South Bay’s The Knitting Tree, L.a. And L’atelier Restitch Yarn Healing Connection With The 10th L.a. County Yarn Crawl March 24-27, 2022

Top Quote L'Atelier in Redondo Beach and The Knitting Tree L.A. in Inglewood are participating as the SOUTH BAY leg of the L.A. County Yarn Crawl's 10th Celebration back with a LIVE event inside of a 143 mile crawl across L.A. County. Whether you're a local, a tourist, or a staycationer - this road trippin' 4-day event is fun for everyone who loves yarn, shopping, fashion and adventure. End Quote
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA (1888PressRelease) February 16, 2022 - Los Angelenos know how hard the pandemic hit The City of Angels. At a time when community called upon its own healing angels, Annette Corsino owner of The Knitting Tree, L.A. (1031 W. Manchester Blvd., #2, Inglewood) and Karen Damskey owner of L’Atelier (1722 South Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach) answered the call tending to their yarn artists’ need for their creative healing community, even if it was temporarily virtual. Now looking ahead to the in-person healing connection, these two South Bay shop owners will be participating as part of the 15 local women-owned businesses for the triumphant return of the four-day 10th L.A. County Yarn Crawl March 24-27, 2022 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. which sprawls across 143 miles of Los Angeles’ six yarn communities.

    Being an entrepreneur is not easy. During a pandemic, like many shops they felt the challenges to stay afloat as an entity and continue to be a pillar of purposeful healing strength for their specific fiber arts communities. Juggling this passion simultaneously is something both Corsino and Damskey are aware of in what they love to do. Surviving as a business and serving one’s fiber family with an artist cord connection takes great strength, patience and love.

    Mindfulness, balance and respect are in eight-year old The Knitting Tree L.A.’s jam both pre-and-amid the pandemic. Entering her 14th year in the yarn business (previously owning A Mano Yarn Center 2004-2009) and participating in her seventh L.A. County Yarn Crawl, Bridgeport, Connecticut-born Annette Corsino, eats, breathes and sleeps the benefits of her fiber arts community to the core. A teacher for over thirty years, instructing thousands of people to knit and crochet inside of domestic violence shelters, mental health programs, and the downtown mission, Corsino fully believes in crafting the future (literally) as she lives in the present moment consciousness of yarn’s powerful outreach in an expansive way.

    “The fiber arts are a vital part of cultural arts, especially in a city as diverse as Los Angeles. Many of the fiber arts have been handed down generation to generation and reflect different inspirations, color, and structure. It is a medium of hands working in prayers, support, friendship, idealism, joy and hope into each stitch. Traditionally, the fiber arts are created in groups that foster family and community, where people of all kinds come together with a common interest. One of the most important aspects of education is exposure to ways of life different from your own. That's how we learn and expand our view of the world, creating understanding, compassion, and empathy,” declares Corsino.

    For many retailers, especially small businesses, the pandemic brought with it a lot of challenges to stay afloat. Corsino did all she could to pivot with Facetime shopping, curbside pickup, drop ship kits, Zoom Sunday Brunch, weekly emails and outdoor, socially distanced classes. However for The Knitting Tree L.A. staying true to the healing connection is most important for the shop, where the reciprocal relationship is fortifying, loving and strong. Here, Corsino got to see the love returned in unexpected ways.

    “I was amazed by the community support during the pandemic. People came in and bought gift certificates, and things they didn't need (one woman bought ALL of my tape measures!), to help keep us going. ‘We need you here, please don't go’ and ‘Thank God you are still here!’ were some of the things I heard. How could I not do everything I could to stay open? This year, crawlers will be able to touch all of the yarn again, hug and laugh with they're friends, and of course, be inspired!” beams Corsino.

    When the pandemic hit, that didn’t change - in fact it expanded her artistic bandwidth. Corsino, who diversifies creatively as a photographer, painter, print maker, seamstress and bookbinder, focused her Covid lockdown quarantine time dyeing yarn while looking at ways to grow her commitment to honoring other parts of herself that had been put on the back-burner as a shop owner.

    “I felt my job was to facilitate other people's peace of mind, as well as my own--especially during the election! Hours at the shop were reduced and I realized that it improved my quality of life a great deal. My passion for creating and teaching was reinvigorated, but I missed my friends/customers a bunch too. Knitting is literally a moving meditation, so it calmed a lot of people down during the pandemic. One nice thing that evolved was a widening of my customer base through our Zoom Sunday stitching group. We got to take a tour of a native woman from Arizona's house and see her weavings and paintings. I felt honored to be let into her life in such an intimate way. A lot of people learned to knit and crochet on YouTube so I had lots of mistakes to fix when customers were able to come back! It was great because a lot of new knitters were introduced to our awesome community!” exclaims Corsino who hopes the Worldwide Knit-Alongs trend lives on beyond the pandemic.

    Sharing Corsino’s sentiments about the powerful worldwide “connectivity of creating, sharing and the value of art” is L’Atelier’s owner Karen Damskey, celebrating forty-six glorious years in the fiber arts business in the Riviera Village of Redondo Beach. The French word L’Atelier, translates to mean “The Workshop” and has always been seen as an active hub for all things yarn and design. With a 2nd location in Encino on Ventura Boulevard, L’Atelier brings its expertise and spirit to the San Fernando Valley as well. Both of these stores participating in the 10th L.A. County Yarn Crawl are family-owned and operated with her two adult children, a dedicated support staff and also includes her partnership with her daughter-in-law Theresa Damskey as the General Manager.

