Today I got a sad letter in my email inbox. The Yarn Spot, a knitting store in Wheaton, MD, is closing. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about the store, so I thought I’d take a moment to reflect.
In June 2010 Mr. Turtle had just graduated Davidson College, and I was wrapping up my contract working for the Davidson College Theatre Department. Michael had just gotten a job working for the Advisory Board Company in DC, and I was rather desperately looking for employment. After having our apartment in Maryland fall apart, I found a place to sublet with a crocheter on Ravelry, and we moved in just as summer hit full swing. Still being in the recession, I was finding full-time employment rather difficult to find. Our landlady pointed me towards The Yarn Spot, and shortly thereafter Victoria, one of the owners, had hired me part-time to teach crochet and work in the store.
The Yarn Spot gave me a place to grow. My job with the Davidson Theatre Department had been a poor fit, and I was too inexperienced to ask for the support I needed. It left my confidence shaken. The Yarn Spot was where I began to get my confidence back. There, I was able to allow my expertise to shine. I was allowed to develop my first classes for an adult audience. I was allowed to peel back the curtain of the Yarn Industry. I learned about yarns by fondling them, knitting them up, and listening to what other customers had to say.
It’s hard not to talk about The Yarn Spot without talking about the culture of the store. The Yarn Spot drew on a large base of deeply Jewish people, and it’s there I learned the meaning of so many yiddish words, ideas and concepts. Preparations for Pesach (Passover) were discussed in the store; it is there I learned what a Sukkot was. On slow afternoons, Victoria would discuss with me Jewish mourning traditions or recipes.
I moved from DC just as The Yarn Spot was moving into their new space. We’d drifted apart before then – I’d moved further away from the store, and was unable to work there as an employee anymore. Still, every time I’d run into Victoria, Marianne and Lee at Trade Shows or when I was able to stop by the store, it was wonderful to catch up with them. I’m so glad that the store existed, and I hope they all are successful with wherever life takes them next.
If you live in the DC/VA/MD area, The Yarn Spot is having an end-of-business sale. From February 10-18th, everything will be 50% off. From February 19-29th, everything will be 75% off. You should stop by!