Sunday, January 22, 2006

Yarn Samples

Each participant in the 2005 Yarn Lover's Shop Hop received samples of yarn (1-3 yards) donated by the participating shops. The purpose of this was to put samples of the yarn available in the hands of the participants prior to Shop Hop day. Here is a pic of some of the yarns that were donated:

Some shops took the opportunity to use the samples to feature certain yarns. One of the participants knit up each of the yarn samples and made comments based on her experience. See my Yarn Sample links.

A bit of history

Portland is a city of yarn shops - at last count, there are at least 17 within the greater Portland/Vancouver area, add a few more within an hour's drive, and we have a virtual smorgasbord. Let's say 20, as a conservative estimate. Now, imagine trying to visit them one day...and shop. Is your head spinning ? Mine was. As a relatively new member of the Tigard Knitting Guild (TKG), I was challenged by the idea that Guild members went on a Shop Hop that was on their own. From my own experience, I knew that left to one's own devices, a knitter could walk into a yarn shop and not emerge until several hours later. How many shops could a member visit in one day ? From the shop's perspective, how many members would make purchases ?

Instead, I proposed, an alternate "Shop Hop", one that I had previously experienced but for another craft. The organizer had chartered a bus and brought participants around to shops; some of which opened exclusively for us, and let us shop. The focus was on us as participants; the organizer had thought of everything-- raffles on the bus, treats and goodies, and an option for lunch. It was an experience, and a chance to interact with others who shared our interests.
Also, the bus guaranteed that the shops received the same group of participants at their shops.
So, win-win.

What's a Shop Hop ?

A Shop Hop is a knitting tour of local yarn shops by bus. Knitters visit and explore a dazzling array of yarn and accessories at a select group of yarn shops offering exclusive discounts, coupons, and special treats. Think of it as a mini-vacation - come spend the day with fellow knitters; share ideas, tips, and techniques. Explore; Shop; Relax; Knit; Have FUN.