While stores like Michael’s and scrapbooking supply shops might be doing well during this economic crisis, small knit shops have reason to worry about what the new year will bring. On that note, Yarn Market News is offering scholarships for its March 15-17 conference in Chicago. Westminster Fibers is kindly funding 50 percent of the Early Bird tuition for 10 lucky recipients (independent yarn shops only are eligible). That includes a Yarn Crawl Shop ticket. Deadline is January 30. This particular conference is all about keeping doors open. Topics include reimagining, reinventing and recreating your store and keeping on top of your cash flow. Here’s our thought: An urban yarn shop with a Zipcar office in town or another not-for-profit car-sharing company could have a shared auto available in the parking lot. Auto users could get coupons, good toward purchase of yarn or classes. That would be keep them from ripping up old sweaters at home for new projects.