Meet Nine Rubies Knitting

Nine Rubies Knitting opened its doors in 2006, the creation of a mother-and-daughter team, Saloni Howard-Sarin & Sudha Sarin to provide crafty customers with high-quality knitting supplies and patterns.

We asked the mother-daughter team how they decided to open Nine Rubies…
Saloni worked in high-tech Silicon Valley when her parents, Gopal and Sudha decided to immigrate to the US from India to be closer to Saloni. Gopal had retired but Sudha wanted to work. She had been working in India and wanted to continue. She worked at different jobs in San Francisco and Palo Alto for a few years. She then decided that she wanted to go in to business for herself. Saloni and Sudha looked at businesses that would be appropriate for Sudha and then decided to open a yarn shop. They put a business plan together and voila! Nine Rubies was born.

Sudha and Saloni both learned to knit as children. Sudha learned from her grandmother at the age of 6 and Saloni learned from her mother, Sudha, around the age of 8. For Sudha that makes a total of 60 plus years knitting experience.

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A little bit about Nine Rubies…
Nine Rubies is a one-stop shop for knitters and crocheters. The staff at Nine Rubies loves creativity and are interested in the world of fiber arts. You will find us exploring weaving, dyeing, spinning from time to time at our store. We have our regular class schedule taught by our local teachers but we also invite designers and artists to come teach workshops often as well. We recently featured local designers and trunk shows of new and interesting yarns. We spend a lot of time creating a welcoming environment for the local community of knitters and crocheters in the heart of downtown San Mateo. We constantly have people who come and sit and knit/crochet together, make new friends and bond over their interest in the craft.

We asked how inspiration for new designs happens…
This is a difficult question. Inspiration for patterns and designs comes from many different sources. Sometimes it is the yarn, sometimes it is the trend of the moment – knitting with neon colored yarn is so much fun right now. Very often it is our customers who come in asking for something they want to make that gives us the most inspiration of all.

Advice for novice knitters…
Over the years we have worked with many beginning knitters and crocheters. Plan to enjoy the new craft you are about to learn – pick a yarn in a color that you like and that you enjoy feeling. Don’t pick something too thick or too thin. Think about how you learn best – if you learn well from a YouTube video in the privacy of your home – that’s OK. If you want someone holding your hand, take a class. Nine Rubies is a great place to take a class but beginning knitting and crochet classes are held at various places in the area. Almost every Recreation Center has regular classes – San Mateo, Foster City and Burlingame all have regular classes. Plan to practice your new craft regularly and put aside some time for this. Some people knit while watching TV in the evening, some people like doing this while listening to music or audiobooks. Keep at it and come in to Nine Rubies often when you get stuck in the beginning. It’s like painting – in the beginning you need hand-holding but after that you just paint for the fun of it.

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First thing I knitted was… a scarf! Almost everyone knits or crochets a scarf as their first item.

My favorite thing to knit is… Saloni loves to knit blankets and has now run out of people to make blankets for. Sudha loves sweaters and is always wearing something that she created.

Favorite type of material to use is… wool! Wool always works best and there is a reason for it. Besides the fact that it is warm, it holds its form the best. These days there are so many new wool yarns coming out of the US. We love discovering new suppliers and dyers. But from time to time, we also like experimenting with different fibers – cashmere, alpaca, bamboo, cotton, silk and all the blends in between.

What’s in your knitting bag right now… a hat for my niece. Melissa (one of our staffers) and I are knitting six hats each and are having a race doing it. Melissa is winning!!

My favorite thing about San Mateo is… the variety! It has everything. It has amazing restaurants and great shopping. I take visitors to Draegers – to see the best grocery store in the world. There are plenty of old people, young people and families. There is a great mix of people in different professions living in San Mateo. I love our parks and how there is something to do each and every weekend. Makes it a great to live, work and relax.

My current secret obsession is… Pom-poms! I love pom-poms on hats right now and am having a great time making these all the time.

Upcoming Events at Nine Rubies…
We have Kid’s knitting every Friday from 4 pm to 6 pm for kid’s ages 8 years and up. For all our classes and event, check out our website here.

You can visit Nine Rubies Knitting at 28 E. 3rd Avenue, #100 in San Mateo, Monday – Friday: 10am – 7pm Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 5pm, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Bay Meadows is a family-friendly neighborhood with lots of green space to enjoy all year long. Whether its growing your own vegetables in a gorgeous community garden with expert guidance, playing a game of pick-up basketball after work, team building over bocce and beers, or picnicking with friends and family on warm summer nights for Movies in the Meadow,there’s no shortage of green space to explore. If you have little ones, don’t miss Momdays on Mondays in Paddock Park!