Yarn, fiber serves as inspiration for business owner

SEBRING – Heidi & Lana is named for two pet sheep that store-owner Margaret Craig and her sister had as children.

The store opened on March 5 at 222 N. 15th St. and the showroom is more like a bright adventure into the world of yarn, fiber and, if you look around long enough while talking to Craig, inspiration.

Her mother, Kendra Johnson said, “She’s living her dream, it’s a passion of hers.”

Mothers know. Craig confirmed that.

“Opening this store has given me the opportunity to turn my passion for these beautiful arts into a business,” the 27-year-old store owner said.

Back to the pet sheep.

“The name Heidi & Lana goes back to when I was a child,” Craig explained, “and my dad got my sister and I each a pet lamb. I named mine Heidi and hers was Lana. Those cute sheep were the start of a love of wool, spinning and knitting.”

Besides products like yarn and fiber, Heidi & Lana features knitting needles and crochet hooks, notions, handmade stitch makers, handmade knitter’s jewelry, spinning and felting fiber.

The store also offers knit-along gatherings, knitting classes and spinning classes.

Craig said all the yarn is made or hand-dyed in America and spinners and felters can card their own art batt from a wide variety of colorful fibers.

“I have a pretty good selection … a wide variety of colors and fibers from fingering weight to super bulky,” she said, adding that translates basically into really fine to really thick.

She demonstrated how the card machine is operated by placing a portion of batt into machine and then showed how it is taken to the spinning wheel and processed even further.

“The fact that she has a carder and spinner makes her shop a little more unique,” her mother said, “a lot of knit shops don’t have a carder.”

The carding is an interesting process and worth a store visit just to see how it works.

Craig points to the area where customers can knit, noting, “We wanted to get a lot of light in here for ladies to knit by.”

During knit alongs, small groups work together on projects that vary. It can be a sweater or shawl and sessions can last two hours and classes can run for an hour-and-a-half.

Craig explained that she got into knitting about 12 years ago and then the spinning part of it about four or five years ago.

“It goes back … grandma taught me,” Craig said, adding she wanted to take it to another step by getting into spinning the yarn and the process of working it by dying and carding it and then designing patterns. “This is the part I really enjoy,” she said., “Coming up with yarns, fibers and designing patterns and spinning.”

It’s a creative process and Craig acknowledges isn’t always around or easy to come by. “The thing that I like about it is the variety because I get bored, I don’t like to make the same thing. Some days I feel creative and want to create something completely new.”

She started out by making stitch markers and moved up to spinning and now she’s teaching. “It’s something I really enjoy and enjoy teaching to people,” she said.

Stop in or call 330-257-9292 for more details or to register for classes.

Hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information visit Heidi & Lana on Facebook at www.facebook.com/heidiandlana or on the web at www.heidiandlana.etsy.com or email her at heidiandlana@yahoo.com.