The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Find yarns, beads, fiber arts tools at the Shack


August 13, 2020

Though the new yarn shop on Main Street in Cathlamet, Jabber Shack, is largely a solo operation, owner Sue Zabel does get some help from her crafty husband, Dave now and again.

Zabel initially opened her fiber arts shop a few months ago in a storefront on the highway, but when the space became available on Main Street, she knew it would be a good move.

Sue has been felting for two years, and Dave has been a knitter for four.

Dave has always led the way when it came to trying something new, and has several hobbies. Sue follows along, she says, and tends to stick with things where he might not, once she finds something she likes.

They have stocked the shop with fiber in different forms. Some of it has been dyed by them, and some is ready to be purchased and dyed. They have dyes, a variety of yarns, some of it made in the US, some of it from more exotic locales. Sue once had a bead shop, and sells some traditional beads, seed beads, as well as some jewelry pieces the pair made themselves. They have drop spindles, bowls, and peg looms, handmade by Dave, tools for a myriad of crafts, and spinning wheels, which can be ordered and delivered straight to the customer’s home.

“When we retired, we were supposed to be able to go fishing,” Sue said, but I needed something to do. I had to have a shop. I had to do something with my life.”

The Zabels moved to the community four years ago from Vancouver. They’d camped at the Elochoman Slough Marina for years to take advantage of the fishing.

“When we weren’t fishing we walked through town and just fell in love with it,” Dave said.

Sue is looking for teachers, whether it be felting, knitting, or crocheting. A local fiber arts group meets in her shop every month and the Zabels would also like to start a quilting circle.

That’s the one thing they don’t have, quilting supplies, but Sue is willing to change that.

“I thought it would be fun to have activities, because we are all kind of stuck,” she said of the pandemic.

Why Jabber Shack?

“When Sue is needle felting there are times she stabs herself,” Dave said “So it’s ‘jab.’ Before this pandemic hit, we wanted a place for people to come and knit, crochet, spin, relax and socialize, or ‘jabber.’”

Jabber Shack is open Tuesdays from 12-3 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12-5 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 12-7 p.m. They are closed Sundays and Mondays.

“If you come in and buy anything from us, you become a Jabby,” Sue said.

4-H members receive a 10 percent discount for several items, but they have to show their card.


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