yarn shop
Ball & Skein & More in Cambria, California will be participating in the fourth annual Local Yarn Store Day.

Local Yarn Store Day is a program launched four years ago by The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) to bring customers into local yarn stores. Participating shops often run exclusive promotions for the day, offer unique products, and collaborate with local designers for trunk shows and special events. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 17.

Although TNNA suspended most member operations in May 2020, the TNNA committee that organizes Local Yarn Store Day is still active and is excited that 2021 will mark the event’s fourth year. “When I was the TNNA Yarn Group chair, working with our committee on LYS Day was a total dream,” says Courtney Kelley of Kelboure Woolens. “I really wanted to create something that would bring yarn shops and yarn makers together to serve the community of knitters, while staying true to the mission of TNNA – to support successful independent businesses by inspiring needleart in every community every day. I think seeing it happen now year after year really affirms that we are all able to work together to create something magical for the industry and the customers we serve.”

“It’s been truly a grassroots effort,” says Oz Barron of Ball & Skein & More in Cambria, California who is chairing the committee again this year. “Everyone that has participated in this still new venture has been key in its success.”

woman in a yarn shop
Cynthia Spencer’s shop, Stitch Your Art Out, will be participating this year.

For Local Yarn Store Day 2021 many shops will still be impacted by the pandemic. Retail shops have not been able to fully reopen in many areas, and social distancing is still in effect.

“It’s especially important to support local shops so that when we do come through the pandemic, those shops are still there,” says Cynthia Spencer, owner of Stitch Your Art Out, a local yarn and quilt shop located in Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania, a small town that’s a 10-minute drive from Penn State University. “All the shop owners I know are trying hard to keep their shops as safe as possible, and I hope that people will reward those efforts by shopping with them, whether online or in person. I love local shops, and I want to see us all thrive.”

Besides being a shop owner, Spencer is also a knitwear designer. For Local Yarn Store Day 2021 she’ll be continuing an ongoing collaboration with designer Valerie Reed. The duo is creating a travel-themed shawl knit-along. The road trip mystery pattern will be a romp through Maryland where Reed grew up and the shop will be selling yarn packs created by a hand-dyer to give shops and knitters combinations that are certain to work. Shops can sign up at roadtripmystery.com.

Artist and maker Ann Mikeal is excited for Local Yarn Store Day this year, even though it may be still a bit different. Mikeal’s business, Twin Mommy Creations, is best known for quirky polymer clay stitch markers and hand-dyed yarns in vibrant colorways. The first two years of Local Yarn Store Day she made commemoratives items for customers who came to spend the day with her at the local shops in and around Tampa.

“This year I feel like it will be even more important because everyone has been so limited in what they have been able to do. Some people have been 100% business as usual, while others have been completely secluded from the outside world,” Mikeal says. For Local Yarn Store Day 2021, she’ll be at Criativity in Largo, Florida for a trunk show. “We have also lost quite a few shops over the last year due to the pandemic, so the ones that remain really need our support.”

Are you a retailer or vendor who will be participating in Local Yarn Store Day this year? Visit the Local Yarn Store Day website and register so that customers can local participating businesses in their local area. And mark your calendar to do some yarn shopping on April 17!

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