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LI Yarn Crawl knits together a tour of shops for enthusiasts

Ruth Kerekes (left), of Stony Brook, practices knitting

Ruth Kerekes (left), of Stony Brook, practices knitting a cableknit hat with the help of Toni Andersen (right), owner of the Knitting Cove in Port Jefferson, March 18, 2017. At the 2017 Long Island Yarn Crawl, Knitting Enthusiasts can visit nine different yarn shops, including The Knitting Cove, to connect with others in the knitting community, enter raffles and collect pieces of a knitting puzzle. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

You’ve heard of a pub crawl. Get ready for a four-day party geared to knitters, crocheters and sewing enthusiasts of all stripes to revel in their crafts.

From Thursday, March 30, to Sunday, April 2, yarn crafters can take part in the third annual Long Island Yarn Crawl, a self-guided tour of nine yarn shops offering discounts, demonstrations, giveaways and more.

A TASTE OF YARN

“You get to meet new people, discuss different ideas,” says Nora Bohl, an avid knitter and crocheter from Upper Brookville. Her regular haunt is the Knitted Purl in Oyster Bay, but the four-day crawl, she says, is a relaxed and enjoyable way to see what’s new in the market at other shops.

Discovering the wide variety of yarns is a real draw for afficionados — as is seeing a wide range of what can be done by fiber artists.

“There are some shops that sell their garments,” says Toni Andersen, whose Port Jefferson boutique, the Knitting Cove & Yarn Shop, is hosting a few notable yarn makers and dyers, such as Groovy Hues Fibers and Lambstrings Yarn. But other shops, she says — “they do weaving, they do spinning, they do needlepoint and needlework.”

Unique to the Island’s yarn shops, Long Island Livestock Co. in Yaphank doubles as a working fiber farm, raising and breeding llamas, alpacas and other animals to be sheared.

These days, lap looms for weaving textured wall hangings from assorted fabric scraps are very hot, says owner Tabbethia Haubold. “They’re fun. They’re easy. They don’t require a lot of materials,” she says.

Also easy to learn, notes Haubold, is needle felting — using a specialized needle to design two- or three-dimensional figures or crafts.

“That’s something that is super simple. All you have to do is be able to stab away at fiber, and watch your fingers,” she explains.

SHOP HOPPING

Most of the stores will display samples to show what can be created with needles or a hook and some yarn, says Mary Evanov, 33, of Manhasset, who’s joining the crawl for the third year in a row. Each of these shops offers classes for anyone who wants to learn.

“There’s so much great yarn right now,” says Evanov. “There are all different materials: There’s wool, there’s alpaca, there’s yak, there’s cashmere.”

Some shops are hosting trunk shows during the crawl, offering shoppers a peek at the newest yarns for spring. Others are offering meet-the-designer events, flash sales, even a wine and cheese party to enjoy the company of fellow crafters. The crawl also features a knit- or crochet-along project with a different piece of the pattern given out at each stop.

Taught as a child to knit by her grandmother, Bohl, who is in her 60s, picked up the hobby again when she retired several years ago.

“It certainly challenges you as you learn the different techniques,” she says. “It keeps you on your toes. It’s something I completely enjoy, find relaxing. The shops are a nice way to meet people, make friends.”

Long Island Yarn Crawl

WHEN | WHERE Thursday, March 30, to Sunday, April 2, at nine participating yarn shops.

INFOlongislandyarncrawl.com

HIGHLIGHTS

2 p.m. each day (weather permitting): shearing demonstration at Long Island Livestock Co., Yaphank

6-8 p.m., Friday, March 31: Wine and cheese party at Knit in Roslyn

6-7:30 p.m., Friday, March 31: Book signing by knit designwear and author Lars Rains at the Knitted Purl in Oyster Bay

PARTICIPATING SHOPS

The Knitting Place, Port Washington

Knit, Roslyn

The Knitting Store, Oceanside

The Knitted Purl, Oyster Bay

The Knitting Garden, Huntington

Sew What’s New & Yarn Too!, Islip

The Knitting Cove & Yarn Shop, Port Jefferson

Long Island Livestock Co., Yaphank

Altman’s Needlearts, Mattituck

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