Sunday, March 21, 2010

Buy Local and Contest

Stephanie wrote:

Like so many days yesterday was one of those days devoted to transporting kids. The difference was that I wasn't driving across town. I had to schlep 40 miles one way. I was discussing this with my sister - the lost knitting time, my sore back, the million and one things at home that weren't going to get done - when she asked if there were any yarn stores along the way.

Brilliant. Now why hadn't I thought of that? Talk about turning lemons into lemonade. Of course there were yarn stores along the way and one in particular that I had been meaning to check out.

After I had deposited said kids I made a swing by Knit Purl.

This is a comfy, well-stocked yarn store. They have an extensive selection of yarn with something for everyone. The walls are lined with samples - plenty of inspiration. And they have a nice selection of knitting bags, an overflowing sale basket, patterns, knitting books, oodles of needles and accessories. I could have been swallowed up for days.

When I was there, there was a lively group gathered around the table chatting about this and that. What a lovely sense of community. I enjoyed my time there and my discussion with Nancy, the owner.

My visit to Knit Purl turned my thoughts to the state of local yarn stores. My immediate area has seen the loss of two stores. For an area this size we don't have many yarn stores. And I've heard of well established yarn stores in other cities and towns closing their doors. I understand some of the reasons - high overhead, online competition - but there's a real loss of community when a store shuts down.

I was envious of those women at Knit Purl gathered in such a cozy setting, knitting row after row, sharing stories, offering advice about this or that project. Knitters have been gathering together for centuries. Today many gather in online venues. There are many advantages to internet forums - you can share ideas with others across the country or across the globe. I'll be the first to admit that the internet has revolutionized knitting. But there is an element of intimacy and shared experiences that can't be duplicated electronically.

The challenge is to maintain those connections in the face of an ever changing retail environment. I encourage everyone to shop their local yarn store. Don't take it for granted or you may wake up one day to find it closed.

In an attempt to practice what I preach these goodies came home with me.

It was a day for turquoise.

The calendar says spring and to mark the occasion we are running another contest. Leave a comment and a plug for your local yarn store. The winner, chosen at random, will receive a $25 Dye Dreams gift certificate. The contest will close on Sunday, March 28.


Fujiyamamama said...

My LYS is Arcadia Knitting in Chicago, and I cherish my regular knit night and the friends I have made there

bethc said...

I guess my LYS is Nature's Yarns (in Fairfax, VA), I always feel welcome when I go there and they carry lots of great things!

Laurie said...

My default LYS is Wild and Wooly in MA. Great yarn selection, Rowan stockist, has Jamieson, lots of great pattern books, Green Mtn Spinnery.

Nanette said...

Here in Champaign-Urbana, we're fortunate enough to have two LYSes that are still flourishing. The one I go to most often is Needleworks, which is walking distance from my workplace. Sometimes I walk over there on my break when the weather is nice.

I taught myself to knit, and I taught myself incorrectly. When I took my first class at Needleworks, the instructor very kindly and gently showed me how to knit the correct way, and I've been knitting correctly ever since.

The staff at Needleworks are fantastic, and they carry yarn as well as needlepoint and embroidery supplies.

Marissa said...

The best yarn shop in RI is Unwind. Before I worked here I was a customer who loved joining in on the weekly knit nights! People come and just sit and knit all day. I have gotten to know so many new faces and love seeing them come back again and again.

amy said...

My LYS is Personal Threads in Omaha, Nebraska. Great selection - wonderful people.

Michele in Maine said...

My LYS is String Theory in Blue Hill, Maine. Karen and Tanis are very talented dyers and are always willing to help a knitter who's lost her way in a pattern! Their shop is full of wonderful yarns contained in beautiful cherry shelves. It's always a treat to visit!

Hilary0 said...

My LYS is KnitWit in Portland, ME.
They carry yarns from near and far. I love to see new Made-in-Maine yarns. Shop local!

calcairns said...

My LYS is Yarns on First in Napa, CA; because of this wonderful store I'm always able to sample the newest yarns as soon as they're available-- Noro, Mountain Colors and Isager, oh my. But mostly they helped me to be brave with color knitting and to try my first sweater, among other things; the kinds of help you can only get in person.

lisa said...

Have to give a shout for my LYS Butterfly Yarns, in Wakefield, MA. Friendly with a great selection of yarns. The pooches who greet you are the best :) Great classes too.

BarbaraL said...

My LYS is Yarndogs in Los Gatos, CA. I really enjoy the people I've met and become friends with through groups and classes. The staff are excellent and I can get pretty much anything I need for knitting there! I feel fortunate that although there have been some closures of shops in the area, there are still quite a few around.

kelley said...

My local LYS are:
City Knits in Detroit
Ewe-nique Knits in Royal Oak
Have you any wool in Berkley
All in Michigan and all great!

Wendy said...

I love Windsor Button in the heart of Boston, MA! I go there often because I work less than a 10 minute walk away. If I need a "yarn break", that is where I go. Of course... yarn is only a part of their store but that means they have anything else you need... And staff is helpful! :-D

Melissa Brown, Bristol, CT said...

A friendly and fun yarn store is in Plainville, CT. It's a fairly new kid on the block but is quickly becoming a favorite place to shop and meet new friends.
Bayberry Knitting on Whiting Street, which is a refurbished town street with brick walks and charming storefronts.
On Saturday mornings the sofas and chairs comfortably provide knitters an open forum to knit and visit.

Kate/Massachusetts said...

I have already won one of your blog contests, so please don't draw my name! But, I had to tell you about a great new yarn store right in Natick is called Ironhorse and it is wonderful! It is also an artists' coop, too! She has all sorts of yarns as well as fleece, spinning wheels, classes, and multiple "open knitting times". Next time you are out this way, stop in!

Tracey said...

there are two great LYS in san francisco: urban fauna studios, a tiny quirky fibre store with locally dyed and spun yarn that does lots of cool community events, and imagiknit which has a fabulous selection of yarns only a few blocks from my home. so many LYS have closed recently in the bay area! i'd hate to lose these two.

Jill L said...

My LYS is Cast Away in Santa Rosa. Lots of art-yarn and great vintage couches, tea and goodies. Great classes