I hate to start off my first blog post by stating the obvious, but this past year has been hard. The pandemic has impacted every part of our lives, from how we grocery shop to how long and shaggy we are willing to let our hair get, to how we work, socialize and celebrate life’s milestones. We haven’t been able to meet as a Guild, holidays have been celebrated over the internet, and we all have faced separation and isolation as we try to keep each other safe by keeping apart.
The worry, anxiety and stress each of us has faced has affected everyone differently. As knitters, some people have found their projects a source of comfort and relief, and others haven’t been able to pick up their needles. Some people are immersing themselves in intricate patterns or new techniques, others are finding the familiarity of garter stitch to be what they want to work with. Others, myself included, keep bouncing between the extremes.
As a society, long overdue and well-deserved recognition and appreciation has been given to those often overlooked – teachers, health care workers and support staff, grocery and retail employees. But for those of us who have found our knitting in our hands a lot this past year, I would like to extend that appreciation to our local yarn stores.
This Saturday, April 17th, is Local Yarn Store Day, or LYS Day for short. Started four years ago by TNNA to recognize the importance of local shops in knitting communities and the vital role they have with yarn manufacturers and dyers, LYS Day provides us a moment to pause and reflect on these small businesses and how important they are to us.
Our local shops, of course, provide us with the materials for our craft, but their services go well beyond supplies. They help us pair a pattern and a yarn, provide advice, shows us tips and tricks as we work on our projects, and connect knitters through classes and social gatherings. They are irreplaceable as knowledge repositories, and vital to our growth as knitters.
They have adapted to the rapidly changing “new normal,” even when it means shutting down in-store sales completely, offering curbside pickup, shifting to phone and web orders, and setting up shopping appointments. They have implemented new policies to keep everyone safe while allowing us to get yarn and check in with our communities, often without guidance from experts.
This year, LYS Day seems even more important as a way to give back to the businesses that have been there for us even through these hard times. If you are able, consider stopping in to your shop and saying thank you, or send a card or email. While Governor DeWine may disagree, to me, our local yarn shops provide an essential service.
Until next time, stay safe, take care of yourself, and happy knitting. Kristin
A list of local yarn shops:
Fiber and Fusion (http://www.fiberandfusion.com)
HANK a Yarn Boutique (https://www.hankyarn.com)
Noah’s Landing (http://www.noahslandingyarns.com)
Silk Road Textiles (https://silkroadcincinnati.com)
Wooly Bully (https://www.facebook.com/woolybullyyarncompany/)