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FAQs

Have a question? We want to be sure you find the right answer. We’ve gathered the most frequently asked questions and sorted them by category. If you do not find your question below, or if you need a little more help, call our Island shop at (206) 780-2686. Helpful Mice will be available during regular business hours. Or send us an email! We’d love to hear from you.

Can you wind my yarn into a ball?

We’re happy to wind your yarn on request at no charge. Please note that wound yarn cannot be returned.


How can I add to my order?

If your order has not yet been shipped, we would be happy to add to your order. Simply send a note to orders@churchmouseyarns.com or give us a call with your order number and which items you would like to add. If the items you want are not in stock we will contact you. If they are in stock, we will add them to your order and will contact you for confirmation and your payment information. Please note that any items added to an order may not show up in your emailed shipment confirmation.


Do I have to pay sales tax?

When we ship to an address in the state of Washington, the appropriate sales tax will automatically be added. We pass that amount on so that the state can pay our teachers, build our roads, etc.


What is the ‘discount code’ box?

We use that discount code box for special promotions—Anniversary Sale, Pattern Launch, etc. You’ll be notified of our promotions when you sign up to receive our weekly emails.


Can I pick up my online order in the Island Shop?

Absolutely! We are happy to wrap up your order and have it ready to be picked up in our shop. Please leave a note on your order and we will make the necessary adjustments. Any order placed online will be ready to be picked up in our island shop 48 hours after it was placed. If you need it faster, please call.

How much is shipping?

To destinations in the United States, shipping is free for orders over $120. For orders under $120, our flat rate shipping is $7.50 for packages. We charge $3.00 to ship a pattern envelope (which can contain up to six patterns).
To destinations in Canada, our flat rate shipping is either $16.00 (very small orders) or $28.00. We charge $7.50 to ship a pattern envelope (which can contain up to six patterns). To other international destinations, our flat rate is $38.00.


How do you ship my items?

Churchmouse uses the United States Postal Service because they are fast, reliable, and very cost-effective.


How can I track my package?

When your package is shipped, you’ll receive a note with a link to a webpage that will allow you to track it in transit. U.S. addresses usually receive the package within two or three business days. Canadian addresses, because of customs, can be anywhere from five to 14 days. If you think there’s a problem, please send an email to orders@churchmouseyarns.com, or give us a call at (206) 780-2686 (press option 3). Please have your order number handy.

What is your return policy?

We want you to be delighted with anything you receive from us. You may return any Churchmouse purchase in its original condition for a full refund. Please note that wound yarn or sale items cannot be returned. Postage is your responsibility unless it was our error. Our open return policy is a good reason to hang on to your receipt. There is no time limit on returned items.

Send all returns and exchanges to:

Churchmouse Yarns & Teas
179 Madrone Lane, Suite 100
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Please include your receipt or packing slip. If you no longer have it, please include a way for us to know who shipped the merchandise back to us:

  • your email address
  • your phone number
  • your shipping address

Why should I set up an online account?

With a free Churchmouse Account, you won’t have to re-enter your information every time you check out. Our system will store your email and shipping address, but will not record your credit card number for security reasons. You can also log in with your email address and password to view your order history, access your PDF Library, manage your shipping address, and tailor your preferences to your interests. If you provide your birth month in your account preferences, we will send you a wee gift at the beginning of that month to celebrate!


What do I do when I am having difficulty logging into my Churchmouse Account?

Our website tends to work best with Safari, Firefox, or Chrome browsers. If you are not currently using one of those web browsers, we would suggest attempting to log in using one of them. If you continue to have difficulty, please let us know and we will do our best to make it right.


How can I change the email address on my Churchmouse Account?

For security reasons, our shopping platform recognizes each customer by their email address. This means that every time you use your email address to place an order or sign up to receive our weekly emails, it is recorded in our system. Because of this, we cannot combine two accounts as our system views those two accounts as two different people, and for your security will not allow your information to be combined with another account. However, if you would like to change your account’s email to one that has not been used on our site, we are more than happy to do so. You can do this in your account profile, or by contacting us at orders@churchmouseyarns.com.


How do I set up my PDF Library?

Your Churchmouse Account automatically includes your Library called “My Pattern PDFs” where any download you purchase will be saved and always available anytime, anywhere you have internet access! Simply log into your Account and look for the link on the top right of the page. Click this link to download and view the PDFs you have purchased from our website as well as your free Churchmouse “Adaptations”.


What are free Churchmouse Adaptations?

Our Adaptations are free to anyone who owns the corresponding Churchmouse pattern. Adaptations provide the information you need to knit the project in a different gauge, different yarn, or different shape. Without the original Churchmouse pattern, the Adaptation won’t make sense. As we come up with new and different ways to knit our old favorites with new yarns, we’ll publish more free Adaptations.


How do I receive the free Adaptation?

