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Altman’s Needlearts on Love Lane is more than an art supply store, it is a place to come together. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

On Monday mornings, passionate crafters gather at Altman’s Needlearts on Love Lane. Their ages range from nine to 80-something with skill sets just as varied. They come together to create crafts of all kinds — knitting, crocheting, needlework — nothing is off the table, aside from any talk of politics or religion, which is strictly prohibited.

The gathering is not a traditional class with an instructor  — though Altman’s offers those too — it is a warm, safe space where people come to make and share their cozy creations, casually imparting their expertise and maybe even making new friends along the way.

“One of my great pleasures is that people come in every day and say something about how welcomed they feel here,” said owner Kate Altman. “People come here and make friends. They get to talking and find they have some things in common… they’ll start going to movies together or to exhibits.”

The free stitch groups are open to the public both on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 6 p.m. at the Mattituck shop, which carries everything from high-end yarns to  needlepoint kits for beginners, ribbon, buttons and sewing supplies. The store also takes custom orders for products not in stock.

Owner Kate Altman stocks an inventor of more than 5,000 craft supplies. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

Altman, who has a background as an art director and an interior designer, opened the Love Lane shop in 2012. She previously owned a home design/art supply shop in Cutchogue in the early 2000s and a fabric store in Brooklyn during the 1990s.

“I have always loved to see people create,” she said. “I get a thrill out of what people come up with.”

The winter might be the best time to learn or rediscover your passion for crafting at Altman’s Needlearts. In addition to the open groups, Altman has classes in sewing, knitting, embroidery and other needle arts that are held throughout the year for every skill level.

“We have a wide range of materials and classes,” she said. “We teach how-to knit all the way through advance things like making a sweater. We even teach people how to make socks. We have turned more people onto sock making than anything. I mean, that is a very cool thing.”

Start now and you’ll have something cozy to last you all winter long.

Altman’s Needlearts is located at 195 Love Lane in Mattituck. For more information and class schedules, visit altmansneedlearts.comNorth Fork Cozy is a series of articles we’ll be publishing about the ways we get cozy on the North Fork each winter. Check back each Wednesday into March to see what we’ll highlight next. Have a tip, email [email protected].