Within the hustle and bustle of the local mall lies an oasis of serenity and peace.
There are no crowds or racks of sale items in this store; the few items that are for sale seem to fade to the background, behind the big, comfortable sofas and chairs where patrons are encouraged to sit for a while and to make their own scarves, socks and maybe even a sweater.
Knit Knacks Entwined opened a few weeks ago at the Shops at Worthington Place and already has developed a following among knitters and crocheters -- and those who want to learn.
Owners Karen Dendiu and Heather Morrow offer classes ranging from beginner knitting and crocheting to more advanced lessons on how to make specific items, such as socks or dolls.
Times also are set aside for beginners to practice and get individual attention between classes, to sit and stitch for charity and to combine Bible study with knitting by making a prayer shawl.
A Christian atmosphere is maintained at the shop, where a clock plays Amazing Grace on the hour.
"It's a reminder to me that I need amazing grace," Dendiu said.
In fact, topics of faith often arise among the knitters and crocheters as they sit and stitch, the owners said, adding that they are amazed at how open the women are about discussing their lives and faith.
"We are providing a safe place where people can have that experience," Dendiu said. "We don't get into 'you should believe this way or that way.' "
The owners also encourage just coming in to learn to knit or crochet or to buy yarn or supplies, saying no one needs to worry that religion will be forced upon them.
"I'm not here to save anybody; that's not my job," Dendiu said.
It might have been a stroke of grace that drew the two women together about a year ago. Morrow had left her job after many years in management with Panera Bread and was at home, taking care of a grandchild and praying for guidance on her next chapter in life.
Dendiu was working at a small business in Powell. As she walked through town one day, she saw an open shop and thought it would be a good place for a yarn shop where people could get together to learn, create and maybe form bonds.
"She (Dendiu) and I were on different paths but on the same journey," Morrow said.
The two met for lunch. Morrow was not immediately won over because she didn't even know how to knit.
She learned. And with the financial backing of Dendiu's brother, they found the Worthington mall shop to be the ideal setting. He told them it would be the right place because of the farmers market held there on Saturdays. The shop specializes in natural fibers.
"People in Worthington love homegrown, homemade, natural products, but they don't always want to grow it or make it," Morrow said.
Both women also grew up in and still live in Worthington.
Besides a living room where people could sit and knit for a while, the shop includes tables and chairs, an old-fashioned stove and even a playhouse and toys to keep toddlers busy while mothers learn to knit or crochet.
It also has books about fiber arts, patterns, a full line of fibers, needles and other tools, and a few completed hats, scarves and rugs.
"People say this is such a peaceful place," Dendiu said. "We don't start these conversations; we just let them evolve if they want to."