Monday, May 6, 2013

Farewell, Fresh Purls

A sad fact: yet another LYS bites the dust. The latest casualty, Fresh Purls on Hope Street in Providence, Rhode Island, will shut its winsome little door before the end of the month.

Now Providence has no yarn shop. What, I wonder, will fill the void? Since every other LYS in the state is at some distance from the city, knitters will have to drive or be driven to buy yarn locally.

Sudden Yarn Store Death (SYSD) is on the rise, alas. Maybe it's the economy; maybe it's because of increasing Internet sales, maybe it's a lot of snowballing factors.  Knit One Purl Two in Wakefield, Rhode Island, and Windsor Button in Boston have also recently succumbed. Here's an interesting article , "The Assault on Local Yarn Stores" from the Albany, New York area paper, The Times Union, on the SYSD phenomenon. The article raises some questions worth pondering.

Without trying to answer them, I'll say this--our local knitting community is poorer for having lost Fresh Purls. Its owner, Karen, did her best to welcome everyone, provide yarn-craft education, and contribute to good causes. I first met her when I joined a group the shop sponsored, "Needed Knits," wherein the estimable Helen Bingham offered patterns and advice, weekly, for those who wanted to sit and knit for a little while to make hats for good charitable causes--such as a women's shelter in Providence, and for people who frequented a soup kitchen in the Portsmouth area.

Fresh Purls provided much of that yarn.

My final purchase from Fresh Purls.  Sigh.

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