CHESTERTOWN - For nearly 60 years, Annis Holmes operated a yarn shop in Chestertown, not only selling knitting goods, but offering lessons and nurturing the craft in northern Warren County. Several months ago, Holmes, now 92 years old, retired from the business.
As of a few weeks ago, however, Joanne Paulson bought the inventory of Holmes' store, and launched her own shop.
The business, named Chester Yarn Boutique, will have a grand opening this Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Paulson said.
"The legacy of Annis Holmes is really nice," she said, "and I'm very happy to carry on the tradition."
The event will include refreshments, door prizes and a spinning demonstration at 1 p.m. The store is located at 5797 State Route 8 in the former Poore House Restaurant building. The entrance is in the rear of the structure.
The Chester Yarn Boutique offers a wide variety of yarns now, expanded to include the natural and specialty yarns, including llama yarn, and alpaca wool.
Yarn brands offered include Berroco, Cascade, Knitting Fever, Ella Rae, and locally spun specialty wools. The shop also features notions and knitting publications, including a selection of books authored by Holmes.
Classes are likely to be a part of the new enterprise. The grand opening of the store includes a kickoff of one of the classes, Knitting 101, to be held at 3 p.m.
The lineup of classes planned for this fall include a cabling technique class Nov. 13 and an introduction to crocheting, set for the afternoons of Oct. 20 and Oct. 27. Both are offered at a modest charge, plus materials.
Offered at no charge are Open Knitting sessions each Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. and every Thursday from 2 to 5 p.m.; a Mossy Sweater Knit-A-Long from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesdays beginning Oct. 19, and a Show & Tell session Oct. 23, from 2 to 3 p.m.
Until several months ago, Paulson, an avid knitting enthusiast, was the elementary music teacher at North Warren Central School. She took the option of an early retirement from the position she held since 1986.
The store is open from Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with hours extended to 8 p.m. every Wednesday.
"I'm encouraging people to come in, hang out, have a cup of tea and coffee while they knit and crochet or read a book," Paulson said. "I see this shop as a community venture."
Paulson said she was looking forward to meeting all the needle-arts enthusiasts in the region.
"This has been a lifelong dream of mine," she said. "And I'm now having so much fun with this."
For more informaiton, Paulson can be reached at 494-4334.