Life happens while sitting around with friends and knitting. Or crocheting,
embroidering, or hand-quilting. By Christine R. Gonzalez | Photography by Allison Potter
“WHOEVER has thread in their bag, they are welcome to join and come sit and meet
other people,” says Caroline Hegwer, owner of The Noble Thread in downtown
Wilmington. “Two different things bring people to a yarn shop. You have classes
where people learn a skill, individually or in a group. The other is social gatherings.
We have a living room with two really big couches. People come to hang out
every day, but the official social times are Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.”
The social times are free and open to anyone. For almost three years, needle-work
enthusiasts ages 16 to 90 have been congregating at the shop to create, talk
There’s more to it than just a time to hang out
with fellow needlework enthusiasts. Rhythmic,
repetitive movements can help manage stress,
depression, anxiety and even chronic pain.
A 2013 Psychology Today article noted that the
repetitive movements “distract people from mull-ing
over the past or fear of the future.” It said hand-work
can bring down blood pressure and heart
rate and help prevent stress-related illnesses.
Newer articles suggest that sewing can even
stave off dementia, citing the many different parts
of the brain that are engaged in creativity, spatial
thinking and problem solving.
“It’s meditative, like bicycling or going for a walk,
because your hands are engaged in a repetitive
motion,” explains Hegwer, who was born in Paris.
“With each stitch you begin to relax. A lot do say,
‘This is my therapy.’”
Yarns of Wilmington owner Leslie Branch
“So many say this is their
therapy and at the end of
their day, maybe for just
an hour, they can tune
out everything else, and
have a handmade cre-ation
in the end,” she
says. “They keep their
sewing in their car for
visits to the doctor’s
office or if their kids
have practice. And it is
cheaper than going to a
to it than just
a time to hang
out with fellow
Knitters gather at The Noble
Thread on a Sunday after-noon
in November to chat
and learn from each other.