bags_164Cassandra Allen-Brown is building a crafting community around an unlikely location: a mall kiosk in Tamarac Square.

This Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. she’s hosting a grand opening for the Yarn Shoppe, which she considers more than just a kiosk for her homemade wares and knitting supplies. She wants it to become a hub of crafting.

Allen-Brown is especially passionate about passing on the crafting tradition to young people. The grand-opening event serves foremost as an educational opportunity: Teachers will be on hand to demonstrate different techniques to young people and adults alike. She’s also offering free giveaways to the youth, including totes with yarn supplies.

“Because of the economic downturn people are in a situation where they have to reinvent themselves. You look at your skill set and consider things you may have thought of as a hobbies,” Allen-Brown says. And she should know: She spent 24 years as a litigation paralegal.

Look for the Yarn Shoppe party to take place in the center court near the movie theater. Allen-Brown hopes more experienced crafters will bring projects they’re working on, grab a cup of coffee, and stay for a while to work and talk. In the case you can’t make the party but want to join in on the fun, check out the Yarn Shoppe’s regular meet-ups, a place to bring your project for some advice.

Bonus: Allen-Brown recently secured a yarn she’s really excited about: a hand-painted alpaca wool from Fiber Fanatic, of which she’ll be the exclusive seller in Colorado.

Tamarac Square, 7777 E. Hampden Ave., Ste. 221, 303-745-0055