The little yarn shop

Photo by Surene Palvie on

It was a tiny store tucked into the crook of a little side street, with no showy banner or attractive display windows. But if you knew where to go, you’d see bins upon bins of discounted yarn overflowing to the sidewalk, and ladies rummaging in them enthusiastically. On the shelves inside, you would find every yarn you could ever want, from affordable acrylic to luxury cashmere blends.

I had not been there since the coronavirus breakout and ensuing restrictions in March, and I’m not even sure the store is still there. It was not an essential business, so it wouldn’t get permission to operate during lockdowns. It was tiny, with barely any room between the display shelves and the counter, so it wouldn’t allow for social distancing. It was not big or modern enough to have financial reserves or switch to online orders.

I’ve completed many crochet projects since the start of the COVID-19 era, with yarn arriving in convenient, hazard-free packages from eBay or Ice Yarns. But I miss the little warm hub where the proprietor would always be ready to chat about anything related to knitting, crochet, and macrame; where other visitors would sometimes chime in with spontaneous opinions about whatever you were buying; where I would see displays of beautiful fiber art from local artisans.

I have most of the things I need within walking distance, and haven’t been to town in months. And I fear that next time I peek into that little side street, I will see the yarn shop locked up or replaced by another business – perhaps a place selling cheap plastic homeware or cell phones or toiletries – something that would get more of a leeway than a yarn shop to remain open.

I realize that the COVID restrictions are necessary to keep the infection levels down, but I feel that social distancing regulations are killing us as a society. They are knocking down the weak and vulnerable, the poor and the lonely. They prioritize large, soulless convenience stores over small businesses run by real people. They isolate us and deprive us of everything that is so essentially human, like hanging out with friends and spontaneous hugs. That’s a tragedy, and I don’t know how to avert it or whether we can ever turn the wheels back.


Author: Anna

An Orthodox Jewish wife and mother enjoying a simple life with her family and chickens, somewhere in the hills, in Israel.

8 thoughts on “The little yarn shop”

  1. While I agree that there are many things that covid-19 has taken from us, whether or not we give up our humanity into the abyss is up to us. It is possible for each one to reach deep inside ourselves and find ways individually and collectively to pull together. If we remain in grief for what we have lost, much of which is convenience unknown to prior generations, then we are unable to make a vibrant life in spite of the constraints. Perhaps you could call and see if the store is still there?
    As a mother of three and a teacher in an online program, I am constantly looking for ways that both my own children and the students I teach can reach out and develop connection. We are working on cultivating penpals and also enjoying conversations with the few neighbors we have around us. While nerves can fray in a family, this is also an opportunity to strengthen these sacred ties and find ways like music and art to rejoice in all that is still good and beautiful in the world G-d has made.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so right about all those little businesses…sad. But there are other opinions out there…many medicals are coming out to tell the truth about all this shutdown mess. I could send you some mind blowing videos by those who are sharing… I think there are a couple of good reasons for the lockdown (such as roundup of pedo gangs etc) which make it easier for me to endure this time. My hope is that they will catch them all…clear down to the small players!!!

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      1. I agree with you mostly…but being some of my own grandkids are forced at this point, to spend lots of time ALONE with the pedo dad…of course, I so hope this lockdown time is truly being used, as some say, to round up such humans (are they really humans?? One wonders…). The main reason according to some, is that the financial system of the world is being changed, and supposedly that is nearly done. It SOUNDS good…but there are always concerns…knowing the world to be what it is you know…but I hope eventually more will be known about this time and that will help us, in hindsite, to accept better what has happened. HOPE is about all we have at this point…the good part for you is that you were already homeschooling and living your life as you are…we 2 here were already mostly homebound…so for the most part, our days are not too different. I do feel sorry for those whose lives have changed completely…it is easier to adjust to your life when it is caused by health, which is the fault of no one I will say (well, there is some blame that goes to the medicals in this country…but any rate, it boils down to being our own fault to take their advice too!!).

        Liked by 1 person

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