AN AMERICAN woman is hoping to show Tonbridge that knitting is not just an old granny’s game.
Laura Olley, 32, was originally from Washington DC but has lived in Tonbridge since 2014 after following her husband Jonathan back to his homeland.
While she has settled into the area well, there is one element that she felt was wanting.
“There is no wool shop in Tonbridge, or even nearby. The closest one is in Faversham, which is about 45 minutes away and not accessible by train,” she said.
So after seeing a gap in the market, Mrs Olley decided to quit her nine to five marketing job in London and established her online Yarns of Anarchy store earlier this month.
“The idea is not to make knitting cool, well maybe a bit, but we want to show that it is not just for your Granny,” she said.
“I aim to have a physical shop by the end of the year – wool is something you need to touch to know if you want to spend your money.
“What you buy at other places is not nice, I have no interest in that. So, with Yarns of Anarchy I am rebelling against the cheap and cheerful.
“It actually squeaks on your needles. To me this is like nails on a chalk board. You can call me a yarn snob. That’s ok.”
To complement the business side of things, Mrs Olley has established knitting sessions to take place every Thursday morning at the Old Fire Station, starting at 10am tomorrow [March 30].
She said she has had a lot of requests for evening slots, evidence that there are plenty of ‘working knitters’ out there.
“I want to add the social element to these sessions, for like-minded wool enthusiasts to get together and share tips and advice and to make friends.”