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Our History

Piedmont Yarn was founded by Bente Petersen in 2005. Originally located in a tiny storefront at 3966 Piedmont Avenue, the shop eventually outgrew that space and moved on to the current location at 4171 Piedmont Avenue.

Bente was committed to offering yarn and notions at reasonable prices and supporting a community of fiber enthusiasts with crafting circles and classes. She sold the business to Celia McCarthy and Pamela McKinstry in 2014. 



Celia McCarthy and Pamela McKinstry, owners, 2014-2022

Celia and Pamela both grew up in Berkeley. They met in 1976, while working in the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival costume shop, and later continued their association at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Both eventually went on to other professional opportunities but always maintained their love of working with fiber and textiles. The opportunity to buy Piedmont Yarn & Apparel was a dream come true for both of them. Pamela died in 2022, leaving Celia to carry on that dream.

Celia & Pamela, 1981, Berkely Repertory Theatre

Pamela and I were blessed with a storybook ending. After years of avocational knitting together, through all the twists and turns of our personal and professional lives, often joking about “someday” when we would both retire and open our own shop, Pamela called and asked if I was interested in buying a YARN SHOP with her. I told her I’d have to ask Mr. Celia how he felt about that. He said, “DUH!” and the rest is history. Pamela’s smile and laugh, her impressive knitting and crochet prowess, and her fabulous color sense were mainstays here at Piedmont Yarn. It was a fun and excellent adventure to go on with Pamela and it continues to be so in her absence. We learned a lot about yarn and people, and I continue to do so. That’s because of the wonderful community of knitters and crocheters who have gathered around the shop, a community that will live on, I hope, for a long, long time.

Our Staff

Carol Schwamberger

Jill Warner

Alan Kelchner

Jasper King


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