Growing up in Powell River, Amanda Hasler was always passionate about knitting and surrounded by a family of like-minded creatives.
“My mom, my sisters and myself were always knitting together,” she says.
After graduating from Max Cameron Secondary School, travelling and pursuing a career in nursing, Hasler found knitting remained a constant in her life.
“Whenever I would move to different places I’d always join a knitting group,” says Amanda. “Even when I was tired after working all day, I’d always go. It just fuels your soul.”
Six years ago, she returned to her hometown with husband Gabriel. The couple now have two children aged one and three.
“I love Powell River and can’t imagine living or having my children be brought up anywhere else,” she adds. “It’s really a treasure.”
After recently completing maternity leave and returning to work as a nurse, Amanda has taken on a new project. Three weeks ago she opened Knitter’s Nest on the top floor of Townsite Public Market. The shop space has been faithfully restored in traditional Townsite-era style with plenty of old school charm.
“It was a labour of love,” explains Amanda. “My family came and helped me paint and lay the floors. I wanted it to be rustic and homey.”
The focal point is the yarn, in glorious hues and textures throughout the shop. Carefully curated, Knitters Nest has a diverse selection of premium quality, ethically sourced and made wool and yarn, needles and notions.
“It was important to me to source and fill the store with a variety of Canadian products, from stitch markers to project bags, and of course Canadian wool and Canadian hand-dyed yarn,” says Amanda. “There’s really something for everyone, from 100 per cent wool to acrylic and all prices ranges.”
Although the shop has knitting in the name, it is truly a space for crocheters, weavers and fibre enthusiasts of all kinds, says Amanda, and building a welcoming, inclusive community is the focus. A table and chairs in the centre of the shop invites people to sit, relax and socialize. Next week the shop will begin offering classes.
“We’ve already started a knitting night Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 pm and a knit-along where everybody works on the same project,” says Amanda.
One of the many joys of creating with fibre arts is how it can bring people of all ages together and enthusiasts can continue learning and improving throughout their lives, she adds.
“When I would go to the knitting group there were all those generations sitting together and you really realize how connected you are. Age has nothing to do with it. We have so much more in common than not.”
There are also great health benefits to joining a creative social group, says Amanda.
“I have seen firsthand how being a part of a knitting community can positively impact those who live with mental health challenges. Knitting can be therapeutic and very rewarding.”
Although her young family and nursing career were already keeping her busy, Amanda says she is thrilled with her new business venture and all the positivity it is already bringing.
“I feel like life is a happiness project, and in order to be a happy mom I wanted to tap into that creative side of things,” she adds. “I want the store to be warm and welcoming so people feel they can come hang out and relax, gain confidence and get better at their craft. Really it’s all about fellowship.”
Knitters Nest, located on the top floor of Townsite Public Market, is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and 10 am to 8 pm on Thursdays. The shop will be celebrating with a grand opening on Saturday, September 21.
More information can be found on Facebook or Instagram @knittersnestyarns, or by calling 604.413.4116.