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Volunteers rally to support Helena knitting store

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Posted at 5:22 PM, Dec 09, 2022

HELENA — When it looked like a popular yarn shop downtown would close in September, members of the Helena knitting community came together and donated hundreds of hours to help keep it open through the holidays.

After nearly 25 years of service to the Helena community, Y'arnings owner Greg Hallsten made the difficult decision of closing the yarn shop in September because of medical reasons.

Members of the "Sunday knitting group," here in Helena, formed a team of volunteers to keep the store open since September 9. For Niki Whearty, one of the volunteers wanted to help the yarn shop in any way she could.

"Nine of us stepped up and said, we'll volunteer to keep the shop open until the end of the year, and we'd hope that Greg would be able to come back to pick up where he left off with the shop. But his health won't allow that," said Whearty.

Hallsten has a passion for natural fibers, he stocked his store with yarns made from fibers ranging from alpaca, llama, silk, hemp, and linen sourced from locations around the world.

Hallsten told me that he was thankful for the community support over the years.

If I could keep going over would certainly do so just to be among the knitters of the community," said Hallsten.

Now the volunteers are trying to clear out the inventory, tying up loose ends, and plan to close the store at the end of the year.

For Whearty, it's a moment to reflect on the impact of the local knitting community coming together.

"Knitting, I think, forms bonds. Isn't that interesting? Like that thread, you know, that tie binds us together in friendship. And that's where we were motivated to help. Help Greg. And we have a strong friendships with other people in the community," said Wheartly.

It's safe to say that Y'arnings is proud to be part of such a tight-knit community.

Positively Montana