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In the solitude of Wisconsin’s Northwoods, a dream to create the hand knit Christmas Stockings that Grandma used to make came alive. This is the story of Annie's Woolens…

In 1982, Anne Maillette and her family moved to Eagle River, Wisconsin to enjoy a simpler life. The months of winter posed a challenge for Anne in keeping her family warm. To enjoy the winter season, one had to dress appropriately. In response, Anne began to knit wool sweaters and accessories which enabled her husband and three girls to call winter their favorite season. What began as a hobby became a cottage industry. In 1988, Annie’s Woolens was established with wool sweaters, earflap hats, and mittens as the featured products.

By 1994, after years of selling knitted wool sweaters and accessories locally at art shows and through gift shops, Anne gambled on a move to the Internet which has since enabled her to share her wares with many thousands of website visitors and customers around the globe. More recently Anne has moved beyond knitting wool garments…

Wanting to make Christmas special for her immediate and extended family, she began to knit Christmas Stockings. Weddings and births were celebrated and marked with the making of a stocking to welcome the new addition to her family. Wanting to share her love of family with many others, Anne decided to make Personalized Christmas Stockings her main product. To date, Annie's Woolens has sold thousands of Christmas Stockings which have been shipped to all parts of the world with the wish that others might celebrate family in their own special way by including Annie’s Woolens personalized stockings as part of their tradition.

In order to promote the knitting craft and her own love of knitting, Anne has developed her own line of knitting patterns and kits. The joys and challenges of writing and publishing Annie’s Woolens designs not only serves Anne’s need for “creative birthing” of a new idea but also hopefully stimulates existing knitters as well as attracting new knitters.

Anne has long been a contributing member of the fiber arts world. She is a long-standing member of the local Fiber Arts Guild, Lake Country Weavers and Fiber Artists, where she shares her talents and receives inspiration from her artist colleagues. Anne loves to keep the learning curve on an incline. She has gone to a number of Wisconsin area knitting retreats and regularly attends classes at Stitches Midwest Retail Convention in Chicago where she also sells her patterns and kits.

Special kudos can be granted Annie’s Woolens for being recognized by others as unique:

  • Featured in Feb. 2000 Midwest Living article entitled “Warm Up in Style - Toasty Togs from the Northland”

  • Featured artist in December 2000 Wisconsin Trails Magazine in “Needful Things” article highlighting Christmas gift ideas.

  • Jan./Feb. 2000 featured artist in The Northwoods Woman article “A Good Fit for Her and Great for You”

  • Moose Christmas Stocking knitting pattern published in Knitting for the First Time by Vanessa-Ann, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. in 2003

  • Elegant Mohair/Wool Mittens pattern published in 2005 Knitting Pattern-a-day Calendar, Accord Publishing Ltd.

Annie’s Woolens, to date, is a family business. Her brother, Peter Oakley, is in charge of web design while her daughters are involved in the production and finishing of pre-made Christmas Stockings. Her husband, Michael, serves as chief cheerleader, for which Anne acknowledges deep gratitude.

The following poem has been carried in Anne’s heart for years. May you, the reader, embrace those activities that bring you joy and fulfillment!

That Woman is a Success…
Who loves life
And lives it to the fullest;
Who has discovered and shared
The strengths and talents
That are uniquely her own;
Who puts her best into each task
And leaves each situation
Better than she found it;
Who seeks and finds
That which is beautiful
In all people and all things;
Whose heart is full of love
And warm with compassion;
Who has found joy in living
And peace within herself.

- Barbara J. Burrow

Yarn Brands
> Alpaca Yarn Company
> Berroco
> Cherry Tree Hill

> Karabella
> La Lana Wools
> Lorna's Laces
> Malabrigo
> Margaret Stove
> Schaefer Yarn Company
> Wendy Peter Pan

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