Fiber arts are winding their way back into the public eye, with yarn bombing having evolved from novel curiosity to frequently visible feature around Los Angeles. Returning to a gentler verb, however, is the fourth annual L.A. County Yarn Crawl, scheduled for Thursday through Sunday (March 26-29). Knitters, crocheters and crafters in all areas of fiber-oriented work will embark on visiting shops across the L.A. area to exchange ideas and techniques, and share their passion for the pastime.
"No other metropolitan area has that many yarn stores," said co-organizer Maridee Nelson, who also owns the Yarnover Truck with Barbra Pushies. Encouraging participants to visit a range of places they might not already know can be inspiring, since "every store has its own personality. You can get a sense of the store and the community." (As for the Yarnover Truck, it will be stationed at a different post on each of the four days.) Each venue will offer patterns and demonstrations, plus goods such as yarn and other material samples, in what is the largest event of its type in the country.
Nelson described the yarn-hopping series as "a great opportunity for experienced people, and for people who are just starting." A map and passport help the crawlers keep track and plan their stops, which will be useful given some of the intimidating distances involved. Boutiques are spread as far as Santa Clarita to Long Beach, and Claremont to Tarzana. Such is life in the L.A. region. But many of the participants (last year there were over 1,500, according to Nelson) are up for the challenge. "A lot of people love that accomplishment," she said.
And yes, some stores will make sure there will be yarn bombing involved too.