Store features artisan gifts, extensive yarn selection, fiber art classes
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Craftworks
Address: 243 West Main St., Northborough
Owner: Ande Lockwood
Contact information: 508-393-9435
How do you describe Craftworks?
“Craftworks started in 1979 as a craft cooperative, an outlet for talented artisans to sell their work year round,” said Ande Lockwood, owner of the shop which features American-made, hand-crafted products. “In 2012, we decided to add the yarn shop, and we’ve been expanding ever since.
“We are still an artists’ coop. We include over 100 artists, adding one or two new members every month. It’s a juried shop so not everyone gets accepted.
“We also teach all manner of fiber art classes.”
What do you feature in the yarn shop?
“In addition to standard manufactured yarns, we have hand-dyed and handspun yarns; many regional and some very local. For instance, a woman from Shrewsbury teaches spinning here in addition to spinning and dyeing her own yarn to sell. We have other handcrafted yarns from western Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York. It can be difficult for stores to carry these yarns because the artisans don’t always produce a lot of skeins, so you have to be able to work around that,” Lockwood said.
“We help our customers to think outside the box and understand its okay, even exciting, to mix yarns together, and how to do that, by weight and color of yarn. This enables them to make a truly unique handmade garment, not something you would find in a big box store.”
What types of products do you have in the artisans’ side of the store?
“Our products allow a gift to be personal and often encouraging, a pleasure to give and to receive.
“We’ve added some higher-end things such as fused-glass bowls and platters. We have a new crafter who makes soy candles with wonderful scents that go all the way through, a couple of new woodworkers with incredible turning work, and some new plaques. One crafter makes the most fabulous stuffed animals; a portion of her profits goes to Lifeline Animal Project.
“About a dozen of the artisans work here part-time and can answer questions. A number of our artisans will take special orders. We are looking forward to hosting more events with the artisans this year.”
What about your classes?
“We offer knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, any classes that pertain to fiber. The class schedule and registration are available on the website and in the shop. Often people will come in to register so they can see what they need for the class and pick up their supplies.
“One class is how to knit or crochet a sweater that fits. That’s one of the biggest drawbacks to knitting a sweater. It’s a lot of work, a lot of yarn, and then you don’t like the way it hangs. We also educate people on weight and types of yarn that will work with patterns.
“There are always beginner and intermediate classes. Classes are generally four to six weeks long, and we offer a number of one-time workshops.
“New instructors join us on a regular basis offering a variety of classes. Currently we have new instructors offering classes such as knitted animals, knitted lace, and Crochet Bavarian Afghans.”
Craftworks is open Monday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.