If you happen to pass through the city of Sherbrooke, in the Eastern Townships, you HAVE to stop at Tricot-Thé Serré*. I already knew Melissa from Facebook by the time I met her at Twist, so I was expecting someone super sweet.. What I did not know, was that she’s also a little fireball, always full of energy!
*Tricot-Thé Serré is a play on words. Tricoté serré translates to (a) closely-knit (family or group). In the shop’s name, the last syllable of the 1st word is replaced with the word for Tea, for added meaning.
Mélissa offers many workshops at her store (crochet, knitting, etc) and yarn, obviously, but also embroidery threads, teas, handmade items by Québec artists, and a lot more depending on the time of year.
I asked Melissa to talk to me about herself, and about her shop. Here’s what she had to say.
(Q) Thanks so much for agreeing to do this! For those who don’t know you, can you explain a bit about who you are, and your relationship to the fiber world?
(A) My name is Mélissa Desrochers-Bolduc. I own Tricot-Thé Serré, a yarn shop in Sherbrooke. I knit, I crochet, I felt, and I’ve started spinning since Twist last summer. I love fiber in general; I love the beauty of the textures and colours it offers. It’s exciting to start with a fiber in any form, and to create something with it.
My grandmother taught me the basics of knitting when I was little. I used to love starting a project when we visited her. She actually was the one to cast on for me. I put all of that aside as I grew up, but it all came back with a vengeance years later!
(Q) Tell me about your home life?
(A) I live in Sherbrooke with my man and my daughter (we’re actually getting ready for our second daughter due in September! ***Congratulations!!), my dog, and my crazy cat 🙂 I taught my mom to knit (yeah, that’s not the usual order of things) and I can’t wait to teach my daughters. I dream of the day the four of us will sit together, each with out knitting project. Hopefully my daughters will like to knit! I won’t force them, but I am working on it! My daughter, who just turned 3, already likes to imitate mommy and her crochet hook, so there is clearly at least some hope!
(Q) So what made you leap from crocheter and knitter to LYS owner? And how did you come up with the name?
(A) I opened Tricot-Thé Serré in March of 2011. There was a good brainstorming session to find the name, and what we settled on seemed perfect, it represented everything we hoped to achieve with the shop : a place for passionate people to come together, to knit, and crochet, and talk, and create relationships. And we made it! We also wanted to be involved on a social level, working for causes we believe in through our FOs. The expression (closely-knit) is part of the fabric of this province, it’s something my family and I value. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to complete this project. We love the name. We couldn’t have come up with anything better.
The project actually began because I’m a little hyper (so I hear, but I disagree and maintain that there is no proof). In my old life I was a special ed teacher, working for the school commission. My first Summer at this job, I was ‘confronted’ with 2 full months of vacation. At first it was cool, but then everyone I knew was working, and it rained a lot, and I got bored pretty fast. I started looking for something to do, and I remembered knitting, and that I thought it was pretty cool. I went to see my grandma, picked up a bunch of yarn, needles, books, sat down in front of YouTube and started knitting. And never stopped! I started to create more and more, and the feedback was great. I couldn’t find any yarn I liked in the region though, and I figured I couldn’t be the only one that had to leave town to buy yarn. I studied the market, took a class on how to launch a business, … and launched a business =)
(Q) What is crochet’s place in your life, and in your shop’s?
(A) I crochet as much as I knit. I think the two complement each other. Crochet is gaining in popularity. People find it easier to learn – or fix when they make a mistake – and its speed. It still has a bad reputation for some, such as that it’s only for doilies, only for thread, always full of holes) but what we see today is not that and it all helps to change crochet’s image. I teach crochet at the shop and I try to find projects that’ll excite people, make them want to try crochet. It’s so much fun!
(Q) You mentioned above a lot of fiber arts that you’re into. Do you do anything else artistic or is that too much to ask of one person?
(A) Aside from devoting all of my time to the shop, I do still manage to find some to make jewelry. I have a collection of pieces under the brand ‘La pièce unique’ (the unique item). Jewelry making was also a starting point of the shop: I started to create jewelry at the same time I started to knit. I like mixing both: adding yarn, buttons, crocheted or knitted pieces to my creations.
(Q) I want people to be able to imagine how you are before they go toyour shop in Sherbrooke. So tell me a few things about you that are surprising…
(A) I always carry a project with me, to my family’s despair. It’s a part of me. I usually pack my WIPs before my clothing when I get ready to leave for somewhere.
I always have way too many WIPs. I have quite a few project bags, and I try (operative word ‘try’) to limit myself to as many WIPs as I have bags. No more bags? Must have enough WIPs. I’m also a ‘matcher’. I like for my project bag to match my yarn. I’ve been know to switch things around because a certain project seemed to fit better in another bag.. I’m not the only one right? Right? (***Nope… Nope.)
I’m scared of having a work accident after which I wouldn’t be able to knit anymore. I alternate between crochet and knitting and make myself take regular breaks.
And one last thing I want to say to yarnies. It’s something I say to my clients that want to hide their receipts so their husbands won’t see that they bought yarn (again). Always remember that your $100 of yarn represents hours and hours of therapy; a much sounder investment than a psychologist, and just as good for you 🙂
Follow Mélissa & Tricot-Thé Serré :
Or visit her yarn shop :
Tricot-Thé Serré – 201, Jacques-Cartier South, Sherbrooke (QC)