By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Craftworks is a hidden gem that not only unleashes creativity in its customers but honors the creativity of its crafters. The yarn and fiber shop and artisan cooperative is located at 243 West Main St., Northborough and is owned and managed by Ande Lockwood.
The successful gift shop showcases a variety of handcrafted items from over 90 crafters with appeal to everyone. Jewelry, baskets, puzzles, kids’ toys, organic based skin care products, teas, and seasonal items are among the numerous items available. Many items are priced $20 or less.
Lockwood is always looking to add local artisans to the Craftworks family. The membership application can be found on the store’s website.
“You will find things that you feel good about giving and recipients will feel good about receiving,” she said. “We are dedicated to offering customers unique, fun, and often one-of-a-kind items.”
Lockwood credits the success of the store to the loyal customer base and their support for local, small businesses.
Craftworks also is a yarn and fiber shop, which offers numerous classes to learn new skills or perfect existing skills. Nine knitting classes and three crochet classes are offered each week. The Beginner and Beyond classes typically have only 4-6 students so the instructor is able to dedicate more time with individual students. Weaving, chalk culture and seasonal craft classes are offered too.
Class schedules, most with rolling starts, can be found on the store’s website.
“We have awesome teachers who are patient and kind,” said Lockwood.
The yarn and gifts sold at Craftworks often have unique stories behind them, which makes this store even more special to explore.
One brand of yarn sold is Emma’s Yarn, founded two years ago by a 15-year-old homeschool student in Florida, who was dying a small batch of yarn for fun when learning about ratios in her math class and is now an independent dyer who continues to create yarn with beautiful color waves.
On the first Thursday of each month, Craftworks knitting and crochet instructors team up to teach new techniques to fine tune skills while benefitting a charitable organization. Last month, soft, comfy hats for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment were donated to Saint Vincent Cancer and Wellness Center in Worcester.
Earlier in the year, Knitted Knockers, soft and comfy breast prosthesis for women who have undergone mastectomies or other breast procedures, were made and donated to the oncology department at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester.
Socks for veterans, hats for premature babies, and afghan blocks to create “lapghans” for hospice patients are just a few of the knitting and crochet projects completed. Lockwood estimates that about 1,100 items are donated each year.