Thursday, March 19, 2009

For the Love of Yarn

I believe that our beloved yarn industry is facing a perfect storm. The horrible economy combined with the fact that many folks have built yarn stashes that could easily last for many years to come is not a good thing. No. It’s a very bad thing indeed for the yarn industry we all rely on so much. And yes, that industry includes me.

I first want to say that Fearless Fibers is alive and well and weathering this storm. I second want to say THANK YOU and THANK YOU and THANK YOU again to all of you. You are the ones who are making it possible for my little business to survive in these times. It has always meant a great deal to me to think that you choose to spend some of your yarn dollars in my shop, but the fact that you do so in these difficult times – while spending so carefully and thoughtfully and selectively – is something for which I am and will always be eternally grateful.

With that said, I will openly admit that it’s not easy. It’s never been easy to make it in this industry, but in these days, it’s harder than ever. Yarn dieting is all the rage. For many, it is a necessity.

So what is the answer? How do we save this industry we love from a potential downward spiral (or worse yet, freefall)?

The answer, my friends, is simple: Teach someone to knit.

What if every LYS around the country hosted a special “bring a non-knitter friend” night? (What if the rowdier knitting clubs hosted a “Pop a knitting cherry night”?) What if an instructor or two at each shop gave up an evening free of charge and held impromptu knitting basics lessons for these folks? What if we all taught our nieces and nephews and cousins? What if we posted notices on bulletin boards at work and coordinated with our local instructors to hold on-site lessons at the workplace? What if we held informal learn-to-knit sessions at foodcourts and coffee shops? What if we all brought a friend with us to our next fiber show or shop crawl and introduced them to the siren’s call of the yarn?

Not all would catch the fever, but many would I’m sure, because after all, knitting is about the best activity ever known to mankind, is it not?

It goes without saying that when I say “knitting” that is simply out of habit, since I am of course a Knitter, but I certainly mean crochet as well. Or tatting. Or weaving. Or spinning. Or whatever your fibery pleasure may be.

Could we add 10,000 to our numbers? 100,000? How many?

I suppose my lone little voice in the vast wilderness of the online knitting world is just a faint whisper in the trees. Quick . . . someone who knows the Yarn Harlot - or any other luminary in our world - go tap her on the shoulder and ask her to read this request. Ask her to issue a challenge to the knitting community. Ask her to have people report their numbers taught. Ask her to add a tally (you know the kind, like a fundraiser thermometer) to her blog. Imagine the frenzy of activity and energy that could be created: the birth of a new wave of knitters.

A girl can dream, right?


Lynne E. said...

I really love your solution for shoring up the yarn industry! And you'll still be seeing me in your shop in 2009.

momsue84 said...

You are so right, Deb!! Spot on! And I, too, will be visiting your shop often. There of those of us who would rather buy yarn than food and clothing.

Bobbie in Alaska said...


I am completely new to knitting - have been since November 2008.

I found your etsy shop via We Heat Yarn, and then made it over to your blog.

I have to admit that I am already stocking up and stashing for future projects.

Every yarn I see, I love.

The economy woes have hit us here too, but maybe not as bad as elsewhere. Thus, I am buying quite a bit locally and online. In a very short amount of time I have become selective. I'd rather buy from those who put there heart and soul into their art than from national shops such as Michaels etc.

I totally agree with your suggestion of teaching someone to knit. My young daughter has just started. I just wish I had learned at a younger age.

Your yarn is lovely.