Red Bug

Red Bug Yarn & Gifts owners, from left, Trudy McFarlane, Cindy McDaniel, Susan Williams, and Jill McElya.

When you think about knitting, you might envision a grandmother in her spectacles and long dress, sitting in a rocking chair with a full Pompadour hairstyle, working away in modest trappings. Others might see a picture of a Jane Austen novel. However, when you walk into Red Bug Yarn & Gifts on 102 S. Sixth St., that’s not what you will encounter. As I walked into the front door, I was greeted by the fragrant aroma of essential oils. A cheerful woman greeted me, her demeanor very inviting. I introduced myself, and she in reciprocation. I told her that I wanted to know what they did there. What I learned was beyond what I thought. 

Several years ago, this business was on North Third Street. As it grew, a new location was needed, and partners were taken on for expansion. Now, four women with a passion for knitting and its culture, run Red Bug. Susan was whom I met upon entrance and Jill a few minutes later. Both were most kind and eager to share with me what Red Bug is all about. I had thought they simply sold yarn of different makes, but that’s only a part of it. 

Red Bug sells yarn, yes, but they also host knitting classes and groups for any who’d have an interest. Some of their work is on display, and as a man writing this, some of it is rather intricate and certainly beautiful to behold. I asked Susan whether or not she thought knitting was making a comeback, to which she positively replied, “Yes, I think it is!” In a day and time where most of us purchase clothing off the rack, a resurgence of craftsmanship over mass production is appealing to many. Time, though, and expertise put into fingerless gloves, a scarf, wrap, or any other piece of apparel communicates value, the value of someone giving of themselves to a project that another can wear. 

In my possession are a few handmade quilts, both created by talented church ladies. Those are meaningful possessions of mine that I value because of the love put into them, as well as the skill. Beyond that, for Susan, knitting fosters community. Men are welcomed, too. They may assemble with the women, learn how to knit, and how to become better at it. A novice will find it challenging, but once they can improve their mastery of knitting, they will certainly find a sense of pride in their work. Anyone who attends and partakes will also find therapy. The community fostered, the patience and attention given to detail may very well receive a cathartic effect from the atmosphere cultivated. 

Many may not know it’s there. Some may have never entertained taking it up. Red Bug is a place where any visitor, as was I, will feel most at home. Give them a visit and see for yourself. 


What’s happening on 

the square!

 March 13              

Farmers Market Vendor’s Meeting, 11:30 a.m., 206 S. Fourth St.

March 14-16

Spring Open House    

March 26

Bacon, Butter & Bourbon Bake-off, 6 p.m.

April (TBD) 

Marketing on a Budget-round table, 7:30 a.m., 206 S. Fourth St.

 April 20

 Easter on the Square, 9:30 a.m. 

May 18

Downtown Farmers Market opening day, 7 a.m.

For information regarding any happenings, please contact Murray Main Street at 270-759-9474.  

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