Those of us in the UK often talk of our dreams to live in the ‘States, their blogs and magazines paint pictures of yarn stores on every street. But not just any yarn store – beautiful stores, that stock the most exquisite yarns, staff with a wealth of knowledge that are only too happy to share it with you. Workshop programs so enticing you consider becoming a full-time student. Yarn stores where you can pull up a chair and sit and knit with like-minded fibre heads with a slice of cake nearby.
Here in the UK there never seems to be enough yarn stores and rarely the yarntopias I describe. Talk to any UK yarn store owner and they will tell you that there isn’t the trade to support these ventures, and that online retailers are forcing them out of business. I do not claim to be a business wiz, but the ‘States have online yarn retailers too! Anyway, I feel I am starting to digress! My reason for writing this post is to tell you about an exciting initiative from Let’s Knit, Let’s Get Crafting and Craft Business magazines to support local businesses.
Yarn Shop Day is on 3rd May and has been launched to encourage knitters and crocheters to head to their local yarn shop and meet up with like-minded crafters, attend workshops, and hopefully eat a slice of cake or two. Find out if your local yarn store has signed up yet here, if they have not, ask them why!
UK designers including Erika Knight, Louisa Harding, Jenny Watson, Sarah Hatton, Sue Stratford, Sarah Hazell, ME, Anniken Allis, Julie Ferguson, Lynne Rowe, ME, Catherine Hirst, Amanda Berry, Lauren O’Farrell and did I mention, Jane Burns? We will be joining the campaign as ambassadors, and will be visiting local shops on the big day – so keep an eye out for the events planned at your local store!
Let’s Knit Magazine asked me to write a short article about why yarn stores are important to me. For maximum effect please read the following whilst listening to ‘Our Tune’ the weepy theme tune from the Simon Bates radio show, that played in the background whilst the saddest tales were read aloud on air.
“In our ever increasingly hectic lives more and more of it is spent online. We yarn lovers spend hours drooling over the 1000’s of beautiful patterns available at the click of a button. Then we think nothing of swiftly ordering the required yarn, even if it is 1am. It is a great feeling when that squishy parcel of yarnie goodness arrives. But, take a moment to remember just how much you love the bricks and mortar knitting shop. How they are always keen to help you when you are stuck, or you are not sure about the yarn substitution you are about to make. Remember the times when the postman has delivered your yarn and you have thought, that’s not quite the colour I ordered, or that’s a little scratchy. Yarn stores are so much more than just a shop; they are little communities where like-minded fibre enthusiasts gather to share experience and inspiration. Please support your local store, I need them. It is the only place I can go and not get strange looks for stroking delicate fibres against my face.”
Please encourage your local yarn shop to sign up. More importantly, clear your diary and get along to your yarn shop and join in and make new fibre-loving friends.
I would love to hear from you about what makes your local yarn store special, or what you would like to see in your area. What makes a great yarn store?