NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – There were two things that were always guaranteed with Mister Rogers– a friendly smile and a cozy knit sweater.
Tom Hanks brings both to the screen of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” in which he plays the late television icon. What you might be surprised to find out is that the yarn used to make Hanks’ sweaters for the film was purchased right here in our neighborhood of western Massachusetts.
Costume designer Yasemin Esmek told the New York Post she was dissatisfied with the yarn she bought back home in New Jersey, so she traveled to WEBS in Northampton to get what she needed for the iconic sweaters.
Co-owner of WEBS, Kathy Elkins, told 22News the staff remembers serving Esmek, but were unaware that the yarn was being used for the movie until the article came out.
“I was absolutely stunned. I started getting Facebook posts and links and a couple text messages and it was really exciting,” Elkins said. “It’s really an honor for one of our customers to be selected to design the sweaters for the movie but then to choose and shop here to get the yarn.”
Elkins said there are a lot of great yarn shops on the East Coast, so it’s extra meaningful that the designer chose their family store. Kathy and her husband Steve Elkins are second generation owners to the store that first opened in Amherst in the 1970s.
“A Beautiful Neighborhood” debuted in theaters on November 22.