(Los Angeles, CA) – When the pandemic first hit Southern California, Los Angelenos understand the necessity of unity in
overcoming any challenge. Tifanee Taylor owner of Gather DTLA (453 S. Spring Street #M1) and Kat Coyle owner of
The Little Knittery (1808 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Feliz) are two small business owners who found ways to keep their respective
L.A. yarn communities in the loop through creative connection and outreach. As yarn shop businesses just five miles
apart participating in the four-day 10th L.A. County Yarn Crawl event March 24-27, 2022 10 a.m.–6 p.m., they make up
the fifteen local women-owned businesses participating in the yarn crawl’s long-awaited comeback sprawling 143 miles
across six unique communities of Greater Los Angeles.
Like life, there are many chapters and pages to Los Angeles’ diversity-driven arts-centric community. L.A.’s arts are not
isolated to just stage or camera, canvas or street. Yarn artists rely upon the county’s different yarn shop locations for their
materials as much as the shops themselves rely upon specific clientele for community and socialization.
At the Mezzanine Level of California’s largest 22,000 sq. foot book seller, The Last Bookstore you’ll find Gather DTLA
www.togatherdtla.com who ironically could not gather in the traditional sense during the COVID pandemic. Gather DTLA
had participated packing 100 lunches for the Downtown Women’s Center just a month prior to the 2020 L.A. County Yarn
Crawl being postponed. Ceasing their much missed in-person Sunday Socials (hoping to return in summer 2022), Gather
DTLA’s shop owner Tifanee Taylor who will be participating in her ninth yarn crawl, explains her pivot to loop in much
needed connection and communication amid pandemic.
“At the beginning of Covid, the shop was physically closed from mid-March through the beginning of July. Thankfully, we
had just updated our web shop, and so customers were able to continue to support us that way. After we opened back up
in July 2020, we made curbside pick-up available. We also set up Zoom hang outs in place of our in-person Sunday
Social, those continued through summer of 2021. We continue to offer Zoom lessons when people are interested. We
made “Curated Packages” available through a form on the website, where a customer could answer questions about what
they were looking for and we would put together a package to suit their needs/interests. These proved quite popular
through summer and fall/winter 2020.”
Taylor’s customized approach to her “Curated Packages” are no surprise with her yarn shop inside of a well-known much
publicized magical book store that is in numerous travel guides attracting people from all over the world. Customizing the
experience and approach to a diversified range of clientele, she understands the fine balance of meeting individual
specific needs serving both of her international customers and Los Angeleno locals. With both markets seeking commonthreads
of grounding, unity, and creative connection, she has met people from Spain, Italy, New Zealand,Ethiopia, Nigeria, Finland, Switzerland, and even a man from Japan whose wife follows the shop on Instagram.
Left-handed Taylor, who learned to crochet at age five, ironically retaught herself to crochet in her 30s from a book found in a used bookstore by sitting across from a friend using a mirroring technique. She finds herself as a shop owner
mirroring her own fiber arts community’s need to stay looped into “creating” for her own relaxation and well-being.
“The very first weekend of the shutdown, I knit a chunky fringed shawl, and it’s hanging up in the shop now. Making that really help me stay grounded during those first days. I do hope that all the people who picked up a hook or needles over the pandemic will continue to knit and crochet and be interested in increasing their skills.”
In business since 2012, Los Angeles Native Kat Coyle, owner of the The Little Knittery www.thelittleknittery.com has been participating in the L.A. County Yarn Crawl since its inception. Just like Taylor, the pandemic drove Coyle to create ways to stay grounded, which meant a mix of both business pivoting and returning to some personal fiber arts pleasure. Coyle was first introduced to yarn at the age of eight by her mother and feels most at home navigating knitting and crocheting based on her mood.
“I enjoy working and creating with yarn. I consider my yarn store my happy place. The people that shop at The Little Knittery are warm and supportive. Working with yarn has been a way to express myself creatively and at the same time has been a vehicle to connect with community,” states Coyle.
When the COVID pandemic hit, Coyle’s happy place was found in expanding to meet her customers’ needs with her own online shop to stay connected to her shop community. The online shop which features yarn, needles, notions, gift cards, books, and magazines to resin dishes and jewelry developed as a result of her customers’ changing tastes and needs through quarantine. With pivoting, growth and change Coyle found herself balancing her business, personal projects and teaching.
“During quarantine I spent most of my time creating the online shop. My customers have been fantastic with keeping in touch and supporting the business. As time went on I made a variety of projects from knit curtains for the shop to a bouquet of crochet flowers. Handwork always reduces my stress so I found it comforting. Since the pandemic hit, I stopped doing group classes. I am now teaching private knitting and crochet lessons in the morning before the shop opens,” shares Coyle.
Coyle’s fiber arts career milestones have given her comfort in other ways, as she is best known for her global outreach “craftivism” work, where giving back and being part of larger conversations provide yarn story moments. Collaborating with Krista Suh and Jayna Zwieman, she designed the Pussyhat for the 2017 Women’s March and was part of The Welcome Blanket, when Zwieman asked her to design a blanket pattern for her project that gives blankets to immigrant families. Though her work has been in the public global spotlight, she still stitches her heart yarn strings to L.A. “I have an art piece I made about twelve years ago that is special to me on a personal level. It’s a freeform lace crochet piece that depicts Los Angeles.”
Much like the meaningful creations she makes herself, and like Gather DTLA’s Taylor, Coyle hopes that people who found their way to the fiber arts industry will stay connected to what matters in this looped connection they feel about yarn.
“I think most people interested in fiber art find their way into what interests them the most be it knitting, crocheting,
weaving, punch needle, or tufting. I hope that people gain that deep connection to handwork in making thoughtful pieces that last,” shares Coyle.
Los Angeles is so vast, that at times divided by the freeway artery system, it can be a lonely place to find common ground. Coyle and Taylor’s yarn shop stories unite people from different places through yarn. However, each of their individual journeys tie them together with something in common as shop owners as they were both first introduced to yarn by their mothers. This ‘mother thread’ led each of them to finding a path toward discovering their own unique L.A. community as entrepreneurs, women-owned businesses and demonstrating their passion of yarn with their passion for their purposeful yarn circle connection.
These two amazing women with their respective DTLA and Los Feliz based shops make up the 15 participating fiber arts businesses https://layarncrawl.org/pages/
The 10th L.A. Yarn Crawl will be bringing a mix of old and new to the event. Returning will be the classic crawl popular passport prize promotion, where each of the fifteen shops will feature a $300 gift basket prize. To enter crawl participants will drop their completed passports with stamps from the Yarn Crawl sprawl of shops visited: https://layarncrawl.org/pages/
The L.A. County Yarn Crawl’s group of unique shops are committed toward educating and teaching yarn crafts. The purpose of the event is to create awareness by bringing together the Los Angeles community in the fiber arts all while creating friendships, inspiring creativity, projects, and memories to last a lifetime. For event details, COVID safety protocol and more information on the L.A. County Yarn Crawl 2022 please go to https://layarncrawl.org/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org For all media interview and photo requests contact event publicist Stacey Kumagai of Media Monster Communications, Inc. at 818.506.8675 email@example.com