The Unusual Pear, which based in Australia. We chose her looms because of their simple, pioneering design, as well as the fact that they're made from Forestry Stewardship Council certified bamboo.
We also carry needle and wet felting tools from various companies, plus a variety of rovings for felting and spinning from Lani's Lana, Material Culture Fiber Arts, and Forbidden Woolery.
We're proud to be a member of Ravelry's in-store sales program, which means that we have access to every pattern on Ravelry for you to purchase while in our shop. So if you fall in love with a yarn and don't know what to make with it, let us help you! We also have a binder containing printed samples of every pattern from our favorite local prolific designer of knitting and crochet pattens, Kira Dulaney of Kira K Designs.
Cotton + Steel and Robert Kaufman Fabrics
We're proud to carry both Cotton + Steel and Robert Kaufman apparel, quilting, and home fabrics. Cotton + Steel's collective of independent female designers speaks to both our ethos and our love of bright colors and fun patterns, and Robert Kaufman is owned by a bay area native and supplies us with some of the best-quality apparel fabrics you can find. Over time we plan to expand the amount of fabrics we're abele to carry, with special emphasis on apparel fabrics for the burgeoning slow fashion movement.
Sewing Patterns and Tools from Top Companies
We carry a curated selection of sewing patterns from Colette Patterns, Grainline Studio, Oliver + S, and many more, for women, men, children of all ages, and home goods & quilts.
We're also proud to carry notions from Clover, Tulip, Dritz, Collins, thread from Mettler and Clover, and a wide selection of cutting tools and mats from Fiskars, Gingher, and Simplicity.
We carry washable bamboo buttons from indie company Katrinkles, based in Pawtucket, RI, and unbleached cotton and wool batting from Hobbs.
We also carry a great selection of general sewing, garment construction, and quilting books from Storey Books.
Crafting Staples and Handmade Gifts
We wanted to make sure that even if you're not super-crafty, you'll still enjoy a visit to our shop. For novice crafters of all kinds we've got the best simple cutting tools, glues, tapes, and even some paper supplies to get you started.
And don't forget about all our awesome gifts! We carry shawl pins and jewelry from Rajkovich Designs and Tangleweeds, candles from P&F Candle Co., totes and tees from Dawn Kathryn Studios, soaps and lotions from Beautyganics, and snarky cards, stationary, and gifts from Craft Boner, tons of enamel lapel pins and patches from our favorite makers, plus so much more!