Brick and Mortar yarn stores have been struggling to stay afloat even before the pandemic began three years ago. Then the pandemic hit and many more closed their doors, and if they were lucky were able to transition to solely virtual.
While it’s nice to be able to buy yarn from the comfort of your own home, there is more to be said to being able to go to a LYS (Local Yarn Shop) where you can see and feel the yarn for yourself. Many also have samples up where you can see completed projects made with the yarn. Many of these shops also have a seating / work area where crafters could come and work on projects and get help with a pattern and what not.
With the physical spaces closing down, it is harder for the community to come together and be able to have in person interaction with other crafters where they are from.
I know for myself, getting to wool and sheep festivals like Rhinebeck and others back east and in the Midwest are not necessarily feasible or practical in order to have the comraderie with fellow crafters.
Not only had my favorite LYS closed down several years ago (Happy Knits on SE Hawthorne in Portland), I found out that one on my list of yarn shops to visit, closed their brick and mortar shop two and a half years ago. This was Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge Island (near Seattle). This was one of the “destination yarn shops” that was relatively close to me, as in a weekend adventure for me. While I can still order yarn online, I do miss the whole adventure and change of scenery aspect to it.
Part of why it makes me sad is because the generations older than me, who are not as tech savvy as my generation and those younger than I am, are missing out on the yarn shopping options that used to exist. Knitting (and Crocheting) almost died out once. I would hate to see that happen again.
For the past decade or so, I have wanted to visit as many LYS as I could in different places I went. I thought it would be fun to have socks made from yarn I bought wherever I went. The more LYS that close their physical locations, that makes this harder.
I know I talk more about knitting than Crocheting, because I am a knitter. That’s what I do. Crocheter’s are just as important as knitters.
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