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Knitting craze is back, says new store owner

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Catering to knitters: Cindy Ashton, owner of Black Purl (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A businesswoman is planning to stitch up the market with a new yarn store as a revival of the craft of knitting gets under way.

Cindy Ashton yesterday launched Black Purl — a specialist shop for knitting and crochet enthusiasts.

Ms Ashton said: “The knitting craze is coming back — there are a lot of articles in the US about how it’s coming back.

“It’s primarily women, but there are some men and there are young people who are knitting. I think it’s more people than I realise.

“I’m also hoping to get students involved.

“A younger age group is getting more and more involved and that’s a good thing because we don’t want the art of knitting and crocheting to die out.

“It’s also a stress release and you are creating something. You can sit in front of the television and create something.”

The store, in Old Cellar Lane off Hamilton’s Front Street, carries a wide range of wool, knitting supplies, books and crochet items.

Yarns include hand-dyed ones from a variety of countries, with much of the stock coming from Fair Trade sources.

Ms Ashton said: “There is a great variety of yarns, colours and qualities, so it’s pretty well-rounded.”

Ms Ashton, who formerly managed Paget’s Greenbank Guest House and Cottages and earlier Salt Kettle Yacht Charters, said her niece Irena Ashton had owned a yarn shop of the same name further along Front Street, which she closed in 2014 to pursue other business opportunities.

She added: “It was very popular. There’s a whole lot of women on the island who were very excited about having a knitting shop open.

“I decided back in the spring to relaunch it. It’s a new location, a little bit bigger and more stock as well.

“This is a new venture for me and it’s all very positive.”

Ms Ashton said: “Old Cellar Lane is a very cozy and inviting place and the shop is very appealing.

“People who have dropped in have said they feel like sitting there all day and admiring the yarns and the colours.”

She added that there is only one other specialist knitting shop on the island, in St George’s.

Ms Ashton said: “There is definitely a need for another craft shop in Bermuda.”

And she added she would also be starting in-store classes for novice knitters to encourage more people to take it up.

Ms Ashton said: “I’m fairly new to knitting — I only started about five years ago. My niece got me going with it, so I have to give her a lot of credit.”

The Black Purl knitting store (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Black Purl owner Cindy Ashton (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Catering to knitters: Cindy Ashton, owner of Black Purl (Photograph by Akil Simmons)