Yarn Lovers Unite is a weekly knitting club that meets at the Logan-Hocking County District Library. Nancy Wright, the program and events coordinator at the library, founded the group in January 2015. The yarn enthusiasts meet on Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the library’s meeting room to share and compare projects and techniques.
“In the beginning I think we started with five to eight, and it kind of just ballooned from there,” Wright says over the phone. “We almost never have less than nine members show up. Generally, there are 15 or 16 people there.”
Carol West, a 69-year-old grandmother and retired nurse, sits across the meeting room table. In her hands, two knitting needles joined together by a thin and flexible plastic wire stitch together a bundle of gray wool. The end product will be a new sweater for her loving grandson.
“We’re open to the public,” West says. “If anybody wants to learn to knit, crochet, whatever, there is someone here who can show them.”
West discovered Yarn Lovers Unite two years ago on the library’s website, but was reluctant to join. She already knew how to knit and crochet. She had been yarning-over since she was a teen. It wasn’t until her friend and former colleague Ruth Johnson decided to pick up the hobby that West elected to join.
“I wanted Ruth to know as a beginner, she is going through the same things that every new person does,” West says. “She thought she was stupid, she thought she couldn’t do it. I wanted her to see that she’s no different than anybody else. It just takes practice.”
West and Johnson were welcomed with open arms.
“First day I came, these guys were really fun and nice,” Johnson says, addressing the group with a smile. “They made me feel comfortable almost immediately. I loved you guys.”
Being frustrated is normal when first learning. The craft takes a tremendous amount of dexterity and concentration. After two years, West and the rest of the Yarner Lovers have coached Johnson up to a full-blown knitter, needles and all.
Yarn Lovers Unite provides its members with a dose of weekly socialization with needlework as the common ground. Johnson turned to the hobby as a way to adjust to retirement and the amount of free time that comes with it.
“Work takes up a huge part of your life,” Johnson says. “I worked 12-hour days . . . It’s hard to fill up the hours. I don’t want to wash and clean all the time. It [Yarn Lovers Unite] not only gives us an outlet to learn something fun, but also people to talk to.”
At its core, Yarn Lovers Unite is just a weekly knitting club. More importantly, though, it provides the women of Logan with a safe place to speak candidly about the world they live in free of judgment.
“There’s no fighting or fussing in here,” Johnson says.
Instead the women of Yarn Lovers Unite work through life’s problems the best way they can, one stitch at a time.
Along with selling books, a small bookstore wants to help create awareness for Ohio’s growing problem. The little book store in the middle of Main Street in New Lexington might not seem like much at first. But among the small stash of books that line the 5-foot-tall shelves in Twice Turned Bookstore lies real gold and a […]
Nestled in Noble County is a piece of United States history. Back in 1925, the USS Shenandoah crashed in Ava. The crash’s history lives on at the Shenandoah Air Disaster Museum. The museum is in a camper and is packed with artifacts detailing life aboard the airship. Theresa Rayner opened the museum with her […]
In the growing heart of Chillicothe, a former tattoo parlor is now an independent bookstore. In December, Wheatberry Books, a community-oriented business opened to sell new and used books to the people of Ross County.
“We have a small store, but we like to cover all the bases. It’s very carefully curated,” store owner Chelsea Bruning says. “We’ve had several local authors that are self-published come in, and their books go right on the shelves. We focus a lot on the local authors, and then we fill in the gaps.”
Bruning grew up in Ross County. She went to Paint Valley High School and later graduated from Ohio Northern University and began working as a pharmacist.
After some moving around, she and her husband decided to move back to Chillicothe, where Bruning continues to work as a pharmacist in addition to running her bookstore.
“It was a time when downtown wasn’t thriving, and we would walk around and say things like, ‘It would be so great if the community could come together and blossom.’ We started a family, moved outside of town, and it happened, and we wanted to get in on it,” Bruning says.
Downtown Chillicothe has seen the arrival of several new stores in the past few years. “This city is in such growing pains right now and has been,” City Fire Inspector Glenda Cornett says. “I love doing what I do because I love seeing places like this getting started.”
While the city has seen several shops come and go, Bruning is determined to change the way businesses function within the city, and she’s starting with her own.
“I really want it [Wheatberry Books] to be a community hub where we get involved with other businesses, the schools and the churches,” Bruning says. “I want it to be a safe place and a place that can encourage ideas and imagination. I don’t want it to be about selling books but bringing people together and starting conversations.”
Bruning is also attempting to hold local author events at the bookstore monthly to promote local art and create a gathering space for community members.
Shauna Shanks, a local author, says she was excited to see Bruning’s bookstore open. “I was thrilled to see how selective she is with the books she chooses,” Shanks says.
In February, Wheatberry Books held a local author event to promote Shanks’ first book, A Fierce Love. “It was just really nice. We had a lot of people in and out, and I got to talk to a lot of people in the community,” Shanks says.
Bruning says that owning her own bookstore has been a dream of hers since she was a teenager. While nearly anything can be ordered online, she believes that bookstores serve their own unique purposes and do what e-commerce sites cannot.
“Bookstores have that element of surprise, the unknown. We usually have people walk in and say, ‘This is what I like. Can you help me find something?’ We know everything on the shelves, so we can make recommendations, but sometimes they’ll be surprised by something they find while browsing. It’s the unexpected that’s there. They don’t really come in looking for one particular book, but they find something that they can really treasure,” Bruning says.
Wheatberry Books is located on 41 South Paint Street and is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday.
After years of planning, Wayne National Forest, which spans across 12 southeastern Ohio counties, received approval to begin the construction of 88 additional miles of biking and hiking paths. The Baileys Mountain Bike Trail System, to be located between Athens and Nelsonville, will connect to other trails along […]
One studio is responsible for markings of history all across the nation. And nobody even knows it’s there. Marietta is a treasure trove of history and off-beat facts. Taking the time to explore the small town will reveal ghost stories, museums and the last intact steam-powered sternwheel boat. But Marietta also harbors a bit […]