A new yarn and fabric collective will hold its grand opening in Cortez on Thursday.
Southwest Farm to Yarn is made up of 31 sheep and alpaca owners, spinners, weavers, dyers and other craftspeople who plan to make and sell their wares in Cortez. It will sell wool products and supplies for a wide variety of crafts.
Its location at 360 W. First St. will be open six days a week to customers and members and will offer classes for all skill levels starting this summer.
Sue Maxwell, a member of the collective’s board, used to work in the Cortez Quilt Co.’s yarn shop. When the store’s previous owner, Karen Childress, started phasing out her department, she decided to join with other yarn enthusiasts to create a place to buy and sell materials.
The board members want their headquarters to be a hub for yarn and fiber workers at all skill levels, and retailers from every level of production.
“We have people that have animals, and we have finished products,” volunteer Carole Morain said.
Since its soft opening on May 18, the collective has stocked its retail shelves with yarn of all colors, weaving and spinning supplies, and wool hats and other accessories. Most members are from Montezuma County, Maxwell said, but some travel from La Plata County. She hopes to recruit more craftspeople from the Four Corners, including Navajos and Utes.
Maxwell said the group will unveil a list of classes at its grand opening. It has already started hosting “fiber bees” twice a week for people who want to knit, crochet or weave in the collective’s workspace. Maxwell hopes to conduct workshops in local schools, along with other community outreach events. But for now, she said she wants to focus on gaining more members and building up the shop’s inventory.
“It’s just starting to take off,” she said.
Thursday’s grand opening will feature crafting demonstrations by members of the collective, door prizes and refreshments, as well as numerous products for sale.