Add the adaptation to your shopping cart and proceed to check out. The check out is free. Your Adaptations can then be accessed in your Library called “My Pattern PDFs” in your Churchmouse Account, along with your purchased patterns.

Does the pattern come with Churchmouse projects?

We do not include the pattern with our projects because many Churchmouse customers buy more than one colorway, and they shouldn’t have to pay for the same pattern each time. That’s why we call our offerings ‘projects’ and not ‘kits.’ Any free adaptation that is necessary will be included in each project, but the pattern will be sold separately. If you are unsure of what is included in a project we sell, a detailed list is provided in the ‘Basic Details’ tab on every project page.


If a Churchmouse pattern has been re-yarned, will I need to purchase a new pattern?

In short, no. When we re-yarn a pattern it is almost always to the same gauge and measurements as our original pattern. This means that even though your pattern may not list the yarn that you are working with in the project details, you will still follow the exact same instructions from cast on all the way to bind off.

However, sometimes we do like to re-yarn a pattern with a different weight of yarn or add another section to it, like sleeves or a cowl. These adaptations are always available for free, and should be used alongside the original pattern.

If you are unsure of what you will need for a project, be sure to look at the Basic Details on the project page on our website. All appropriate patterns and adaptations will be listed there. If you are still unsure of what you will need for a project, please do not hesitate to contact us.


How do I access my PDFs?

You can easily access any pattern that you’ve purchased in the past on our website, wherever you have internet access! Simply click on the “My Account” link, and sign in with your email address and password. You will see a link on the far right of the page named “My PDF Pattern Library”. When you click that link, you will be able to view and download any pattern that you have purchased from Churchmouse.

Once you have downloaded a pattern it has been saved to your computer, and you should be able to access it without having to log into your account.


What if I can’t download my PDF pattern?

Once you place an order, you will receive two emails. The first email confirms your order, and the second email includes a link to access your patterns. If you do not get an email with a link to your PDF, make sure it did not accidentally end up in your Junk or Spam folder. You can always log into your account and click “My Pattern PDFs,” where your pattern should appear ready for download. If you have any difficulty, simply write to orders@churchmouseyarns.com and we’ll take care of it for you.


Can I sell items I knit from Churchmouse patterns?

So sorry, but our patterns are intended for personal enjoyment, not commercial gain. We hold to that rule for large companies and—unfortunately—we have to hold to it for individual knitters, too. You may knit Churchmouse patterns to sell for charity, and you certainly don’t need our permission to knit for a friend—even if they pay for the yarn and needles and maybe feed you cookies while you work. But if you sell something made from someone else’s design, it runs against copyright and the spirit of our intentions. That said, there is no reason why you can’t make up your own original design based on what you love about ours. It could take time and some trial and error, but design can be a very fulfilling process and you’ll end up with something you control completely. Hope this explains our philosophy and sparks your creativity, and that you’ll continue to enjoy our patterns.


How do you determine the cost of your Churchmouse patterns?

We build in a lot of features to our patterns that we hope will help knitters be successful. We regularly include helpful tips such as buttonhole placement, how to swatch for reliable results, and guidance on fit such as how to calculate changes in increase/decrease rates to make sleeves shorter or longer. Our team of designers, knitters, tech editors – and the team on photography with Jared Flood – work very hard on these for many, many months to make our patterns lasting tools that you can learn from and knit again and again. We want these patterns to be workhorses in your knitting arsenal, and we hope the quality of production (which translates into digital as well as print) gives you years of knitting satisfaction.

How do I sign up to receive Churchmouse emails?

It’s easy! Just fill in your email address here, and hit ‘join’.

You can unsubscribe at any time and we never, ever, share our list. At the bottom of the emails you receive from us is an “Update Profile/Email Address” link where you can change your preferences. Add your mailing address and check “Send Paper Newsletter” to receive a printed booklet five times per year in your mailbox. There’s also a link to “Safe Unsubscribe” at any time.


How do I sign up to receive printed Churchmouse newsletters?

At the bottom of the emails you receive from us is a link called “Update Profile/Email Address” where you can check a box: “Send Paper Newsletter”. Via post, you’ll receive our little booklets five times per year. Or just send a note to contact@churchmouseyarns.com and we’ll sign you up!


How accurate are the colors on your website?

Every monitor (and every system) shows colors differently, so we cannot guarantee that your monitor is showing what we see here at the shop. That said, here’s how we do our best to depict true colors of yarn: when we take photos, we compare the actual yarn to the digital image and adjust the color, if necessary, before publishing it online. Also, we often describe the colors by creating names and adding descriptions, so look for those clues to help you decide.


What kinds of gift certificates do you offer?

When you purchase an Online Gift Card in any of six amounts ($10 to $200), you’ll receive an email with a link to a gift code. You may either forward that to your lucky recipient, or print it so you could include it in a paper card. Your recipients can see their balances when they log into their Churchmouse Account.

