The author Ann Hood, who lives in Providence, contributed an essay to Sunday’s New York Times as part of the paper’s ongoing series of op-eds looking at how the recession has impacted different parts of the country. Hood used that prime bit of journalistic real estate to tell the story of Fresh Purls, a yarn shop on Hope Street.
I don’t know how to knit, but it sounds like a cool place. Here’s an excerpt from Hood’s piece:
It had been a few years since I’d gone to a knitting circle, but on a recent Friday, I headed to Fresh Purls, a three-and-a-half-year-old knitting store on Hope Street here in Providence. The owner, Karen Holmes, was a casualty of the economic downturn when she was laid off from her product manager job at a local technology company.
“Why don’t you open that knitting store you’ve always dreamed of?” her husband suggested. In March 2007, Fresh Purls opened its doors.
As the Rhode Island economy continues to struggle, business at Fresh Purls is, in Karen’s word, “awesome.” Crafts like sewing and quilting are also on the rise. “People aren’t taking as many vacations or going out as often,” Karen noted. “So they’re looking for things to do at home.”
If you’d like to read more about Hood, the Projo ran a nice profile of her last May that talks about how she used knitting to cope with her grief after her 5-year-old daughter died from a virulent form of strep.
(photo: Fresh Purls)