In the past 6-8 months, we have had to say goodbye to many, many local yarn stores in our area. Some were only around for a few years, some were present in our lives for decades and make us mourn the end of an era when their closure is announced. It has me thinking a lot about the role of local businesses and worried that many don’t understand.
And I have a confession to make. I used to not get it. I used to have an severe Amazon addiction problem, and it probably accounted for about 90% of my spending. As I grew to know the lys that I eventually bought, I started to understand. I couldn’t walk into Amazon, feel welcome and liked, and have a rant about my day like I could my lys. I could get stuff cheap. And almost anything, to be fair. I can’t even begin to tell you the piles of junk I got….so very cheap and, well, didn’t need. But the thing that I couldn’t get and did need? A neighborhood. An investment in my life, home, and community. In fact, now, I feel like every dollar I ever spent online decreased multiple times over the amount of neighborhood connection that I could have gotten by paying a bit more, for better stuff, and the relationships that come with it. And though I’ve long worried about the deterioration of neighborhoods (being a mother will do that to you) I hadn’t quite understood the role of local businesses until I got to know my lys, and eventually became a lys owner.
There are studies in the world that tell you that local businesses put exponentially more of their money back into the community than their big box/internet counterparts and I believe that to be true. But it isn’t what I am talking about. I’m talking about being human. About the interaction that inevitably happens when you are helping someone learn to fix a dropped stitch and you learn about their child with autism or their spouse with cancer. I’m talking about the moment when people are allowed to learn, create, inspire and be inspired and be who they are, if they are in a bad place or a good place and to have somewhere that can happen with real live 3D people (no glasses required). Local businesses are invested. Not in stocks. Not in funds. But in the community and its well being…in you. Which is more valuable (and since becoming ever-more rare…increasingly more valuable) than anything you could think of.
And when I hear about a competitor closing, it gets tricky. I know my response on a business level is supposed to be “Yay! Less competition!” But as a person, and as a mother, I mourn for the loss of another place that was invested in the community and where people could connect. And the net result is sadness no matter what the business side of me is trying to convince me of. And I just hope that it reinvigorates people’s commitment, to their local stores…yarn stores, books stores, restaurants, gift shops, etc…the places that yell “Norm!” (or yuh know…what your name is) when you walk through the door.
Because at the end of the day, it is a business. And some part of my (and all local business owner’s) eye ball has to be on the (ehhem) business end because this is how I support myself and my daughter. And as local icons close their doors, I just hope that some tide will turn, and everyone will start to understand the value of local businesses and care about us as much as we care about you. Because really, in the end, we are you.
We are auctioning off this gorgeous Noro blanket for a friend. Please help if you can!
First stop: Ewes d’Bleu in Cleveland OH!!! Stop in and see all our yarns at this fabulous shop before April 3rd when the trunk show starts traveling again!
TOP-DOWN RAGLAN SWEATER WORKSHOP
In this multi-week class, you’ll learn a recipe for making a
raglan pullover or cardigan from the top down, in any size and
with any yarn. You’ll learn what measurements to make, how to
translate them into stitch and row counts, and how to plan
increases. Best of all, you can try the sweater on as you go to
see how it fits.
Skills required: Ease with casting on, knitting, purling, binding
off, and at least one increase and decrease method. Willingness
to do simple math.
Skills taught: Paired increases and decreases, adapting pattern
to specific yarn and size, grafting, provisional cast-on.
Optional skills: Picking up and knitting, colorwork; intarsia and
buttonholes (for cardigan only).
Materials: Calculator, pencil, & notebook. Measuring tape or
measurements from a person or sweater. Crochet hook, waste yarn,
stitch markers, embroidery needle. Appropriate circular needles
and yarn for the sweater. Optional: Buttons for the cardigan.
Cost: $120/person for 4 hour-long meetings and up to 1 h/person
1:1 time. 2/12, 2/26, 3/12, 3/26 5:30 pm.
Sorry, pressed “send” before I meant to.
QUICK CABLE WORKSHOP
Learn the art of knitting cables in an afternoon while you make
the 480-stitch Headband/Cowl (pattern free with class purchase).
Cables are the basis of many gorgeous sweater designs and are
surprisingly easy to learn — with or without a cable needle.
Skills required: Advanced-beginner skill with knit, purl, cast
on, and bind off.
Skills taught: cabling with or without a cable needle.
Materials: At least 100 yd super bulky yarn, circular or straight
needles to match yarn. Buttons (for finishing), cable needle
Cost: $30/person, 2 one-hour sessions 3/9 and 3/16.
Want to make a cute beret-style hat but don’t want to deal with
DPNs or magic anything? In this class you’ll learn to make a
pretty hat, knitted flat in garter stitch, that you can wear
during the transition from winter to spring. Pattern is free and
will be provided.
