Today is Love Your Yarn Shop Day.
It’s a day to support small, local craft businesses, which is a cause close to my heart. Many small businesses struggle to survive, particularly since the growth in Internet shopping. But money spent in local, independent businesses stays in the community, providing employment and enriching the local community.
I’m lucky to have enough disposable income that I can make conscious and mindful choices about how and where to spend my money. I have the luxury of being able to choose to support local businesses and buy free range and fair trade. But I’m particularly keen to support local craft shops. As well as giving one the chance to see and feel the colour, texture and drape of yarn and fabric, they can be the focal point for creating craft communities.
Wherever I go I make a point of seeking out local craft shops to see what they have. And I always try to buy something, even if it’s only a packet of darning needles or a row counter. I’m away from home at the moment, so today I went to a shop that is new to me, the Crafter’s Basket in Cliffoney in Co Sligo.
It’s an eclectic shop, with supplies for quilting, embroidery, sugarcraft and papercrafts. But the chief reason I went was that they stock Studio Donegal, a beautiful traditional Aran-weight Donegal tweed, spun in Kilcar. They spin for some of the major yarn manufacturers, but their own brand yarn is a fraction of the price (I paid €3.40 per 50g ball). It’s also virtually impossible to find for sale outside Ireland. So I was delighted to scoop up a sweater’s worth of it in this beautiful cobalt blue. I’m not sure what it wants to be yet, so suggestions in the comments section please!