Everyone has their own special place, a tiny corner of the world to hang out in and feel welcome. For knitters, it may be that little yarn shop tucked around the corner, found entirely by chance on a Saturday afternoon, or a palatial two-storey wool palace that everyone on Ravelry has been raving about, and well worth the drive to the other side of town. Wherever it is, that place is an integral part of the community, more than just bricks and mortar, it is the heart and soul, ready to greet knitters with a familiar smile and an excited response to a newly finished project, doling out a helpful hint or two, and offering a place to unwind from everyday stresses while sharing in a passion for a beloved craft.
What sets each lys (local yarn shop) apart and makes it unique is the chemistry that happens when knitters gather together inside those walls. Whether it is a charity knitting event, a social sit n stitch, or a scheduled workshop to learn new skills, the friendships that develop in these circles truly knit a community together one stitch at a time.
This summer take time to discover a new lys while on vacation or exploring your neighbourhood. For a list and review of knitting stores worldwide check out Knitmap, or log in at Ravelry and read the forums to see where knitters love to go. Supporting local yarn shops is much more than just good sense, eighty percent of the buying experience is tactile, feeling the texture of the yarn, and that is something you can’t get by shopping online.
Here are some light suggestions for your summer reading list and (you guessed it) all three novels take place in local yarn shops-
The little shop that started it all! Debbie Macomber has delighted readers for many years with her popular Blossom Street books. The Shop On Blossom Street was the first in the series, introducing us to Lydia Hoffman, the owner of a quaint Seattle yarn store. What starts out as a beginner class for knitters quickly snowballs into a charming interplay of characters brought together by their love of knitting. There are now more than ten books in this series, each one an easy summer read. Debbie drew on personal experience as the proprietor of a knitting shop in Port Orchard, Washington and introduced her own yarn label in 2010 to complement the book series.
With over a million copies sold, The Friday Night Knitting Club has captivated each and every knitter who reads it. Kate Jacobs, a homegrown Canadian writer sets a fictitious storyline around a Manhattan Upper West Side yarn shop run by Georgia Walker. Encouraged by a handful of her regular customers, a knitting club develops where the ladies gather once a week to work on projects and chit chat. The magic happens, when they realize they are also creating a sisterhood, and impact each other’s lives in unexpected ways. This feel-good story will make you want to join a knitting club. If you have already read this one, look for the sequel, Knit Two.
Looking to weave a light mystery into your summer reading list? The just-released, Close Knit Killer follows on the footsteps of Cast On, Kill Off by author, Maggie Sefton. This story takes place in Fort Connor, Colorado, centering around a cast of quirky characters that frequent the local knitting shop, The House of Lambspun. When a murder occurs, the knitting community draws together, and is more than just a little entangled.
Check our facebook page for a list of comments from fellow knitters about what makes their local yarn shop special.