Is yarn worth talking about? Sometimes, but more often this blog space will tell you what's happening at Yarn's End. We'll share tips and techniques on yarn, knitting, and crocheting, but we'll also tell you what's happening in our community. Visit often.

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Yarn & Mothers

Posted on May 11, 2016 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (3)

One card tips slightly as the others collect dust on the mantel. Flowers droop. Plants get put outdoors. Brunch prepared and served by a loved one or two sits uncomfortably in your stomach as you eat that last bite of a meal that really isn’t your favorite. Whether you are a mother of a human or a four legged friend, or even if you’ve only participated in Mother’s Day rituals for your own Mom, I think most will admit we put an awful lot into pleasing on this one day of the year.

It’s a build-up. It’s a let-down.

So why is this local yarn store owner talking about Mother’s Day anyway? When you’ve planned for, then birthed and nurtured a small business like ours, we get to watch from the sidelines and sometimes participate in the build-ups and the let-downs on nearly a daily basis. What makes Mother’s Day any different than every day? Have you asked yourself that question lately? I have, and here’s what I’ve discovered:

1. There are wonderful people all around us. When we told our customers that we’d collect money for Dove (Domestic Violence Ended) instead of a class fee, people came out in big numbers to make sure their $20 went to a non-profit doing good work every day. Many people gave more than $20.

2. When I announced to a collection of people attending a drop in that Yarn’s End would be starting a Learn to Knit outreach program to support people in shelter, support groups, hospital, and perhaps even in prison, a delightfully generous person who quietly contributes to all kinds of things, handed me an envelope filled with seed money to get things started.

3. A relocating customer making a big move to FL where wool-y yarn would not be needed arrived on our doorstep with 8 or more boxes of yarn and books to share with people who might not have the means to buy yarn on their own. Didn’t ask for a penny, just unpacked her car. We’re talking boxes of beautiful high end yarn still in the bags they came in.

4. When friends of the shop have become ill with cancer and all kinds of other ailments, there are dozens who always come forward to send a card, make a little something, or just to sit and knit and show their love.

5. Death in the family? People organize themselves to attend wakes, put baskets of love together, and then spend time talking and remembering your loved one with you.

6. People give even when they are down and out. Recently, a woman recovering from a brain aneurysm handed me a baby blanket made from yarn I had given to her when we were packing up our shop for our move to Norwell. She used her recovery time to challenge her brain to create a very special baby blanket using a pattern handed down to her from her mother. That special blanket was given to a young mother being sheltered in a domestic violence home who is expecting a new baby girl in 4 weeks.

These are Mother’s Day moments that happen each and every day. As a retailer continuously struggling with cash flow, making personal and family sacrifices at home so our business can be nurtured, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to witness what makes every day Mother’s Day. Thank you all for your support to our Yarn’s End family and for all you do as mothers. You don’t have to give birth to feel the love.

And a special 'Thank you' to my Mother and Father for your gifts of love, hope, generosity, and kindness.



Talk About the Weather!

Posted on February 20, 2015 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (1)

Ever notice how much we, as a nation, talk about weather? It’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s too rainy, or lately, it’s too snowy. We gear up, we hunker down, we weather the storm, all expressions related to our forecast. There must be something else to talk about!


At Yarn’s End, WE’VE even been talking about the weather lately. We’ve had to cancel classes, close our store, conserve our electricity, prepare for flooding in our basement, and figure out a new plan to help our winter season cover the costs of our summer season. Something as seemingly inconsequential as the weather has shifted our game plan for the year.


Yesterday, after having a conversation with another local independent business owner in our marketplace, and after lamenting the loss of business during what should have been our best month of the year, I started to think about the other things that people talk about at Yarn’s End. Here’s what was overheard around our table these past couple weeks:


• Wonder about a customer’s success with her chemo treatment

• Problem solving around the woes of the MBTA

• Lent, Christianity and the Catholic Church

• Olympics in Boston and how that might fare

• Buying local after the past month of dreadful weather

• The Republican party and who will run for President

• Using knitting & crocheting for therapy

• Managing your significant other

• Why kids smoke so much weed and how to respond as parents

• Oh, yeah, and some limited discussion about knitting and crocheting patterns 


Right?! A yarn store you say? Or is this the local lunch counter of the 1950’s? Or your living room on a Saturday night?


