The internet; an infinite resource for all our needs. Our answer to, well…..everything. Isn’t it? For me personally, the internet has definitely been a lifeline. From the time we were living semi rurally a few years ago, to the last 3 years where we have become a one car household. As my husband requires said car for work, this of course limits any jaunts (shopping trips) for me. I can honestly say that it doesn’t take long to adapt to this scenario. Indeed we moved back to this area because of that very reason, knowing it would be possible to walk to schools, shops, and public transport was at hand.
Therefore, if I have needed supplies of any kind, whether that be needles, yarn or patterns, I have been able to easily obtain them by the quick press of a button on the computer. Not only that, I have been able to learn step by step how to knit a multitude of stitches, mostly through online tutorials and YouTube (yes my lovely Virtual Granny). So…..job done! No need to leave the house. I have everything right here. In these four walls, my safe cocoon. Golly how convenient eh! Certainly no need to face people. Or talk. Or discuss.
Ah…..and therein lies the rub! As much as we benefit from the conveniences of having the world at our fingertips, there is a whole plethora of reasons why I believe that the internet is unable to provide “everything”. Humans are, by their very existence, social beings. Even if indeed one believes himself to be verging on the antisocial (I draw parallels here!), I feel it is so very important for us to have interactions with people everyday, face to face. Hmm, just the tip of the ice-burg on that topic!
Which leads me to venture out to my local independent yarn shops first and foremost. I am lucky enough to have two favourites. Here in Guisborough, Leven Crafts is a veritable gem of a hideaway. This lovely shop, tucked away on old cobbles, provides a whole range of materials to satisfy those with a passion in craft making. Whether it be knitting/crochet, quilting, embroidery or patchworks, the friendly team who work here are always willing to help, guide and encourage their customers. When I enter this place I am naturally drawn to the yarn section.
However, I have to say the array of colour and pattern permeating from the range of fabrics and patchworks on display, always captures my gaze. Colour is definitely therapy and I find myself inevitably absorbed. I veer myself away, only then to be transfixed by the yarns!
On the rare occasions where I am able to use the car, the 15minute drive to Saltburn-by-the-Sea, leads me to my second treasure trove. And it truly is. Ripping Yarns presents itself amid a row of old Victorian shops.
The walk past small cafes, antiques and bookshops, whilst breathing in the sea air, just adds to the nostalgia, as you approach its doors. A bell tinkles as you go in, and you’re greeted with a bright, cheery space, lined floor to ceiling with a most super variety of yarns. Here too, the staff are welcoming and all too willing to help. When I visited it was Yarn Shop Day where together with discounts and raffles, a Dry Needle Felting workshop was taking place which all could try for free. A totally new craft concept to me, and once again you’re eyes are opened to try something new.
So these are ‘my locals’, and like many around the UK (and the world), they are so important to local communities. The experience you gain is so rich. Here you can really take in colours and textures, taking time to not only look, but touch each yarn, thus figuring out which is right for you. You also gain one to one help if needed. Positive interactions with approachable, like-minded people.
And therefore, it is only if I cannot obtain something from either of these two lovely places, I return to my computer, where I know, as a last resort I’ll always be able to find something. Thank you internet for everything you do, but more importantly thank you ‘my locals’, for providing just that little bit extra, the over and above (and by the way you’ll find them both on the internet!) I guess we have to remind ourselves, every butterfly needs to leave the cocoon…..to truly live.