Mona Rummel

End of a Fiber Era

After 50 years in the Eugene community, Soft Horizons Fibre is wrapping up

Since 1971, the historical white Victorian house with the teal trim on East 13 Avenue has housed Soft Horizons Fibre. Now, after 50 years in the Eugene community, the yarn and full service fiber shop has closed and its owner has retired. 

Mona Rummel, owner of Soft Horizons Fibre, says the end of this era is bittersweet for her. 

“One client sent me an email and called the shop ‘the golden thread in the tapestry of her life,’” Rummel says. “And I just cried.” 

Over the decades, Soft Horizons Fibre has cultivated a community of fiber artists across the Eugene area. Not only was it a premiere destination for yarns and fibers, but it also hosted classes for disciplines like weaving, knitting, basketry, crocheting, chair caning and hand spinning. It was a place where those artists could come together and share their skills, connect and learn from one another. As Rummel put it herself, Soft Horizons was “an interwoven thread within the community.”

One loose thread left behind with the departure of Soft Horizons Fibre is its involvement in the Caps for Kids program. Since 1990, Rummel and her staff have organized a program where members of the community could knit and crochet caps for children in need in Lane County. Over the years, the Caps for Kids program has collected, distributed and donated more than 45,000 caps. With the departure of Soft Horizons Fibre, the Caps for Kids program will be in limbo until another member of the community takes up the mantle. 

“I feel like the character George in It’s A Wonderful Life,” Rummel says. “The store has made a difference in other people’s lives, and I’m very humbled and incredibly grateful and overwhelmed that this has evolved into what it has.”

Soft Horizons Fibre officially closed its doors Dec. 11, and much like Rummel’s retirement, the future for the Victorian-style shop remains unknown. Rummel still owns the building and doesn’t currently have any plans on how to repurpose the space, but overall wishes to preserve the historical house.

“I’d like to see a store that enjoys the history and the integrity of the building,” Rummel says. “It’s important to me that it remains that way. There are fewer and fewer of those jewels in the city left. The thing that would break my heart is to see that building destroyed.” 

Just down the street, the Glenwood Restaurant property was sold. The Alder Street location will close in March 2022, and the new owner plans to tear down the buildings and build 12 stories worth of student housing.

In one of her parting emails to the fiber community that has formed under Soft Horizons Fibre, Rummel says, “All of us at the shop are touched by your outpouring of love, sadness, and understanding for the end of this interwoven, knitted, crocheted and felted fabric of our lives which we all created together over the decades. In humbleness and complete gratitude, this change of season in my life evokes layers of emotions and images.”

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