Whatever brings people to our little slice of America, we have used this record-breaking snow season to recognize that we are fulfilling our business mission to our community. While trying to “weather our own little business storm”, we realize that our mission to create community has been a great success. While we might not recover our revenues this season, we will recognize the importance of having heart in our business.


So, step away from the snow bank and use your shoveling moments to recognize how important this lull can be for you personally and professionally. Hug your children, drink cocoa, let a car pass from behind that giant snow bank. Plan your spring garden, take a sunny vacation, watch the movie you put off seeing. And if you can, pick up your knitting or crocheting project, and enjoy.


Everyone needs a little time off

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Every now and again Yarn's End takes a little time off.  That's right, we close our shop, we reduce our hours, we shut off the air conditioning and lights and go home.  Or we travel to visit a new destination or our families and friends.

This past July 4th long weekend was no exception.  We closed so our employees and we could take a little time off away from the yarn and needles and hooks.  But before we did, we let you know.  And you came out in numbers.  That's right, you heard the forecast for rain and thought, "Gosh, I might need yarn if I'm going to be stuck in the confines of my home.  I might need a distraction from my children, my pets, my tv, and myself.  I need to knit or crochet and they are going to be CLOSED!!!"

An then when we re-opened on Tuesday, something better happened.  You came back.  To visit. To share the progress of your work.  To have crunchy peanut butter and our customer Nancy Hezlitt's homemade strawberry jam on crackers.  You inquired about each other. You laughed.  You exhanged stories about the guy who mows your lawn and how you spent your 4th of July. 

What we realize is that even though we sometimes get tired from sitting with yarn vendors and buying all that yarn, doing paperwork, stocking shelves, worrying about whether the weather will bring you in or keep you away, and smiling all day (:)), you really don't get tired of the place.  And for that, we thank you, especially this time of year when we know you could be sitting on a beach, digging in your yard, eating ice cream, or doing something else that seems like summer.

Thank you for the time off and telling us we deserve it.  But more than that, thanks for continuing to come back when we turn the air conditioning and lights back on.

Brokering Deals

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (1)

This past Friday night, one of our regular customers who knits for a living entered the shop just before closing in a panic.  She was trying to finish up some personal knitting--a hat for her daughter in law, and she was short on yarn.  "How could I let that happen", she asked me? " I'm not sure," I replied, "but it happens all the time!!" 

We went over all the possible options: 

1) Check inventory records (records show no inventory of the yarn)

2) Order more in a different dye lot (shipping from the West Coast is nearly two weeks; not an option)

3) See who bought this yarn and see if they have any left to share (fabulous idea!)

Well, it just turns out that our fellow knitter and neighber down the street is one of the people who we sold that very same yarn to last year!  She's a "regular" so I got on the horn and lo and behold, she said, "I have to call you back.  Just give me five."  In five minutes our phone rang and the breathless person on the other end said, "I'll be down in five."

The holder of the yarn entered the shop with the coveted ball of yarn in tow.  I watched the two women discuss how the share would go down.  The holder of the yarn insisted she wanted no money for the yarn.  There were many thank yous, and then it happened.  Two women who never met before were hugging each other over a ball of yarn.  Beautiful.  Moving.  Lasting.  Call it the Spirit of the Season. 

Tis the Season of Giving and Receiving.  Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing your ball of yarn.

Yarn's End is Family

Posted on September 6, 2013 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

When we celebrated our 1st year in business on June 9th 2013, we looked around the room and took note of our biological family enjoying the festivities. We spotted our good and long-time friends helping us manage the event. But then we looked deeper and realized that the majority of our guests were people we have only known a short time. Wow! Here we were celebrating the success of making it through our first year in business and we were being celebrated by people we barely knew. Does that really happen? Pinch us. Could our small slice of the local yarn shop world be this loyal already?   


As our newness begins to wear off and we look back over our first year business plan, we recognize that we’ve done a few things well.

