The Yarn Shack
By Caroline Aurigemma
From Issue 53: Spring 2022
If you are driving down Albany Post Rd at any hour of the day, you will pass a brightly lit and charming, small white hut. If you are curious enough to pull over, you will find yourself in an inviting shack bursting with colorful and soft yarn. Welcome to The Yarn Shack.
Paula Kucera, farmer, artist, and owner of The White Barn Farm and newly opened Yarn Shack, is excited by the feedback that she’s received since opening.
“Since I’ve opened, I haven’t gone a day without selling something!”
Kucera has owned and operated The White Barn Farm for 11 years, tending to the land and the Cormo sheep that live on her property. Although, she happily claims to be a steward of the property for around 18 years, “I take care of the land like it takes care of me.” Each year, she sheers them and invites the community to watch her begin the process of crafting their incredible soft fleece, into all types of material and fiber work. Her passion and inclusion for all in these projects resonate greatly with many in the community. “Paula has been dedicated to providing for our local yarn community, actually she may have created it almost singlehandedly,” said Lynne Nathan a former employee of Kucera’s and knitting enthusiast.
During the past few challenging years, Kucera began to feel the weight of owning, operating, and tending to the farm and keeping up with her business. Although the White Barn was a central location for knitters in the community and hosted many workshop-based seminars and classes, Kucera determined that the work of maintaining and organizing no longer excited her. “This was always a labor of love but it was time to pivot and focus more on what I want to do.” She wanted to get back to her roots as an artist and continue to create the beautiful yarn that so many in the community love.
“After closing the shop, Paula allowed the knit groups to continue meeting under the mulberry tree just outside the shop,” said Lynne. “The Yarn Shack is just another iteration of her unique way of providing knitters with time, space, and material for their creative endeavors.”
The Yarn Shack unofficially opened early in December, as a small wooden hut where Kucera would place her brightly colored yarn, gently-used needles, and even prints of her original artwork. “I wanted it to function more like a real farm stand with an honor system with a hint of roadside attraction.”
Kucera is also thinking of expanding the materials for the warmer seasons and recently added some Yarn Shack t-shirts. The accessibility of this quaint shack is perfect for those who are beginners in the knitting world and for those who have been knitting for years.
This tiny business inspires many to continue crafting and establishes a trustworthy customer base with many members of our community. While many customers stumble upon the brightly lit and colorful shack by driving by, there are definitely regulars who look forward to the new colors that Kucera adds every week. Some often request specific colors through Facebook or her guest book located inside the shack, based on their projects.
“Yarn Shack is the newest option for we “Paula yarn” lovers and knitters,” said Sally a Yarn Shack regular. “Paula has continued to transform her yarn business with so much heart and imagination.” Sally has been visiting the shack frequently and is always excited to see what is in store. “Paula has several weights of yarn in her latest colors, some notions, and her own art, with a simple payment system. I visit as often as I can allow myself to be tempted. Sometimes I stop just for some inspiration!”
If you’re seeking creative inspiration stop by the Yarn Shack!