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Sewing stories open up

Our Laguna

July 16, 2010|By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com
  • Knitting workshop at Strands and Stitches.
Knitting workshop at Strands and Stitches. (Coastline Pilot )

Regulars at Strands & Stitches on South Coast Highway are a close-knit group — and that includes the needlepointers and crocheters, who like to socialize while working on projects, much like the old-fashioned sewing bees.

Owners Dona Harmon, Cindy Hartman and Lisa Triebwasser sell the yarns, fibers and all the accoutrements needed for the crafts they teach, but the friendly atmosphere is free — and appreciated.

"This has been home to me for years," said Nancy Kreder, widow of longtime Laguna Beach businessman Jim Kreder. "They were very supportive through Jim's heart problems and after he died."

Kreder, who knits and needlepoints exquisitely, often on consignment, assists the owners when the shop gets very busy.

Casual customers or newcomers to the weekly workshops are warmly welcomed, a tradition established by the late Carol Harrison, the original and cherished owner.

"The shop connects me to my community," Harmon said.

Community is important to all three owners. And they use their talents to strengthen that connection.

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Starting Aug. 24, they will be teaching students at the Susi Q to crochet or knit "comfort shawls" for patients at the Laguna campus of Mission Hospital.

""The purpose is to gather people in the community to give back to the community," Triebwasser said. "All ages and levels of skill are welcome."

Classes will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on the last Friday of every month.

To register for the class or for more information, call (949) 497-2441.

This will be the second series of classes fostered by Strands & Stitches at the Susi Q. They previously taught knitting and crocheting under the auspices of "Knots of Love," which provides hand-made caps for men, women and children being treated for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

More than 45,000 caps have been distributed around the country since the charity was founded in 2007.

Harmon, who was active in SchoolPower when her children were younger, was first a customer at the shop, then a teaching employee, and finally convinced by Hartman to become an owner.

Hartman formerly worked for Freeman MacGillivray Films. She is the unofficial store manager, doing the chores Harmon happily relinquishes.

Triebwasser began teaching needlepoint at Laguna Needlework on Ocean Avenue where Zinc Café & Market is now located.

"The owner said, 'You look like you could teach,'" Triebwasser recalled.

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