 • We greet every customer

• We make special orders

• We encourage fellowship

• We support other small businesses

• We feature local artists & craftspeople in our space

• We refer business to our other neighborhood yarn shops when we don’t have something our customers need


 We do these things because we run our business the old-fashioned way, the way our biological family taught us. We sprinkle in the things we’ve learned in business and from our long-time friends. We listen to our newest customers as well, and take their feedback in earnest. 


 As we look around our shop after a year in business, we see so much opportunity to grow. But we also see signs of family all around: the plants you gave us, the art hanging on the walls, the samples you’ve let us borrow for display, the chairs you’ve given us, the champagne in the refrigerator, and the featured artwork from this month’s artist Liz Ford. We hope you’ll support Liz this month by buying her artwork that’s on display in Yarn’s End, because Liz is family to us. During the past year, she helped us get by. She cleaned and organized our house; she walked our dogs, gave us morale support, and left uplifting, motivational notes around our home on days we weren’t sure we were cut out for the rigor of retailing. Thank you Liz! 


While we're thanking people, a great big thank you and hugs go to all of you who knit as part of our charity knitting program.  This month we announced the winners of our dishcloth and washcloth contest: Nancy Hezlitt and Darlean Lewis, two members of the Yarn’s End family who we feel a certain kindred spirit towards. Nancy has been an incredible customer, loyalist, and devotee to our shop. Darlean has been the same, and has sent more people than I can count to our shop. Ladies, we thank you and hope you enjoy what we have here as much as we enjoy having you as part of our family. The washcloths and dishcloths collected as part of the contest will be donated to a local family shelter in Norwell. We love that our Yarn’s End family likes to support those who need a little extra help from time to time.


Our upcoming family project is a holiday mitten tree. We’re asking our customers to make mittens for kids and adults, with the idea that local families will receive the mittens as holiday gifts. We’ll invite the charities we work with to come and select mittens from the tree based on the ages and genders of those they serve. The mitten tree project begins October 1st so it’s time to start making mittens! Let's set the goal to make at least 100 pairs of mittens!  We can do it! 


It's your "We Can Do It" attitude that's coached us through the past year.  Thanks for being part of our Yarn’s End family. After all, family isn’t just about who you came from. It’s as much about those people you choose to have in your life. Thanks for being in our lives. 

--Bob & Alison Schirone

Artwork by Elizabeth Stella Ford on display and for sale until 9/30/2013




Artists welcome at Yarn's End

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

When we wrote our business plan for Yarn's End, we wanted to have our space be your space. It seems to be taking shape that way! Thanks for feeling "our welcoming embrace" and dropping in to knit, crochet, and chat.

Another of our business goals was to have a space where local artists and craftspeople could display their work. We have been so thrilled to meet Dave Kraemer, local teacher at Cardinal Cushing School in Hanover, MA and local potter displaying his marvelous work in our shop. Not only is Dave's work beautiful, but Dave's person is beautiful too. He spends his days working with developmentally disabled kids and young adults at Cardinal Cushing, then takes his positive energy and creates beautiful works of art. We're so happy you've received and BOUGHT Dave's pottery. We've sold so many pieces at the shop that he's had to replenish supplies twice. Dave's work will be on display one more week, so please stop in and take a peek.

If you happen to be someone who plans ahead, Dave Kraemer's pottery makes great holiday gifts.

Hope to see you soon, and if you know a local artist or craftsperson who'd like to display in our shop, please send them our way.

Alison & Bob

Almost Time to Say Goodbye

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (1)

As we near the unofficial end to summer, we have to say goodbye to the most beautiful quilt we've had on display at Yarn's End. We want to thank the Herring Run Quilters Guild for choosing our shop as a viewing center for the quilt they'll be raffling off at the end of September when they hold their Annual Quilt Show.

I want to pay special thanks to our friend Anne Stanton, a member of the Guild, for getting the quilt to our shop, assembling the quilt stand, providing raffle tickets for us to sell, and paying an emergency visit one afternoon when the quilt stand went off kilter.

There's still a few more days left to view the quilt and buy tickets before it leaves our shop and makes way for our September artist. Watch this space for more about the potter we'll feature in September.

Happy knitting (and quilting)!

