The Twisted Purl, an unassuming tiny shop on Deer Street in Conway, is home to a successful storefront and online business specializing in locally handmade yarn.
Shop owner Cyndi Minister has been in the business of hand-spinning and dyeing yarn since 2007, when she started her online business. Minister opened her shop in Conway in June 2015, but said that her online business is what makes her shop possible.
Minister said that she loves Conway’s small town atmosphere and community.
“The most rewarding thing about this business is talking to people about what handmade and creative means to them,” Minister said. “Handmade is so important to me.”
Minister became interested in spinning and dyeing wool because of her knitting hobby.
“I fell in love with yarn, but I didn’t see the colors or textures that I wanted,” she said.
Minister tried to mix yarns to get the ideal colors, but always ended up with yarn too bulky to work with. She was introduced to hand-painted yarn in a shop in Vermont and fell in love with the idea.
“The sky opened,” Minister said. “I thought, ‘You can paint yarn?’”
Minister first learned the process of dying, and began to sell her hand-dyed yarn. She then began to spin her own yarn in order to get the texture she wanted.
Minister said her favorite yarn to make is art yarn because of the texture.
“I like the creative vibe—you can let the fiber talk to you,” Minister said. “You can let it be what it wants to be.”
She makes a lot of her art yarn out of alpaca wool from a local farm. In addition to alpaca wool, she uses Merino and BFL wool and silk.
Minister sells her own yarn in the shop, as well as high-quality yarn from around the world and tools for spinning. Weekly classes are held to teach community members how to knit, crochet, felt and spin, as well as advanced knitting classes. Class sizes are limited to ten and are usually $10.
Minister also offers an internship program for those interested in learning to how create and manage a creative business. The internship includes lessons on spinning and dyeing.
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