For a quiet little knitting design and tea shop on Bainbridge Island, Washington, Churchmouse Yarn & Teas has tremendous reach. “Our work and our patterns are sold all over the world,” says owners Kit Hutchin and John Koval. “We are always surprised at our following because Kit has never worked in retail before, and John can’t knit at all!”

An unwelcomed surprise however, has been the impact of the pandemic on retail establishments like Churchmouse. “We had to basically shudder the brick and mortar shop and convert everything online,” says Hutchin. “We’ve had to make the hardest decisions of our lives these past months, but our loyal customers are continuing to find us online.”

Undaunted, Churchmouse is working hard to keep the legacy of knitting alive and well on Bainbridge Island and the world. As a partner of Columbia Bank’s Pass It On Project, Churchmouse Yarns & Teas is providing supplies to local schools, and Columbia Bank is paying the bill. “We are providing ‘learn to’ kits to Kitsap County Schools,” says Koval. “Our founder greatly believed in arts education, and with Columbia Bank’s support we are going to help continue that important outreach with these educational starter kits.”