Having been unraveled for due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the LA County Yarn Crawl is returning, stitching together 15 women-owned small businesses.
“We’re so excited to be bringing back the Los Angeles Yarn Crawl in 2022,” said Maridee Dangcil, president of the LA County Yarn Crawl.
“After missing two years, we’re also looking forward to welcoming all new crafters who started working with yarn while we were all asked to stay at home. If this is your first crawl or you are a seasoned veteran, it’s going to be a great weekend and there will be lots of new unique and special things to see and do.”
The sprawling event — from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 24, to Sunday, March 27 — covers a diverse group of yarn shops, including Gather LA, which is participating for the ninth time.
Returning this year is the passport prize promotion, where each of the 15 shops will feature a $300 gift basket prize. To enter, crawl participants will drop their completed passports with stamps from the Yarn Crawl sprawl of shops visited. See layarncrawl.org.
There will also be general crawl prizes, free patterns, and a treasure hunt pattern in knit and crochet.
Of the 15 shops —14 brick-and-mortars and one mobile truck — there are 20 owners featuring 11 California natives. The remaining U.S. transplants to LA County are from Austria, New York, Connecticut, Minnesota and Arizona. Together they have a 273 combined years of yarn business ownership experience.
Owned by Tifanee Taylor, Gather LA is housed in a bookstore that sells travel guides, attracting people from around the world. She understands the fine balance of meeting the needs of international travelers and Los Angeleno locals.
“I have some yarn from indie small buyers,” she said. “I have a brand called Galler Yarns and three of their yarn bases — the Super-B, W.O.W. and one that is 100% alpaca.”
Left-handed Taylor, who learned to crochet at age 5, ironically retaught herself to crochet in her 30s from a book found in Last Bookstore by sitting across from a friend using a mirroring technique. She finds herself as a shop owner mirroring her own fiber arts community’s need to stay looped into “creating” for her own relaxation and well-being.
Taylor had to pivot to loop during the pandemic.
“The very first weekend of the shutdown, I knitted a chunky fringed shawl, and it’s hanging up in the shop now,” she said.
“Making that really helped me stay grounded during those first days. I do hope that all the people who picked up a hook or needles over the pandemic will continue to knit and crochet and be interested in increasing their skills.”