Even for the most experienced knitter, navigating the maze of patterns and yarn varieties can be intimidating. So can the "knitting police," a self-appointed cabal that believe it has the power to declare what's right and what's wrong in the world of needlework. So thank goodness for Georgia Druen, who has owned and managed Hearthstone Knits since 1994. Druen herself knows a thing or two about knitting and patternmaking; her designs have appeared in national knitting magazines such as Knit 'n Style. But, she adds, "I'm not on good terms with the knitting police. I don't care how you do it, as long as you don't hurt yourself and get the right results. That's what's important." Druen's cozy south-county shop is a haven for both those who have been producing cable-knit sweaters for the past twenty years and those who are picking up needles for the first time. There are piles of yarn ranging from thick alpaca to the finest acrylic blends and plenty of hats and sweaters on display (many of them produced by Druen, to show you what you can make). If all other inspiration fails, take a private lesson from Druen (an individual beginning tutorial is a very reasonable $20 per hour) or join the open knitting group gathered at the back table.
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