In what has now become one of the most charitable traditions at a Chicago-area local yarn shop, String Theory Yarn Company in Glen Ellyn is gearing up for their annual Scarf Market handmade-item sale. The Scarf Market, which runs from Black Friday to Christmas Eve, is entering its seventh year at the shop, located on Main Street in downtown Glen Ellyn. From the day after Thanksgiving to the day before Christmas, both knitters and non-knitters alike are able to purchase a handmade scarf, cowl, or wrap from the store, and all proceeds from the sale are donated to a local charity.
This year, proceeds from the Scarf Market will be donated to DuPage Habitat for Humanity. With an average of over $4,000 per year collected to donate, the chosen local charities are measurably impacted by this event. Past recipient charities have also been charities which combat homelessness in DuPage county. With owner Janet Avila’s original vision being a more focused scarf- and winter-accessory donation, she found that most organizations could directly impact more of their worthy patrons with a monetary donation instead.
Participation in Scarf Market is simple, whether a yarn crafter or a customer. Avila has sent out a call for more scarf donations, which means that knitters and crocheters can make last-minute scarves and wraps and have their donations get added to the inventory. Scarves can be any fiber, length, color, pattern, and even shape to be accepted for donation. It is beneficial for the staff at String Theory to know as much as possible about the yarn used, however, so that the care instructions to the end-user can be more accurate. The range of patterns have traditionally ranged from garter stitch to Estonian lace, and everything in between, so newer knitters should not be intimidated by donating something more simple.
The scarves can be dropped off during store hours through the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and it is even still possible if absolutely necessary to drop off donations after Thanksgiving as well. For customers who cannot make it to Glen Ellyn, scarves can be mailed to String Theory Yarn Company, 477 N Main St, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137.
To be a customer at Scarf Market, the only requirement is money. The scarves are priced at a fair market value commensurate to similar fashion accessories, which means customers are actually getting a steal of a deal for a handmade product. As the items were donated by generous yarn crafters, String Theory donates 100% of the profits from the sale to the charity of choice, keeping none of the proceeds for the store itself. Past customers have completed a large portion of their holiday shopping at Scarf Market.
In addition to a call for collections, Avila has asked for help in spreading the word about the sale. The store’s website offers a free, downloadable flier to print and post at a local church or coffee shop, so that more customers will know that they can shop at String Theory for more than just yarn and knitting classes. Click here to download the flier for posting in an approved location to help get the word out about Scarf Market.
If knitters are looking for a quick project to start and finish while combatting the stress that naturally comes at this time of year, making a scarf and donating it to String Theory’s Scarf Market is a good outlet not just for the crafter, but also for local members of the community who may not have adequate housing. String Theory will be open the weekend after Thanksgiving, and will remain open during their regular holiday hours through the majority of December. More information can be found on String Theory’s website.