A knitted coral reef greets customers at A Good Yarn, where learning to knit, weave and crochet builds community.

Image: Kim Doleatto

When a knitted model of a politician in mittens goes viral, you know knitting has crossed over from Grandma’s hobby to mainstream cool. And despite Sarasota’s endless summer weather, this centuries-old craft has seen an uptick since the pandemic began.

"It's relaxing," says Susan Post, owner of A Good Yarn in south Sarasota. "With everything going on during these times, an activity that helps us relax is a good thing."

Knitting takes a lot of skill, and with so many items you can create, from a coral reef with Ariel the Little Mermaid to an elegant shawl, knowing where to start can be a challenge. You can crochet, knit or weave, and make purses, sweaters or tapestries. Fiber artists, as they like to be called, are only limited by their imagination.

Pick from an endless color palette of skeins, accessories and more at A Good Yarn.

Image: Kim Doleatto

A first “learn to knit” class offered by A Good Yarn lasts two hours. For newbies, Post suggests taking on a scarf project. It requires commitment. If you start a scarf, then go a month without working on it, you may end up back at square one. How long does it take to finish a scarf? “As much time as you put into it,” says Post.

Open for 11 years, A Good Yarn is home to a community of enthusiasts of all skill sets to get you going. Before the pandemic, at least 20 people would gather around a large, wooden table at the shop to share patterns, catch up and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with creating a tangible, beautiful object.

More than helping perfect a craft, it was a support group, and, for many, the winter months acted as snowbird reunions. Most participants were women, but men also joined in. They came in a pack and included a physics professor and a man who dyed his own yarn.

Amid social distancing and shutdowns, the get-togethers and classes moved to Zoom last March, during which 15 to 20 people continued to nurture connections and create beautiful textiles.

Recently, in-person classes have resumed and take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays outside the shop, in the shade of the oak trees. Just bring a chair.

A Good Yarn is located at 7222 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 108, Sarasota, and is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Call (941) 487-7914 or check out the shop's website, Facebook page or Instagram to learn more.

Show Comments