    Damskey’s artistic belief is firmly planted in her four and a half decades as a fiber arts business owner who practices her own creativity as a way through first-hand application and love of yarn. She has long expounded the power of yarn and the fiber arts that derive from it as healing, believing that creativity’s passion is the root of connection. Being a true needle master with a diversified range of fiber arts experience broadens her reach mentally, creatively, emotionally and spiritually as she sees ‘the artist within’ others. She believes these preferences are usually created by the enthusiasm of whoever first introduces someone to either knit or crochet.

    With L.A.’s vast and diverse yarn community. Damskey believes that those who enjoy the art of creating with fiber have a special gene, with a proclivity to collect. “I crochet, needlepoint, embroider, bead etcetera, they all excite me. Those of us who have bags filled with all things fiber and fiber related, versus those who have no bags of stuff stashed anywhere in their homes is an indication of the fiber gene to fulfill ourselves creatively, and collect in order to continuously commit to this passion,” she shares.

    Participating in her ninth L.A. County Yarn Crawl means reconnecting to the in-person healing energy connection with her clientele. When COVID hit, running two businesses in the middle of a pandemic meant trying to be as agile as possible. Working to adapt in order to keep the connection and the businesses running, when she couldn’t connect in-person was something Damskey attributes to ‘survival.’ She is so grateful for her customer’s loyalty, interest and patronage and hopes Yarn Crawl 2022 will begin to build back more of that network.

    “I feel they were as supportive beyond belief. Locals missed the in-store contact, while our faraway clients stayed more connected,” shares General Manager, Theresa Damskey who pivoted along with value team member Robyn Mac Donald taking the stores and their large mail order family to Zoom, and the phones, creating innovative ways to reach everyone.

    As a GM, the creative strategy work is non-stop. Currently, she is working with the L’Atelier team developing other shop branded digital delights to as a way to expand the creative arms of outreach through fun promotions. Some of these promotions include Mystery Box Cruises, surprise boxes and a special box being developed specifically for the L.A. County Yarn Crawl as part of Club L’Atelier, Sunday Night Delight, and Spotlight.

    From early needlepoint shop humble beginnings, to growing into the two-shop L’Atelier business “Cheers” of knitting, they welcome all to their “knitting bar” for more than just knitting itself. For owner, Karen Damskey it is more than just passion, healing, outreach and artistry it is actually a lifetime commitment of staying connected by all threads human and yarn. “My entire L’Atelier team and I strive forward to enticing and exciting our customers with that passion we all share. We care and we believe in giving everyone the full experience. Anyone can sell product. Our products come with the perks of connection, expertise, knowledge and the gift of caring,” shares Damskey who learned to knit from her aunt at age five, spinning her yarn thread passion into what has become her life’s work.

    “In 1976, I started out as a hand-painted needlepoint shop. My husband and I were ending a military commitment after three years in Athens Greece. Being a Southern California girl, I wanted to locate near my family. We found Manhattan Beach fell in love with the area, and the rest just evolved. The most challenging aspect of being a yarn shop owner is continually evolving, change is always necessary, to remain relevant. Because of our large geographic area which encompasses L.A. County we are challenged to offer goods and services to meet all the needs,” shares Damskey.

    When it comes to staying relevant, healing never goes out of style which is something needed more than ever amid a pandemic, where the fiber arts community is seeing its imperative growth. However, prior to the pandemic just before the L.A. County Yarn Crawl had to postpone its 2020 crawl, Damskey had shared a very special story about how her shop became a place for grief healing.

    “One of my clients lost her husband. She was working on a sweater for him and wanted to return all the unused yarns. She had completed ¾ of the sweater. I took her aside and suggested that she finish the sweater for herself. She had knit all of her love of “Tom” into it and it was sad to see her abandon it. She broke out with a big smile and we worked together to make some simple changes that would allow her to complete the garment for herself. The joy and love on her face told the story. Working with yarn and creating new designs connects me to my soul. For me knitting is a journal, whatever I’m working on will in the future trigger what was happening at that moment in my life. Creating gives me mindfulness, and balance,” elaborates Damskey.

    If healing through creating with yarn sets the souls of these two amazing South Bay area women free, where they fly next will also have no bounds. The connection continues as they each unravel their own life purposes to help others joining the other 15 shops on Westside, Long Beach, DTLA, San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys.

    Joining The Knitting Tree L.A. onsite in Inglewood Saturday, March 26th 2022 will be the 107-square foot mobile Yarnover Truck Owned by Minneapolis, Minnesota-born Maridee Dangcil, the mobile yarn truck celebrates its 9th anniversary selling hand-dyed yarns in L.A. County.

    The 10th L.A. Yarn Crawl will be bringing a mix of old and new to the event. Returning will be the classic crawl popular passport prize promotion, where each of the fifteen shops will feature a $300 gift basket prize. To enter crawl participants will drop their completed passports with stamps from the Yarn Crawl sprawl of shops visited: Other prize level components will feature general crawl prizes with a certain number of shops visited. In addition to the free patterns given away as
    a regular feature of the crawl each year, to celebrate the 10th crawl will be a first-time additional Treasure Hunt pattern giveaway in both knit and crochet.

    The L.A. County Yarn Crawl’s group of unique shops are committed toward educating and teaching yarn crafts. The purpose of the event is to create awareness by bringing together the Los Angeles community in the fiber arts all while creating friendships, inspiring creativity, projects, and memories to last a lifetime. For event details, COVID safety protocol and more information on the L.A. County Yarn Crawl 2022 please go to or email layarncrawl ( @ ) gmail dot com For all media interview and photo requests contact event publicist Stacey Kumagai of Media Monster Communications, Inc. at 818.506.8675 mediamonster ( @ ) yahoo dot com