  • Paying It Forward with Buttons

    Posted on July 8, 2012 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (1)

    For those of you who know Janet LaBerge of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, you know she pays it forward by sharing unwanted items she collects from her clients' clean outs with people who she thinks might need them. Janet has been so kind to Yarn's End by sharing unwanted chairs, a loveseat, and a tired occasional chair for our shop in Hanover, MA. Our friends at Inspiring Windows kindly reupholstered the sofa and chair so they now sit proudly in our yarn shop. And we've re-worked the other chairs, painted them, and set them around our training table in the shop.


    So the other day when Janet texted me asking if I could use some buttons in the shop, at first I thought, 'Oh no, Janet is going to arrive with a 5 gallon container of buttons and I'll have absolutely no use for them.' Instead I said, "Sure, Janet, I can at least take the interesting, larger, vintage buttons to sell to customers making sweaters or other interesting pieces that could use an eclectic element."


    The buttons arrived on Friday and I put them aside, not really sure I knew what to do with them. The idea of putting them into inventory was scary, so I put them aside for further contemplation.


    Enter Janet on Saturday, while we had customers shopping at Yarn's End. First off, Janet arrived with lunch for us. Was cooking over the grill and thought we might be hungry. Then she tells customers one of her famous jokes. At last, she settles in to organize the buttons. One of our customers immediately started to select buttons she wanted.


    It seemed like it was time to put the Yarn's End marketing cap on to determine how we could share these buttons with our customers, AND pay it forward. After all, we didn't pay for the buttons, so why would we accept money for them? We quickly arrived at the idea to sell them for 25 cents each with proceeds to benefit the Friends of Mel Foundation. Our customer Rose picked out several buttons and asked us about Friends of Mel. We told the story about Mel and as Rose left, she dropped $10.00 down on the table to cover the few buttons she selected and said, "I don't want change back from my $10.00. Please put it all towards Friends of Mel."


    At Yarn's End, we want to be more than your local Yarn Shop. We want to make our place YOUR place. We promise you'll meet some colorful and interesting people. And we'll always pay it forward. Thanks to our friend Janet for sharing the mission to pay it forward.


    Bob and Ali

    Calling All Artists

    Posted on June 24, 2012 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

    When we started Yarn's End, we wanted our local art community to have a place to showcase and sell their work. Beginning in July, we'll have the featured work of a local photographer on display and for sale. And we want other local artists to have a home here too.

    So if you have a few extra pieces you'd like to sell, we'd like you to sell it at Yarn's End. We have an interesting mix of customers and friends visiting our location every day so we want to change the art out each month--this will benefit the artists and give our visitors something new to see each month.

    Give us a call at 781-924-5549 if you have art you'd like to showcase here in our shop.

    Welcome to Our World

    Posted on June 10, 2012 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

    Welcome to Our World!

    Welcome to Yarn's End!

    We officially opened for business on Saturday, June 9th, 2012. We decided to open quietly so we could work out the kinks in our operation, but we managed to have visits from several new customers. We'll be posting a blog entry just about every week, so stay tuned to this space or sign up to receive our posts via RSS for the latest in what's happening in the Yarn's End world. It's a small part of the world, but it's full of energy and light so be sure to make yourself part of it!

    A couple of announcements:

    • We are getting yarn and accessories daily and will continue to buy what you want and like until we have our shelves fully stocked. We are from the slow and steady school so we want to be sure that we grow at the right pace, always keeping our customers' wishes in mind.
    • Our class schedule is posted. If you would like to start knitting or crocheting, or want to improve your skills, we encourage you to sign up. We are full of kindness so don't be intimidated. To quote Judy Goodwin of Hanson, one of my former knitting teachers, "Better finished than perfect." Keep that in mind and be thoughtful to yourself as you learn a new craft.
    • If you are an artist, craftsperson, or someone interested in displaying your work in our shop, please be in touch with a call or visit. Our schedule for the year is filling up fast. Or perhaps you have a special craft you'd like to demonstrate. We'll be running special events to support you in that way as well.
    • If you knit or crochet for a charity, we are willing to help you by discounting certain yarn brands you like to knit with.
    • If you have a knitting group that needs a place to meet, we will offer that to you as well, as long as we don't have another class scheduled during your knitting time.

    Welcome to Yarn's End, where you can make our little world a big part of yours.

    Happy Crafting,

    Bob & Alison Schirone