Labor Day weekend marks the beginning of our 5th year on Love Lane.
I wish I could express in words how grateful I am for the enthusiasm and support you've shown us from the moment we opened the door.
The creative people of the North Fork and beyond are why Altman's Needlearts is a flourishing small business today. Your friendly, generous spirit and devotion to your craft are what make you such an inspiring group of fiber artists. You are what make going to work every day a real joy for each of us.
Four years ago, Altman’s opened just in time for the Labor Day weekend of 2012. I had just moved from my previous shop in Cutchogue, to my dream spot on Love Lane.
At my old shop, Altman’s North Fork Home, the focus had been on home goods and needlework (I know, but it made sense to me at the time) and the move from there to Love Lane happened in a hurry. We didn’t even have any yarn yet!
The first order of yarn, Cascade 220, which we still offer, arrived in late October 2012. We now carry 22 brands and heaven knows how many different yarns. We started with just a few needles and notions, and now we have over 1,000 line items in that department alone. I have learned a lot about Knitting and Crochet over the last 4 years. Always liked them, but now I love them.
Needlepoint is still a favorite pastime of mine, but it’s better to focus on a few things than too many, so going forward there will be emphasis on quality supplies rather than hand-painted canvases. People come from near and far to select threads for their projects, including wool which few shops sell. We will still have kits, though, because it’s fun to pick something up and get stitching right away.
Embroidery is a specialty we'll continue to develop. Almost every week we receive new embroidery items, including kits, as vendors, recognizing the renewed interest in this classic art form, provide updated projects. Young kids through teens are especially interested, and of course this makes me happy. It's a subject I love to teach, too.
That said, Sewing has always been my favorite thing to do. As many of you know, I had a shop called The Sewing Circle, in Brooklyn, until 1994. Started as a source for garment sewing, it quickly became mostly a quilt shop. I loved that store, those customers, and all the fabulous projects created there. TSC was the inspiration for Altman's Needlearts; I loved providing materials to a creative crowd, and missed being part of a stitching community.
We now carry a nice selection of sewing patterns by indie designers including Colette, Grainline Studio, Made By Rae, and others. Sewing notions have always been lurking in the corner (since day one!), and now that department is growing, too, and coming out of the shadows. Teaching sewing is one of my great pleasures, and I’m looking forward to expanding our offerings during our 5th year. Maybe some day I’ll even bring in some fabric! (Don't hold your breath.)
Altman’s wouldn’t be here without you. With deep gratitude to you – our wonderful customers – we wish you a very happy transition from summer to fall.
See you soon.