Saltburn’s Angela Morton first got serious about knitting when she wanted to take her mind off a stressful business – and her soothing hobby has now become a business in itself.
Angela recently opened Ripping Yarns in her home town, stocking everything the keen knitter needs to turn out hand-crafted garments. The shop in Dundas Street West is already proving popular with customers – and giving a boost to other local businesses into the bargain.
Angela said: “When I was running a stressful business, I found it very calming to sit down and do some knitting – I started with socks.”
Soon, though, Angela was knitting well enough to sell her socks and baby beanie hats. And when she moved back to Saltburn 18 months ago, she spotted a gap in the market.
“There was nowhere to buy wool,” she said – so she turned to Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Enterprise Team for advice on opening up a new business. Initially, Angela was interested in a tea room, but saw a vacant shop and hit upon the Ripping Yarns idea.
“The Enterprise Team were incredibly helpful,” she said. “They organised sessions for me on finance, marketing and e-commerce, and gave me a lot of ideas that I would never have come up with by myself.”
Ripping Yarns opened in March, and Angela is working with other local businesses for her supplies.
”I buy beautiful natural undyed yarns from Blackbat Sheepskins of Marske, knitting bags from Jan Bags and ceramic bowls to hold your ball of wool from Wold Pottery in Saltburn,” said Angela.
“I’m keen to use as many local suppliers as possible.”
Knitting has experienced a huge upsurge in popularity in recent years, with celebrities spotted knitting and many clubs springing up. “I think in a recession, people enjoy the satisfaction of creating something hand-made – and as I know, it’s also a very relaxing hobby,” she said.
Angela, 54, has also launched a weekly knitting club at the shop every Monday from 6-8pm. “It’s free – just bring your knitting and have a chat and a cuppa,” she said.
For more information about Ripping Yarns, visit http://rippingyarnsaltburn.wordpress.com/ or ring 01287 623154.