Is there anyone in Pawling who doesn’t know Marie Stewart?
This is a rhetorical question, of course, because everyone in our community knows Marie Stewart. She is the proprietor of the Yarn and Craft Box on Charles Coleman Boulevard. She is caring and capable and an extraordinary contributor to the quality of life in our town, both through her activities with the Pawling Chamber of Commerce, and through her very special place of business.
There has never been a time that I have walked into her shop and there hasn’t been at least one knitter or crocheter sitting at the craft table sharing time and camaraderie, as beautiful wooly creations unfold from their quick moving needles and hooks. Last Wednesday when I visited Marie in order to interview her for this article, was no exception.
After retiring from a career with the phone company in 1990, Marie became a partner in what is now solely her own business. It wasn’t an arbitrary move. Marie has been passionate about knitting since she was eight years old. In fact, she teaches classes to adult knitters and offers private lessons to children who have a budding interest in this art. Marie says that men and boys don’t often cross the threshold of her store, but when they do, they actually pick up the skill easier than women and girls. Interesting!
Her knitting classes take place on Monday afternoon and evening, and Thursdays, as well. Monday morning’s crocheting is taught by award winning needle crafter Margaret Hubert. The women who meet for classes make up the core of friends that are Marie’s knitting family; the Yarn and Craft Box is their home away from home…a gathering spot for good company and conversation, a little friendly gossip, or just pleasantly passing time .
Marie says, “…they are all different, but all close in so many ways…we have all bonded… and have created a very special connection to each other.”
On this particular day, Inga Odmann was sitting at the table knitting a beautifully soft and intricately stitched, forest green scarf. “…a pleasure to come in and sit,” she says.
Soon all you knitting and crocheting lovers may participate in Marie’s Baby Sweater Contest. Application packets will be available in June at the shop, and you will have the opportunity to design and create an original sweater for a little one, age three months to two years. Submissions will be judged by a juried panel of needle craft experts who will be looking for originality of design and workmanship. Three prizes will be awarded. The first place winner will receive a $100.00 gift certificate to The Yarn and Craft Box; Second place, a $50.00 gift certificate, and third place, a $25.00 gift certificate. With all of the beautiful and colorfully textured yarns available in the store, these prizes will, no doubt, be happily used.
Marie speaks about going to Tuscany for a knitting expedition, much like the trip she made to Norway to learn Faire Isle Knitting, and if the subject of retirement comes up, Marie insists that she will remain active. “But, it’s too early to decide now,” she says. “You never know what life will bring.”
The Yarn and Craft Box is located at 24 Charles Coleman Boulevard in Pawling, NY. 845-855-1632, or log onto www.yarnandcraftbox.com