One of my favorite features on this blog just doesn’t get the love it should. I am excited that people are getting vaccinated, though, and that small businesses are able to open again. It breaks my heart that giant corporations made billions during the pandemic while small businesses gasped to survive. Time magazine predicted that Jeff Bezos is making so much money, that he is expected to be the first trillionaire, ever, by 2026 and that is just…not necessary. Why does one person/company need all that wealth and power?
So, moving forward, I’m going to make a real effort to promote 1 small business a week. I’m based in CT so my reach is small but if you have a small business you would like featured, please let me know and I will do my best to check it out and promote it.
This week, I’m shouting from the rooftops my love for the small business, Craftworks.
This winter, as I struggled to entertain myself during unemployment, my Grandma and I took up knitting. We both needed hobbies while we were stuck inside and both had dabbled (many moons ago) in knitting. So, I googled small yarn shops near my Grandma and off we went to Craftworks.
The shining stars of this shop are the staff, who are so, so helpful. Grandma and I aren’t one to ease into anything so we immediately decided to start working on hats. Why start with a scarf? Everyone starts with a scarf. So boring! The staff not only helped us pick out the yarn and pattern, they actually sat down with us, one-on-one, and retaught us to cast-on, the basic stitches and, when we got stuck or messed up, we stopped by and they showed us what went wrong and how to fix it. Sarah and Stacey, especially, gave us a number of their Tuesday afternoon hours to help us work through projects.
After that project was complete, the staff helped us line up even more challenging projects, again, helping with new techniques and giving encouragement when needed. They are knowledgeable and kind and patient and I don’t have enough room in this post to sing their praises. I do caution that we tend to go mid-day, mid-week when the shop is quieter because we have the availability. If you can’t make it during the shop’s quieter hours, they do have a number of knitting and crochet classes available that you can sign up for.
The shop also has a wide variety of supplies and yarn, some small batch dyed yarns that are costly and others that are more affordable. I’ve purchased a number of knitting needles there, small tape to mark my place in a pattern, knitting markers, etc. They are well stocked and happy to help. Love a yarn but don’t see a color you want? I had no problem ordering a specific gray yarn to match my cute new hat that I will (eventually) use to make a matching scarf. Or cowl. I haven’t decided yet!
In addition to a yarn shop, Craftworks dedicates part of it’s store to local artisans, selling a variety of items such as pottery, jewelry, toys, puzzles and more. Nothing in that section is Made in China. Everything was crafted by artisans in the New England area. It’s updated seasonally so there is always something new to check out or gift to be purchased for a friend. My Grandma found a number of cute Massachusetts ornaments around Christmas that she gifted to out-of-area friends and family.
I know summer isn’t necessarily when one starts thinking about sitting down and knitting a scarf. or hats. or socks. But I strongly encourage you to take trip to Northboro if you get a chance and pick up a new project. After all, if you want a new hat for winter, now is a great time to start so it’s actually done in time for the cold! Trust me, I speak from experience- It always takes you longer than you think to finish a project! If you aren’t ready to make yourself a garment, check out ravelry.com. They have TONS of free knitting and crochet patterns and the staff will be happy to help you with any of them that you aren’t sure about. My current project (a bag) was actually a free pattern on ravelry that Stacey and I found together while Grandma got help from Diane on her never ending shawl project. Stacey not only went over yarn options for the pattern and how I would start the project, she liked it so much she started thinking about working on one herself! Again, they are so helpful.
I’m sorry this post doesn’t have more interior shots. Be sure to check out their facebook page, which is updated frequently, or the website for staff introductions and class schedules. If you check them out, be sure to tell them ‘Erin and Grandma’ sent you and tell them we said Hi! And be sure to share your project with me here or on my Instagram @trees_and_honeybees. I would love to see what you are working on!