Skills required: Comfort with casting on, knitting, and binding
Skills taught: Short rows, Kitchener stitch (grafting), 3-needle
Materials: 1 skein (at least 100 yards) bulky or super-bulky yarn
and straight or circular needles to match. 2 stitch markers and
an embroidery needle.
Cost: $40/person for 2 sessions (1.5 hours each). 3/12, 3/19
MITRED SQUARES WORKSHOP
Ever wonder what to do with all your yarn scraps? Come learn how
to make mitred squares to start a blanket. We’ll use the “Stained
Glass Afghan” pattern (available free on Ravelry), and in an hour
or so you’ll learn how to make decreases to form the first square
and how to pick up and knit to start the second square.
Skills required: Comfort with casting on, knitting, purling, and
Skills taught: Paired decreases, picking up and knitting.
Materials: 2 colors of yarn in the same weight and circular
needles (at least 24″ long) to match. One color will be the
border color, so you may want to purchase enough for at least a
small blanket. Stitch markers and embroidery needle.
Cost: $15/person, 1 hour. Sat. 3/2
MOEBIUS CAST-ON WORKSHOP
Making a gorgeous drapey cowl with a half-twist is easier than you
think and requires no sewing up. Come learn the moebius cast-on
and make either a Combo Cowl (beginner) or a Make-Your-Own
Colorway Cowl (intermediate). Pattern free with class purchase.
Skills required: Knit, purl, binding off.
Skills taught: Moebius cast-on; Linen Stitch (for MYO Colorway
Materials: Combo Cowl requires 2 skeins combo yarn and a 36-inch
#10 circular needle. MYO Colorway Cowl requires 3 colors of yarn
in the same weight and a 36-inch circular needle to match.
Cost: $15/person, 1 hour. Sat 2/23.
Let’s celebrate MLK Day with some color! All week long (until Saturday, the 26th), regular Cascade 220 (not superwash) will be 20% off! No special orders so get it before it flies out of the store!
Karen put together a great beginner class for February. Here are the details:
Whether you’re just learning to knit or looking to brush up
long-dormant skills, this class is for you. You’ll learn and
practice the four most important knitting skills: casting on,
knitting, purling, and binding off. You’ll make a sleek clutch
purse and, when you’re done knitting it, you’ll felt it to make it
sturdier. As a bonus, none of your mistakes will show, but you’ll
end up with a useful knitted object for yourself or someone
$65/person for 4 Tuesdays, 5:30-7:00 pm beginning February 5th. Class limited to 4.
Pattern will be provided, but you should come to class with 1
skein (at least 100 yards) of worsted-weight 100% wool yarn, NOT
superwash, and 1 set of straight or circular needles, size 7, 8,
or 9. You can get all your materials when you come in to sign up for class!
We’ve been talking a lot about cast-on mania in the store, and I think the jury is still out about whether we are doing it or not this year, so what do you all think? If you are wondering what it is, here’s a blurb from last year’s COM:
The purpose of Cast-on Mania February is to combat the general doldrums of February by doing something we knitters all love to do every day….cast on something new.
Sure, it was crazy. And we generally all poked a lot of fun at the level of crazy that this plan was. But then a strange thing started happening around mid-February….ENVY! “I wanna cast-on something new,” was heard throughout the store making the crazy contagious. Since then, I’ve thought it might be fun to just jump in this February and do it ourselves….complete with a big ole prize!
Yes, it was insane, but tons of fun. So here’s a poll for you so I know where you all stand -
We’ve got some changes in our hours just for the next week or so.
Monday, December 24: 12 to 3 (no knit night)
Wednesday, December 26: 12 to 5
Thursday, December 27: 12 to 5 (no knit night)
Friday, December 28: 12 to 5
Saturday, December 29th: 12 to 5
Monday, December 31st: 12 to 3 (no knit night)
I have some wonderful friends covering for my while I am away the 28th to the 31st, so let’s make it easy on them….no destashing or class sign ups on those days, ok? Thanks!
I’ve been hoping to figure out something “helpful” to do ever since last Friday. Sadly, I’m still not in a place where it’s possible to say too much without becoming a puddle, but I did think that maybe this would be nice – Until January 14, 2013, 100% of proceeds from Emiline Doll and Outift pattern sales will be donated to the Newtown Youth and Family Services (http://www.newtownyouthandfamilyservices.org/). Make a doll to donate or for a little one that you love. She’s quick and fun and just might bring a smile when someone needs it most! And small enough to fit in a pocket when school days come again.
I don’t know if it’s the right helpful thing. But it’s the thing right now. Find all the Emiline patterns here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#designer=Victoria%20Myers&availability=online&view=captioned_thumbs&sort=date&pc=softies|dollclothes
Even if you don’t want to buy a pattern, please share the post so that others might!
Online shopping is back up! And as usual, since it took me forever, there’s a sale to go along with it! Save an extra 20% in the SALE section through all of Columbus Day weekend with code CATCHINGUP. Huge savings off already marked down lovelies! http://islandyarncompany.bigcartel.com/