Now, it’s a known phenomenon covered in many a blog post that the Great British High Street is going through tough times. But can you imagine a world in which you literally couldn’t go into a shop to look things, but had to rely on photos? Knitting and crochet are such tactile hobbies that so many of us enjoy a trip into a shop just to coo over and fondle the goods, without needing anything at all, but our yarn shops are under this same doomsday retail threat. Reasons are many and won’t be discussed in this post, but most importantly, how do we counteract it, and encourage survival of these yarny caves of wonder?
Keep Yarn On Our Streets is a nationwide campaign, the brainchild of lovely Louisa who owns The Fibre Lounge, and it brings together many of the UK’s vibrant and diverse yarn shops, working together to gain momentum and get attention. The overall aim of the campaign is to raise awareness among knitters and crocheters of what our local yarn shops have to offer, and why customers should invest their hard earned money on supporting local. You’ll be seeing the campaign logo, values and statements all over the place as the group of yarn shop owners participating start sharing online and bombarding all our contacts with it – and if you want to know even more, the campaign has it’s own website and Instagram.
The campaign proper will cover October, and there are loads of ways you can take part. Anything from a purchase or two from your own local yarn shop to simply sharing the campaign on your social media will all help raise awareness. Each participating shop will also have its own branded version of the Keep Yarn On Our Streets logo as a funky enamel pin badge, available for purchase for you to show your support – each shop also has a different colour yarn ball on the badge; The York Makery one will be in company-colours Teal! Furthermore, if you’re a pin badge collector (I know I am, they all go on my knitting bag!) you can join in the campaign’s competition – first three yarnie badge collectors to 10 pin badges wins an exciting prize worth £100.
It’s still a little while off, but I’m looking forward to participating in this a LOT. I’m sure a lot of our regulars will be super keen to pop in and support when the badges appear in store, and hopefully we will see some new faces too! Let’s keep those squishable, soft and strokeable yarns in places where we can go and touch them – support your local yarn shop and Keep Yarn On Our Streets!