Raise a Shuttle to Your Weaving Supplier

It’s a sad time here in Yamhill County. Woodland Woolworks, our local fiber arts shop, is closing. The economy, rising import costs, and the price of shipping all have taken their toll. The owner fought the good fight, but is finally preparing to close her doors.

 

As a guild friend said, “Where will I go when I just need to run over for a cone of 10/2 cotton?” I’ll miss the great luxury of living ten minutes drive from yarn on cones, weaving books, a damask shuttle or extra bobbins, but this shop means far more to me than the goods it supplied. I first visited when my youngest was a year old, and the “shop” was in the original owner’s basement on her farm. I took my first spinning lessons and weaving lessons from her, and I bought my first spinning wheel and my first rigid heddle loom there. (And my first floor loom, and my second. . .)

 

The shop moved from a basement to a storefront, and later to a large building with a show room and classroom space. My daughter would come with me to the first shop, and we would sit on the stairs and read the children’s books from the shelves: The Goat in the Rug, and Danny, the Knitting Dinosaur. As the shop grew, so did my skills and interests, aided by the classes offered there. Eventually, I began to teach there, and my teenage daughter began to visit the shop for supplies for her own weaving, spinning, knitting and crochet projects. I’ll miss the quick access to weaving supplies, but most of all I’ll miss the community of our local shop: seeing my friends who work there, running into guild members, meeting new friends in fiber arts classes.

 

Anita with Leslie Leonard of the Eugene Textile Center

Me with Leslie Leonard of the Eugene
Textile Center,
one of our wonderful
Oregon weaving vendors, at a recent
conference. (ETC is alive and well, BTW.)

  

My point with all of this is not to make you sad. People’s lives change, and businesses come and go. But I do want to take this opportunity to salute the courage of those who feed our passions by making our looms and tools, supplying our yarn, having shops, publishing books, teaching classes, running weaving studios, etc. These are all true labors of love. With luck, our vendors make a living. When Forbes magazine publishes its list of the world’s richest people, no fiber arts vendor appears in its pages. They do what they do out of care for the craft and dedication to the community. So next time you drop into your local weaving store, pick up the phone, or send in an Internet order, please raise a shuttle to the dedicated folks who supply our craft needs. They provide us with worth beyond measure.

Anita

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