A sad day in Vancouver crafting history…

February 6th, 2012 § 1 comment

So I was all prepared to write a blog post about moving forward on my Mosey legwarmers after getting hung-up over how the charts/instructions baffled me when I saw on Ravelry this morning that Birkeland Bros Wool Store on Main Street is closing after 73 years in business. 73 years!

This is indeed a very sad day for crafters in Vancouver. Not only because its one of the very few local retail suppliers that you can buy copious amounts of raw fleece/dyed spinning and felting fibre but also because of its history. From Birkeland’s website:

“Olaf Birkeland and his brother Mike arrived in Vancouver from Norway in 1930’s. In 1939, when they set up their wool processing business on Main Street, they never imagined that the company would be going strong 73 years later as the result of the energy of three generations of Birkelands.”

I’m friends with the third generation owner, Cara Birkeland, and although I saw Cara only about 2 weeks ago to buy yarn for said legwarmers, her closing the store wasn’t mentioned in our chat. However, I do know that Cara’s been struggling with some medical issues, so I do understand.

But who is going to fill the gap for us spinners/felters who need fleece/fibre? Where am I going to show off my wares in window displays now? And is someone going to buy the store and take it over, or is that it for that location? So many qestions, not sure of the answers.

Here are a couple pictures of my previous window displays…

February 2009 – Mad Hatter’s Tea Party themed display
mad hatter

September 2010 – Celestial Sky themed window display

Celestial Sky

If anyone knows where I can do my window displays in the future, please send me an email :)

RIP Birkeland Bros Wool.


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