Well, a sign of the times–my local yarn shop (LYS) is closing its doors the end of August.
I haven’t actually asked the owners why this is happening. I can only guess. Perhaps online shopping is digging into their sales (although yarn is so tactile, there is nothing online that can compare with holding it in your hands) or the pandemic put them so far behind they haven’t been able to catch up. One way or the other, I’m assuming sales are down.
Or perhaps they’re being forced out of their building by land developers, who are rampant in the area, and they know they won’t be able to rent anything else for the same price.
What I know for sure is this: I will miss them. I’ve been an avid knitter for 43 years, and never lived in a town without at least one yarn store. Some have definitely been better than others, but they all provided me with what I needed. Not just yarn, but the supplies you sometimes forget about when you’re starting a project, like the right size needles.
Don’t tell me I can buy yarn at Hobby Lobby or Walmart. Nuh-uh. It’s not the same as the top quality yarn you can purchase at a LYS. There’s something wonderful about discovering a new merino wool, re-discovering Shetland wool or finding out there is such a thing as machine washable alpaca. You don’t get that at chain stores.
And yarn stores have been more than a place to purchase supplies. I’ve met some of my closest friends in them, debated relationships around the stitch-and-bitch tables, taken refuge during some of my saddest days. They are community centers as much as they are places to shop, full of character and spirit.
So I’m mourning the loss of a brick-and-mortar friend. Farewell, good buddy.
Image Credits : yarn © Maciej Bledowski–stock.adobe.com; women knitting © AboutLife–stock.adobe.com