Lila & Claudine’s Yarn & Gifts

Lifelong knitters and sisters create a knitting paradise.
Lila and Claudine owners Polly Hart and Kirsten Skoglund.

In the three and a half years it’s been open at 86 Mahtomedi Ave. in Mahtomedi, Lila and Claudine’s Yarn & Gifts has evolved into the kind of informal meeting place that helps make a town worth living in.

Lifelong knitters and sisters Kirsten Skoglund and Polly Hart co-own the business and named the shop after their grandmothers. Skoglund says they hope to create an “everybody knows your name” kind of welcoming space, where people can not only buy yarn, but work on their knitting projects and swap ideas and expertise, too. “We’ve tried to bring a sense of community to the area,” she says. “It’s attracted a lot of creative people.”

Business has been good, says Skoglund, who changed careers after 25 years in corporate human resources; the 1,700-square-foot shop started in a 1,000-square-foot lower level, and expanded into the street level last October. The store hosts hundreds products from hundreds of yarn companies, as well as a wide array of gifts. Classes include knitting, fiber and rug-hooking seminars. Hours: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat., Noon–3 p.m. Sun.; 651.343.4900


Kirsten Skoglund and Polly Hart volunteer at the annual art fair held on Mahtomedi High School’s Homecoming weekend in Triangle Park. This year the event is September 22.