POMEROY — The snowmen sat quietly in the wrapped storefront window at Weaving Stitches during the recent Open House in Pomeroy, waiting for the doors to open.
It had been over 15 years since they had been seen, and all 88 of them vanished before the day was over.
The story begins when Eloise Drenner decided to make baskets and a collection of animals to sell at craft shows. One of her top shows was the Bob Evans Farm Festival, where her snowmen gained a following.
Each year, a different snowman was made, and to many of her patrons, they became collectibles.
Drenner continued making her crafts with the dream of establishing her own shop. Her journey took on many fronts in Pomeroy, until Weaving Stitches opened in 1997.
Although it had been over 15 years since Drenner made her last snowman, she continued to receive requests. This year she decided to surprise her customers with a limited edition. She hand-made 88 snowmen and then signed, numbered and dated each one.
They were arranged inside her covered storefront windows, where they remained until they were unveiled at 9 a.m. on the day of the open house. By 8:30 that evening, all the snowmen were gone as customers continued to ask for more.
When asked if she would be honoring more requests, she said maybe in another 15 years.
“This was a limited edition,” Drenner said. “It is difficult for me to find time to make the snowmen with all the responsibilities of operating this store. But because the response I had gotten from my snowmen helped me to realize my dream of opening a store, I thought it would be nice to bring a few of them back just for this year.”
According to her daughter Maria Ramsey, her mother’s journey has also been her family’s journey.
“My father used to collect walnuts and we would sit in the yard cracking them,” she said. “That’s what my mother used to dye her baskets. We would help with anything she asked us to do.”
Ramsey remembers helping with the crafts. She recounted that her mother started with weaving baskets and sewing a varied collection of animals and, of course, snowmen.
“That’s where the name came from,” Ramsey said. “Weaving and stitching, that’s what she did, so the name Weaving Stitches fit.”
People come from all around the area, including Huntington, Lexington, Ky., Marietta, Columbus and Parkersburg, W.Va., to shop in Pomeroy, thanks to the efforts of local business owners. All the business contribute to the event, each offering their own special product.
This year, shoppers came to Weaving Stitches and were surprised by the return of the snowmen. As the Pomeroy business will advise you, Shop Local and shop early, as much of their merchandise is one-of-a-kind or limited editions.
And just like Frosty the Snowman, once they are gone, they might not return.
Contact Lorna Hart 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551.