30 Dec Looking Back, Looking Forward: Our 2016 With You!
As 2017 approaches, we are reflecting on all that has occurred here in the shop this year. As we sat reminiscing on all we shared with you guys, it blew us away to take it all in! Under this little roof, big things have been growing:
- We turned 5 years old. FIVE! Our shop has reached an important milestone in the life of a small business and we’re thrilled to have had all of your support in getting there.
- We were honored to become Brooklyn Tweed’s designated LYS for the Boston area and host Jared Flood during his Woolens book tour this past fall. (!)
- We created and ran our first sessions of Style Tribe over the summer, a new kind of sewing camp for kids that focused on creating a positive, safe, creative, space for the campers to explore their own identities and self-expression through crafting. We had some incredible campers and guest speakers that we were so lucky to spend that special time with.
- We took a big trip to TNNA’s (The National Needle Arts Association) Summer Trade Show in Washington, DC where Genevieve got to meet so many of the talented designers and producers of the yarns we work hard to bring to you in JP everyday.
- Hosted 5 knitalongs–some that stretched our knitting muscles to new lengths, others that paired well with laughter and wine…
- Refreshed our iconic utility pole cozy with a bright new design by our beloved Pat Boyd. We hope it weathers at least as many winters and greets as many of our neighbors and customers as the first!
- New England Farm to Fiber Opening – We have expanded our community crafting ethos into downtown Boston with the opening of our farm fiber stall in the Boston Public Market – bringing gorgeous, local, minimally processed yarn from single heritage sheep from small family farms throughout New England into the heart of downtown Boston.
Part of being a community-focused shop means we put a lot of effort into the gatherings we host under our own roof; it also means we work hard to give back to and engage with the larger community that JP Knit & Stitch is a part of. It’s a pleasure and an honor to foster these connections with each passing season, strengthening the “roof” we all live under. In 2016, we kept up time-honored traditions that form the core of our community outreach and rolled up our sleeves to take on new challenges as well:
- Wake Up the Earth – We have participated in a community crafting project with WUTE, JP’s annual Spring parade and festival that really does wake up the earth, every year since we opened. We have created yarn installations up and down the corridor; knit a giant communal marriage equality banner, hosted a communally crafted weaving project; and made lots, and lots of pom-poms!
- We were humbled to be honored with an award for our partnership with Apprentice Learning, an amazing program that helps place 8th graders from the Boston Public Schools in internships to provide career skills and support.
- We became a registered business with Open for Service, a non profit that provides an inclusive network aimed at promoting businesses and organizations that will not turn someone away based on sexual orientation, gender, race, disability, or political/religious affiliation.
- When Christina of Project Peace stopped into the shop and told us about her vision for her project, we knew we’d met a kindred spirit. We got to host a special knit night in support of Project Peace this December and encourage you to read more about it!
- For this year’s Shop With A Cause, we were able to donate a portion of our sales to the Hyde Square Task Force, another incredible group that works hard to empower local teens.
- We were thrilled to answer the call of one of our stalwart (and big hearted) Friday night stitchers, Gabby, who asked us to host a drive to knit lots of warm hats and mittens for the United South End Settlements Winter Coat Drive. Thank you to all who gave generously of their time, talents, and stash towards this great cause!
- We are sourcing all the pink yarns we can and hosting knit-ins to support the knitters and crocheters of the Pussyhat Project. This effort is all about helping marchers be seen and heard during the 2017 Women’s March on Washington and it’s sister march right here in Boston.
Whether we’re knitting, stitching, or finding ways to give back, it means a lot to us to be able to be a part of and support efforts towards inclusivity, compassion, and equality. The new year brings new challenges and new opportunities. Trust us that we will continue to work hard at bringing you the best that the crafting community has to offer – beautiful new yarns, fabrics, notions, and books are all in the works along with an ever-growing array of crafty classes to guide you, inspire you, and yes, sometimes even comfort you. Crafting has always been a communal activity – needed now more so than ever. We are excited to embrace all that the new year has to offer and our continued commitment to creating a space for craft, for reflection, for community in Boston – and beyond.
So as we take a pause to reflect on a very momentous year, we find ourselves grateful for the community in which we are a part – in our brick and mortar store front in Jamaica Plain, our farm fiber stall in downtown Boston, and in our ever-growing online community. We couldn’t do it without you. So thank you!