A couch, chairs and a coffee table are positioned in front of Wonder Knit's wide Clintonville window, but there's more to the knitting headquarters than that.

A reminder of the time Libby Bruce spent living in Washington, D.C. is displayed in a store window on High Street, for all to see.

It's people sitting on couches and chairs - laughing, chatting, knitting, relaxing.

It's much like the shop where Bruce once worked in the nation's capital, and now she's given the knitting community in Columbus a place to call home.

A couch, chairs and a coffee table are positioned in front of Wonder Knit's wide Clintonville window, but there's more to the knitting headquarters than that.

Co-owners Bruce and Karen Brackbill have been friends since fourth grade; they learned how to knit in college, and Bruce advanced her skills while living in D.C., where she worked at a knitting shop.

"I really just got into the whole community. And when I came back, I wanted to do a teaching business. Karen and I ended up going to the trade show in Columbus [in June], and while we were there, we just kept hearing people saying, 'Open a store. We need a new store in Columbus.'

"And we thought, 'Well ... all right,'" Bruce said, laughing.

The store opened in December, giving Bruce and Brackbill enough time to line one wall with the cubby-like shelves that are now full of yarn skeins, set up a table for knitting classes and display all sorts of knitting needles by the cash register.

Wonder Knit's colorful, twisted ropes of yarn aim to add variety to the options already available in Columbus. While most chain craft stores carry acrylic yarn, Wonder Knit steers toward cotton, wool and alpaca fibers, many from small companies.

Organic and eco-friendly yarns are doing well, Bruce said, and they're looking for local spinners. One yarn is even designed exclusively for the store, by Bruce's friend from D.C.

They've already kicked off classes in basic kitting and making hats, mittens and baby blankets. Private lessons for any skill level are available by the hour. Crochet and spinning - spinning yarn, that is - are also planned.

Wonder Knit joins a pair of shops selling handmade and new-use pieces on the block: indie-arts store Wholly Craft and kids' consignment shop Red Rover. Brackbill and Bruce are more than pleased with the location, which they're calling the Clintonville Crafts District.

"We wanted to provide a space that was really welcoming and friendly and a place where people could just come and hang out," Bruce said.