In our Island Shop, you may purchase a handmade Gift Certificate in any amount. Balances are kept in a journal in the store, and can be used for phone orders.

Until we connect our systems (now in planning), Store Gift Certificates cannot be used online, and Online Gift Cards cannot be used in the store.


How do I redeem a Store Yarn Card online or over the phone?

Until we can connect our systems (now in planning), Store Yarn Cards are best redeemed in person at our Island Shop or over the phone. You can mail your Yarn Card(s) to our Store. Your Yarn Card(s) will be converted to store credit, which you can redeem by placing an order over the phone.

Pure silk yarn is really slippery. How can I control it when knitting?

For the ‘Annabella’s Cowl,’ a Churchmouse Classics pattern, we used two tricks to corral the gorgeous but headstrong ‘Alchemy Silk Purse.’ First, to prevent the ball from tangling or collapsing, it’s best to pull from the outside of the ball. Also, we like to tuck our silky yarns into a little Ziploc® bag. If you leave the top just a little ‘unzipped’ and pull from the opening, it should behave itself quite nicely!


What’s the quickest way to brew iced tea?

We’ve always been of the ‘brew-it-hot-and-let-it-cool’ school, but sometimes you just can’t wait! Karen Alfke swears by this much faster method: Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a pan; remove from heat and add 4-6 teabags or 4-6 tsps loose tea. Steep 5 minutes; remove bags or strain. While still hot, add sugar to taste (4-6 tsps) and stir to dissolve. Fill a sturdy pitcher with ice; pour hot tea over ice. It will dilute less than you might expect. And it’ll be ready when you are!


Can I use my knitting yarns on a needlepoint canvas? Or my needlepoint fibers for knitting?

We like the way you think! The ‘cross-over’ possibilities are endless. For knitters, needlepoint yarns offer vast color options in nice small yardages, so if all you want is a color-tipped cast-on or a few rows of Fair Isle, you don’t need to buy a big skein to get just a little color. Silk & Ivory (Featured Fave! 10% off through August; call the store to order 206.780.2686) knits nicely at fingering gauge, while Appleton and Paternayan wools can be bulked up with multiple strands. Silk and metallic fibers can be used for surface embellishment, or to knit or crochet jewelry. Needlepoint fibers are also great for color matching knitting repairs. For needlepointers, hand-painted knitting yarns are especially interesting—try long or short color runs in a variety of stitches. Heathers and tweeds yield effects you won’t find in the needlepoint department. A yarn that’s sturdy and fairly smooth will wear better, but chunky and textured yarns can be fun, funky and quickto stitch. Whichever way you’re ‘crossing over,’ swatch! swatch! swatch!


How should I care for my linen knits?

Linen and other ‘bast’ fibers take well to water and get softer and softer with each washing. We wash and dry ours in the machine—take out when still a little damp, pull or pin into shape and lay flat to dry. Linen knits have a tendency to bias, but we find an aggressive blocking can take care of this. Linen will shrink a little in the dryer, so it can be helpful to swatch twice: wash and dry one swatch for ‘finished gauge’ and compare the two to see how much extra length you should knit to compensate. To block lace in linen, use blocking wires and pin out with as much tension as you can muster—it’ll be infinitely prettier.


OK, tea cozies are cute. But what’s the point?

For those of you who have never seen a tea cozy, think of it as a sleeping bag for your teapot. It serves two important functions. First, to get the most flavor from your tea leaves, you should cover your teapot with a cozy to keep the water at the optimum brewing temperature. Secondly, if you’ve brewed more than enough tea for one cup each, your cozy will keep the rest hot while you sip. Cozies that leave the pot handle and spout exposed are handy, but for full heat-keeping effect, choose one that covers it all. Practicality aside, whether your cozy is knitted, felted, stitched or quilted, it’s also another great canvas for self expression.


Do I really have to do a gauge swatch? I always seem to knit to gauge.

I’m glad you’ve been lucky so far. But it’s unlikely you’ll match every designer’s gauge in every yarn. And if you’re even a quarter stitch off over 4 inches, you may wind up with a poorly fitting sweater you don’t like to wear. If you’re substituting yarns, another important question is “do I like the fabric?” You may have hit the suggested gauge, but is your fabric loose, limp and likely to loose its shape? Is it tight and stiff? Consider both aspects before you decide how to proceed. But definitely, swatch, swatch and reswatch until you’re happy. I know you want to dive in, but a little time now may save days of work.


My needlepoint project is all askew. What did I do wrong? What can I do now?

While any of the diagonal ‘tent’ stitches can skew your canvas to some degree, you’ll do best to use the basketweave stitch wherever you can, and continental stitch whenever you can’t. Avoid half-cross stitch (which also provides poor coverage). Use stretcher bars or a scroll frame to help keep your canvas square. Blocking your finished piece can correct some of the twist, but a badly misshapen piece may need repeated blocking.