Suzanne Jenkins sits at one of the looms she has set up in her new store in Sonoita. Photo by Marion Vendituoli

Dream Weavers, the new store on Hwy 83, next to Tia Nita’s Cantina in Sonoita, reflects owner Suzanne Jenkins’ passion for weaving, for yarns and for textiles. During a recent interview, Jenkins stood surrounded by shelves loaded with skeins of yarn, looms, textile samples, how-to books, DVDS and reference volumes, all of which she had been storing at her home in Sonoita.

Jenkins had been using the space that she is converting into a store and studio to showcase items that were part of the Snuff Garrett estate sale, but soon began envisioning using the
space for a craft store focused on fiber arts.

She needed a space for her five looms and for all the yarns she had collected over the years. “There just isn’t enough space in a house for a weaver,” she said. The store will stock spinning, knitting, crocheting and needlepoint supplies and yarns.

She will be selling a variety of yarns, including cottons, acrylics, wools, blends and fine alpaca. There are local alpaca fleeces available for those who might want to do their own spinning.

Jenkins will also be selling repurposed yarns. These are yarns she has recycled from clothing purchased at Goodwill, Salvation Army and other thrift shops. She deconstructs the clothing, unraveling the yarn, then washes it, soaking it in hair conditioner to relax the knitting twists. This repurposing, or recycling, helps to keep items out of the landfill, and she is able to sell this yarn for less than the price of new yarn.

The studio space will be available for knitters, crocheters, weavers, beaders and quilters for no charge. She also plans to schedule classes and demonstrations. Jenkins would like to
run classes for children, as well, and has kits available for a variety of age groups. Eventually, she plans to have finished products for sale, possibly for next Christmas.

Jenkins retired from the U.S. Army in 2000, after a 28-year career. A Chief Warrant Officer 4, she had been deployed to Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Hawaii, serving as an army intelligence linguist, fluent in Chinese and Arabic.

She became interested in weaving and fiber arts four years ago. “It’s all my little sister’s fault,” she said. “She took me to a weaving guild in Canada. It was so much fun, and they made it look so easy.”