Thanks to the yarn shops

Posted by Sylvia Olsen on

Yarn shops are a key to the revival of the knitting culture. In each shop we have visited there are one or two amazing women that are making it happen. We were first introduced to what I think is the new face of knitting in Canada when we met Darlene and Alanna from Top Drawer in Prince George. They have built a vibrant knitting community in a tiny upstairs corner of an old building that is bulging with yarn and handworking tools and brimming with enthusiasm, friendship, creativity, and the promise of more and better things to come.

We found the same passion in Seattle when we were at Tea Cosy Yarn Shop, Acorn Street Yarn, Wildfibers in Mt Vernon and Tolt Yarn in Carnation. And it’s not just the shopkeepers, it’s also the staff who are creating these communities.

We’ve shared the hospitality of Glenda at Wet Coast Wool in Vancouver, Camella at Twist of Yarn in Vernon and Sally at Art of Yarn in Kelowna. Look out Armstrong Kathleen is creating Twisted Purl Yarn Studio on your main street. We were just with Jeanette and Anna at Nelson's Maplerose and even the tiny yarn corner in the shop has a following of devoted knitters.Maplerose in Nelson

The yarn store women love yarn, knitting, and have a flare for colour and display. Their shops are usually stocked with samples, many they knit themselves. It helps to have a husband like Mike at Wet Coast who does all the tech support and gives a hand at anything or Ryan at Twist of Yarn who maintains the physical shop. And the gorgeous husband-carpentry at Tolts in Carnation is a must see. These women are the brilliant front end of the knitting revival bringing new yarn brands and styles, knitting technologies and knitters together.

I don’t know if other retail sectors that are as vibrant and creative, but the knitting sector is in good hands; it is doing something very special. It is commercialism done right because it is mixed with passion, love, respect, creativity, innovation, intelligence, quality, and… I’d love to hear words that come to your mind…

I am privileged to have the opportunity to meet so many of these hard working shopkeepers. I hope that I can play a role in inspiring knitters and in building the knitting community. If these stores are to survive and thrive we all need to buy local—I am doing my part by filling bags with wonderful yarn, needles, books…

Another key to the revival is coming from the knitting guilds...more on those later.


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