This is the weekend to buy yarn in WNC

Elizabeth Schell, owner of Purl's Yarn Emporium in Asheville, finishes a "Star Trek" themed tree in celebration of this weekend's WNC Yarn Crawl.

Yarn aficionados will be out in force this weekend for the Western North Carolina Yarn Crawl. With 11 locally owned yarn shops participating, knitters, crocheters and weavers likely will find everything they’re looking for.

In preparation for the event, Purl’s Yarn Emporium owner Elizabeth Schell was out on Wall Street in downtown Asheville on Monday morning, “yarn bombing” the street — covering parking meters, trees and sculptures with colorful knitted and crocheted “cozies.”

“Usually, this wouldn’t be peak season for yarn buying,” Schell says, fastening a “Star Trek” themed cozy around a tree across from her shop. “A lot of people don’t like to knit or crochet when the weather gets warm, but this gives people a little incentive.”

Kim Coyne finishes attaching a cozy to a post on Wall Street.
Kim Coyne finishes attaching a cozy to a post on Wall Street.

During the Yarn Crawl, which begins on Thursday, May 5, and ends on Sunday, May 8, all 11 stores will offer drawings for prizes, classes and special deals on yarns, many of them local.

Friends and Fiberworks on Smoky Park Highway in Candler has scheduled a number of classes for the four-day event, and will offer knit or crochet patterns with every yarn purchase. Store owner Lisa Mackey reached out to other yarn store owners several years ago when her shop was in the Biltmore Square Mall. “We really do have a high level of cooperation among the stores in the region,” says Marie Hendrix, co-owner of Asheville Home Crafts in the Grove Arcade. “We all kind of have our own specialties, so it helps us to work together.”

Hendrix and business partner Judy Quinn have offered local yarns and locally made hats, scarves and more, for nearly 15 years. “We used to figure out how much we were contributing to the local economy,” Hendrix says, “and the last year we did it, the total was over $100,000. We buy wool from local farmers and yarn from local people who spin and dye it, and we sell things on consignment from local artisans who knit, spin, crochet and weave.”

Hendrix and Quinn both learned their crafts from their grandmothers, they say, and now, as grandmothers themselves, they’re passing on what they know to their own grandchildren.

Back out on Wall Street, Kim Coyne fastens a cozy around a parking meter. She moved here from Michigan last year, in part because she loves the craftiness of the region.

If you go:

• Asheville Home Crafts, 1 Page Ave (in the Grove Arcade)
Crawl hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, noon-5 Sunday
Phone: 350-7556

• Purl’s Yarn Emporium, 10 Wall St.
Crawl Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 253-2750

• Earth Guild, 33 Haywood St.
Crawl hours:  10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 255-7818

• Knitting Diva, 61 N. Merrimon Ave., Suite 113 in the Shops at Reynolds Village
Crawl Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday
Phone: 247-0344

• Black Mountain Yarn Shop, 201A W. State St., Black Mountain
Crawl Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 669-7570

• Friends and Fiberworks, 19 Westridge Market Place, Candler
Crawl hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 10-a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 12:30-6 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 633-2500

• Echoview, 76 Jupiter Road, Weaverville
Crawl hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday
Phone: 693-4237

• Silver Threads and Golden Needles, 41 E, Main St., Franklin
Crawl hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, closed Sunday
Phone: 349-0515

• Yummi Yarns, 17 W, Main St., Burnsville
Crawl hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 682-0418

• Kniticality, 55 Robin Lane, Saluda
Crawl hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 749-3640

• OSuzannah’s Yarn on Union, 130 W. Union St., Morganton
Crawl Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 430-3300


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