Sunday, January 24, 2010

2010.


I started the new year with the unfortunate news that my local yarn shop would be closing at the end of the month. Very sad! Not only will I miss having a store nearby to shop for gorgeous yarns, find unique patterns, and pick up the most recent copy of Interweave Knits, but I will also miss seeing the familiar faces that the shop has introduced me to since I moved here a little over a year ago.

{fingerless mitts, a birthday gift knit by rosemary from this pattern.}

The reason for the shop closing goes beyond the poor economy (I won't get into it here) but I must say it has been unfortunate watching a number of our regular patrons turn to online resources to buy their materials rather than supporting the local ones right here in town just to save a buck.

{thrummed mittens, in progress, malabrigo worsted yarn and this pattern.}

Often, a LYS can be more than just a store that caters to knitters, spinners, and crocheters. It is also a spot for local artists, crafters, designers and folks of all ages to gather, socialize, share what they are making, and often learn a new skill. Our LYS has hosted shows by local artists of various mediums, classes and workshops on a number of different crafts, and was a meeting place for many local fiber groups.


On numerous visits to the area before I even moved out here, I always tried to include a visit to the shop. The staff was friendly, helpful and enthusiastic about everything! Since moving here over a year ago I have also found part time work in the store and taught several classes and workshops. We live in a somewhat rural part of the state and have fiber lovers who travel for hours to come to our shop since it is (or was) the only one around. The shop will be greatly missed in the community, both as a local business and a unique creative outlet.


It's important, though, not to forget that a LYS is a business, too, and the space to gather share projects, ideas, and art would not exist if we do not support these stores by purchasing materials there, even if it sometimes costs a little bit more. I know the economy is tough right now and many of us don't have have as much money to spend on luxuries like yarn as we would like, but at times like this is is also important to think about where your money is going when you spend it, rather than just how much you are spending.

Thanks for letting me ramble a bit! Hope your new year and projects are going well!

7 comments:

suzy smalls said...

i couldn't agree more, and thank you for saying these things so succinctly and so eloquently. well done.
also: look at that thrummed mitt!!! wow!!!

Maryse said...

This is a really great post! I don't often go to LYSs because I don't knit that much and I don't want a "stash" to look at ;-) but when I buy, I do try to buy local! Very nice mittens!

vanessa.e. said...

Thank you both! yay for buying local! And i am glad you like my mittens!

abby said...

I like the BOOK! You reminded me that I wanted to read it so I added it to my library holds.

And, obviously, I agree with what you said about supporting local businesses.

gettingpurlywithit said...

Hi Vanessa,

How sad your LYS closed... I whole heartedly agree what you wrote about supporting your local yarnshop.

I would not know what to do if mine would close!

Am a bit late... but happy 2010 after all :)

Anonymous said...

Have you ever shopped online at Knit Picks.....

vanessa.e. said...

anonymous commenter...

I ordered yarn from their once. it was really nice yarn, but the experience was just not as much fun as going into a local shop with friendly people, lovely samples, and yarns to touch!

Oh, and Abby...

you will love the Bicycle Diaries! PLUS the idea of David Byrne and Cindy Sherman cycling around NY makes my art-school-heart skip a beat.