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Gemini 02-09-2013 10:31 AM

I have a question
Have you found that shops selling knitting yarns (and sewing stuff) have been going out of business recently your side of the pond - or have they been thriving since the recession because people have been making their own clothes more to save money?

Ingrid 02-09-2013 11:01 AM

I honestly don't think knitting my own things saves me money--I enjoy doing it.

Yarn shops around here have opened and closed in record time. I honestly think that the availability of less expensive yarns and the wider variety of options on the internet has been the death of them. They tried to offer lots of classes and groups to sustain them, but it was not enough. That was probably a result of the economy.

The only place to buy fabric around here is Joann's. Any other fabric stores closed years ago, and the stores that did carry fabric have stopped doing so. Do many people even make their own clothes anymore? I don't know of anyone who sews except maybe for costumes. :think:

Antares 02-09-2013 11:09 AM

I've noticed that lots of yarn stores have closed--not just locally, but all around the U.S. There used to be a LYS map linked to from this site, and many people complained that it wasn't updated with the plethora of closings.

With that being said, there is a fairly new yarn store somewhat near me. It opened in 2011 and carries very expensive yarn. I seriously doubt, though, that it will stay open for long. (And why do people decide it's a great idea to open a business when no one has any money to buy anything anyway?) In this economy, who can afford expensive yarn?

And yeah, knitting ain't cheap! It's certainly much cheaper to go buy a sweater made in China--sad but true.

GrumpyGramma 02-09-2013 11:37 AM

The LYS in my town closed several years ago, before I started knitting. I've noticed that thrift stores are closing out too, maybe because people aren't donating items anymore and trying to sell them on their own? I can buy almost anything for less than I can make it. When I choose to make something it's usually not to save money.

Jan in CA 02-09-2013 02:23 PM

Our LYS closed last month although it was not due to the recession, it was do to family illness. There is a new one opening in a few months nearby though.

They may have saved money by knitting in the 19th century, but not now. Now people do it because they enjoy it.

Gemini 02-10-2013 10:08 AM

I strongly believe that hand knitted jumpers look so much nicer than any machine made wares from China though, don't you?

I ask because my selection of shops has dropped in recent years and it seems such a shame.

Some things you don't mind buying on the internet like DVDs but with fabrics and yarns I want to feel the quality and see the colours as they really are. I know people who have bought stuff from the internet and not been impressed.

JudyD 02-10-2013 06:05 PM

I still sew, but not my children's clothes anymore as they are all grown. I make my own curtains...Waverly fabric isn't cheap but the cost is much less than custom-made and they look just as professional. I also still quilt so I'm in JoAnn's a lot and see that a lot of women still make clothes and such. Lots of quilters these days, too.

If I need something I can make, I make it. Like I needed a draft stopper for one of my living room windows...grabbed same fabric I made curtains with and made it. If I need potholders I make them. Need a pillow cover, make a pillow cover, etc. Which reminds me, last year I made over 100 pillowcases for the All People Quilt drive.

Yeah, some people still sew :)


Antares 02-10-2013 09:12 PM

Actually lots of people still sew. If you look around at blogs, you will find several sewing blogs, and they have lots of followers. I have several friends who sew and an aunt who practically has a second income as a seamstress. Oh, and I have many relatives who quilt, so the fabric industry isn't going under just yet!

As for the quality of handmade clothing being better than store-bought, well, I suppose that depends on the maker. If he or she is good at knitting, crocheting, sewing, etc., then, yeah, the quality is probably quite high. Plus, tailor-made clothing is much more expensive than one-size-fits-all clothing, and tailor-made is what you usually get with handmade.

Jan in CA 02-10-2013 09:27 PM

Forgot that part of the question- I used to sew, but don't like to anymore. Too many steps to reach a final product so I prefer being able to pick up needles and yarn and just make something.

Ingrid 02-10-2013 10:08 PM

It's nice to know that sewing isn't a lost art. Come to think of it, there is probably a large part of the population that would think knitting is a lost art, too.:shrug:

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