Monday, May 14, 2007


When I started knitting seriously (I dabbled for years but only got addicted in the last year or so), I went only to Warsaw's The Shuttle Shop for wool. I loved that shop. But girls need their sock yarn fresh and new...

That was when I went to the Cass Street Depot for the first time. Mom needed shetland wool, and the Depot was, according to fellow knitters, the place to get it. The first time I walked through that door, I gasped. There was more yarn at the Depot than I had ever seen in one place.

I found sock yarn for my mother's birthday socks, and I discovered a gorgeous yarn I had never seen anywhere, even in magazines.

It was Koigu KPPM. I bought four skiens. At the time, I knew next to nothing about sock knitting. I had the mechanics down but nothing more. To me, if the yarn was the right weight, it made good socks. Therefore, I have two pairs of Koigu KPPM socks.

Some people may gasp in horror at that. But those are my favorite socks of all time. I will wear them until they fall off of my feet, then I will put them carefully away. No yarn colorway can compare to the parrot greens and raspberry pinks and purples swirled over those socks. They may not wear as long as socks with nylon, but they will wear better.

Rachael called me today with dire news. The Depot is closing. It seems the owner has had enough. She no longer wants to deal with the ins and outs of running a yarn store.

To Rachael and I, this is incomprehensible. Both of us dream of knitting for a living, neither of us has the capital to open a store of our own. Thinking of the Depot, we see an established client base, a beautiful location, in short: a business that wouldn't fail.

If I could suddenly inherit a massive amount of cash, sell an as-yet-unwritten novel, or heck--win the lottery--I would find a nice spot and open my own yarn store. Buying the Depot, to me, would be just as good, better, because I wouldn't have to struggle for funds in the first few years. Rachael and I want to wave our fingers and have the Depot as our yarn store, where we will teach classes and buy too much yarn and knit all day. We would host book signings and give the Yarn Harlot enough chairs so that all her audience members can sit down.

Then I come back to it again--the Depot is closing!

Where will I get my buttons? I have a sweater waiting for buttons right now, desperatly so, and I was only waiting to heal from my illness to rush up and buy some. Plus, I find all the best knitting books there, books I never even knew I wanted. Never even knew existed. Other patterns--the Depot is my place.

And the yarn.

I buy a lot of yarn online--it is just practical. But there are times when I walk into the Depot and just can't leave without something.

Why will I even go to Fort Wayne?

Sure, it has Jefferson Pointe, DeBrand's Chocolate, a Gap, but come on--if I am going to drive for that long, there had better be yarn at the end of my trip.

I know people who drive from all parts of Indiana to go to the Depot. Now where will they go?

I have a backup fancy yarn store, sans buttons. Warsaw is my everyday, but for the snazzy, special yarns (Debbie Bliss, anyone? Lorna's?) I go to Stitch by Stitch in Highland. I love that store too, but that is three hours from my house. Not a day trip.

I think I speak for a great many knitters when I say that this is a tragic day.

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