BRATTLEBORO — Beth Leggiere remembers getting in trouble in the fifth grade for knitting under her desk.
“When I was in middle school, I was sewing about half my clothes,” she said. “So I’ve been doing stuff forever.”
Leggiere has since turned her affinity for fiber arts into a career as the owner of HandKnits, 56 Elliot St. Previously a potter, she decided to open her first fiber arts store 21 years ago in New Jersey.
“I was physically very worn out,” she said of her previous vocation. “And I’d always knit, as well. And so I saw that there was this plethora of knitting magazines at our local Barnes and Noble.”
Her fiber arts store on Elliot Street, where she has been for seven years, sells a broad range of materials, from local hand-dyed yarn to whimsical buttons. She also has knit-inspired mugs by a Washington potter.
Because of her skill and experience, she decided to lend a hand to those less hook-and-needle inclined by offering private lessons. She also answers questions in the shop when she can.
Leggiere carries all types of yarns, such as merino wool and cotton. The yarn she sells is made in all corners of the world, including the U.S. as often as possible. When asked if she has a favorite, she said, “it’s like asking somebody what’s their favorite child,” but that she loves Wonderland Yarns, dyed in Brattleboro, and Berroco Yarn.
HandKnits is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to its Facebook page. More information is available at the store’s website, handknits.net, Facebook page, @HandKnitsYarnShop, and by calling 802-579-1799.