About & FAQs

Purlin' J's 2014Purlin’ J’s Roving Yarn Company is the first and only mobile yarn shop serving Kingston and Eastern Ontario. Think gourmet food truck, only selling yarn instead!

Purlin’ J’s Roving Yarn Co. truck, nicknamed “Lil Dorothy”, features yarn  and fascinating fibre paraphernalia for the modern fibrecrafter!

Q: When is the yarntruck open and how can I find it?

A: The yarntruck operates seasonally. It is open most weekends between April and November, at varying locations in Kingston and Eastern Ontario, Canada. From the Purlin’ J’s home page, check the right-hand sidebar (“Where is the Truck?”) for upcoming events.

Q: What are the store policies?

A: Purlin’ J’s accepts Visa, Mastercard and Cash payments. Applicable GST/HST is added to sales.

GST/HST No: 851505693RT0001

Needles, crochet hooks, patterns, books, sale yarn, & wound yarn: FINAL SALE
All other items are EXCHANGE ONLY and must be unopened and in saleable condition.


Purlin’ J’s asks for your email address at point of sale for the purpose of sending you an electronic receipt. Your email will not be used for any other purpose unless you choose to be added to Purlin’ J’s customer email list.

Q: What products are available on the yarntruck?

A: Shop for premium hand-dyed and commercial yarn onboard Lil Dorothy. If you have any requests for certain products please let us know! We also have needles, books and patterns, needlefelting supplies and more! Check the Products page to see what brands are currently available onboard. The yarntruck carries a limited selection of the brands listed.

Q: Does Purlin’ J’s Roving Yarn Co. offer classes to learn knitting/crochet?

A: Not at the moment.

Q: How do I book the yarntruck for a special event?

A: The yarntruck visits locations in Kingston and Eastern Ontario, generally as part of a craft show, fair, or festival. Send an email to info@purlinjs.ca with information about your event: date, opening and set-up times, location, and other relevant vendor information. The yarntruck requires a flat spot, at least two car-lengths long to set up. A spot in the parking lot, close to the entrance of the venue, is ideal. We ask that the event organizer reserve this spot with traffic cones or barriers prior to the truck’s arrival.

Customers enter the truck from the rear, and exit via the side door after shopping. There are handrails to assist with boarding but unfortunately the yarntruck is not wheelchair accessible.

Q: May I book the yarntruck for a private shopping event, such as a bridal shower or birthday party?

A: Yes!

We require a minimum of 10 shoppers at a private shopping party who are ready to shop over a minimum of two hours! The yarntruck comfortably holds up to six shoppers at one time so shopping can be done in shifts.

The Purlin’ J’s yarntruck will travel for private shopping events within a 50 km radius of postal code K7K at no charge. A small fee of $25 will be charged for every 50 kms travelled beyond the initial 50 km radius. For example, the additional cost for the truck to travel 185 kms from Kingston would be 185 kms – 50 kms = 135 kms @ .50/km so $67.50 additional.

Once we have arrived at your location, the Purlin’ J’s truck needs a parking space of at least 25 feet. Flat pavement or a grassy area on private land is ideal.

Please note that the truck is not licensed to serve food or drinks; however, as the party’s hostess/host you are encouraged to serve snacks and beverages to your guests as they shop!

Ask about the Hostess/Host Rewards Program when you book. The hostess/host receives rewards the more her or his party spends (before HST)!

Q: Is there an actual Purlin’ J?

A: Yes! She is me, Joan Sharpe, and I have years of knitting expertise to share with Purlin’ J’s customers. My late mother, Dorothy, taught me to knit when I was eight years old. (It took a few tries for me to get the hang of it!) My mother encouraged me to work at my local yarn shop when I was still a teenager. This part-time job helped pay my way through a two-year Fashion Design Diploma program at Sheridan College, where I majored in knit clothing.

I was hired straight out of college to join the hand-knit pattern design team for the Bouquet brand of yarns manufactured by Spinrite Yarns. As part of the design team, I learned the skills required to turn a design concept into a written pattern and finally a completed project. After that I worked for the Canadian licensee of Calvin Klein Jeans, and then as a gift/accessory buyer for the 19-store retail chain Beaver Canoe.

I have lived in Kingston since 1998, and work at Queen’s University during the week.

Q: What’s the history of the truck? Why is it named Lil Dorothy?

A: The Purlin’ J’s Roving Yarn Co. yarntruck is a 1982 Ford that was used a Lanark County fire service vehicle before she was converted to the yarntruck you see today. The red exterior paint and interior fittings are original to the fire service.

The truck is named Lil Dorothy, after Joan Sharpe’s late mother, Dorothy Sharpe, who taught Joan/Purlin’ J how to knit when she was just a girl.

2 Responses to “About & FAQs”

  1. dreamvoyageur1 August 16, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    hi there Purlin’ J! Just wondering… if I were passing through Kingston one day, would I find you parked/open for business in one specific location? Or are you always on the road when doing business…

    • purlinjs August 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      Hi there, I operate the yarn truck on weekends and it goes to many communities in the eastern Ontario area, including Kingston. Check the calendar on the right sidebar for upcoming locations. So no, there’s no regular parking spot in Kingston for now! One day I hope!

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Purlin' J's

"One of the coolest 'yarn stores' I've ever seen" --Vogue Knitting magazine, Holiday 2013

Sue Schlabach

Artist, photographer and upcycler living in Vermont. Viewer of the world through eyes and lens.

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