Alcony Weavers brings a colorful mix to Downtown shopping

A new, brightly-colored view popped up along North Fountain Avenue in Downtown Springfield recently.

Alcony Weavers opened its doors in the first of three storefronts along the Park at the 99 garage, with the other two spots soon to house Charlo’s Provisions & Eatery.

The shop is a first for owner and operator Spensir Robinson, who has run the business online and through trade show set-ups for the past few years.

Inside Alcony Weavers, patrons will find a variety of natural fibers, including wool and cotton, that can be used for what Robinson called fiber arts. While that realm does include knitting and crocheting, Robinson says it also includes felting, rug hooking, and more.

“My mother has been into fiber arts for about 25 years,” says Robinson, a Springfield native and Catholic Central graduate. “I’ve been around it and traveling to shows and trade shows since I was about 2. I became familiar with it since a young age, and as I got older, I decided to stay in the same vein, the same wheelhouse of fiber arts.”

And the business has stayed a family affair, with Robinson’s mom’s products – Pandoras Yarn – featured within Alcony Weavers.

Robinson himself, however, makes products differently than his mom. He says his interest became more serious when he stumbled upon some vintage weaving machinery in a family friend’s barn.

“They were looking to get rid of it, so I tinkered with them to get them working, and I started making stuff to have myself,” says Robinson, who started off with some socks and blankets.

As he acquired more machinery, Robinson says he was able to expand the types of items he made, which allowed him to grow his online presence and sell his items in some shops across Ohio.

“The thing about my machinery is that it’s all vintage,” Robinson says. “The oldest piece of machinery is about 100 years old and the newest is about 60 years old.”

Robinson says he wouldn’t call his items “handmade” because he uses the machinery to make them. But, he does hand-dye many of his items, giving each piece a unique flare all its own.

“There might be 30 pairs of socks with a similar color scheme, but each will have uniqueness to it,” he says.

In addition to the Pandoras Yarn and hand-dyed items, Robinson says the shop also carries a number of “maker” supplies, including spinning fiber and supplies for rug hooking and felting.

Robinson says the business has some regular customers who he enjoys seeing visit the new shop, but that he’s also looking forward to growing the customer base and giving people a place to shop all the options in person.

Alcony Weavers will also use their space to offer classes for people interested in learning different types of fiber arts. The shop also hosts a weekly “knit and chat,” where people can bring their projects to work on while hanging out with other makers.

“I’m very happy to be a part of the Downtown growth,” he says. “It’s exciting to see people want to do stuff Downtown and want to see what Springfield has to offer, and a lot of people in Springfield are doing a lot of cool things. I have a sense of pride in that.”

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.