Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Wool Cabin

Hi Knitters,
What a glorious few days I have had in Salt Lake City. Every yarn shop I visit has a story behind it and this store has the most heartwarming history I have ever experienced. I loved every minute of Salt Lake and the longer I was there the more I grew to appreciate the rich history this group of women share. I felt like I was stepping into a close-knit family, literally.

I started my trip with a trip to the local news station for a morning show called Studio 5. It is a great show that included a cooking segment, ski-buying how-to, and a scrap booking segment to name a few. It was the perfect setting for my knitting stuff. The only snag came when the host announced my appearance at the "Wood Cabin" not The Wool Cabin. I couldn't believe it when wood came out of her mouth. Oh well, what are you going to do?
Salt Lake is a beautiful city, really spectacular. The skies were crystal clear, the air was crisp and clean, it was simply refreshing. I took an afternoon walk on Friday and ran across this statue. This may be the best statue I have ever seen. The motion it portrays is fantastic. Yup, this is my favorite statue, it's final. There was a man with a boy on his shoulders nearby but this one was better. Also, this statue perfectly sums up the women I was with. These people are all about kids, babies and family and knitting, knitting, knitting. I could so relate, these are my peeps!
I am jumping out of sequence a bit but hang with me. At the end of my visit, one of the shop owners, Alison, slipped this beautiful book in front of me and quietly said, "Here is my book." I had no idea she had a book and the fact that she so humbly shared this gift with me I'll never forget. I love that, that's the kind of humility that sticks with you about someone. It is the best quality.
About this book, Fashionable Projects for the New Knitter, it is a fantastic collection of every basic pattern you could ever need. Alison's intent was to provide stepping stones for the new knitter by sequentially adding on new skills with each project as you work through the book. The thing with specifically saying this book is only for the beginner is tricky to me. When I look at the patterns in here, I see so many that I want to knit straight from the pattern. I know that even advanced knitters like to have basic patterns handy so really it isn't just for the beginner. It is for anyone who knits. The patterns cover basic hats, scarves, sweaters, pillows and bags. The collection is complete, beautifully photographed and the instructions are clear as a bell. Alison, you did a beautiful job with this and thank you for sharing. Check out this book, it is a gem.
The story behind this book is what really touches me. The book was started by Alison's mother. Alison, after much persuading, finished the project on her mother's behalf. Let me explain. The Wool Cabin is a yarn shop filled with history. It is currently owned by two sisters, Alison Barlow and Suzette Canon. I was delighted to find this out as I had only corresponded with Suzette.
Originally, the shop was owned by their mother who passed away four years ago. Her presence in the shop is still shining on due to the love of her daughters. There is a beautiful picture of their mother on the wall where she is smiling while knitting on someone else's sweater. When I asked Alison if that was her mother, her eyes welled up with tears and so did mine. This shop makes you never want to leave. There is a feeling of joy, remembrance and love here that is hard to describe. Suzette and Alison should be proud of the work they are doing and I can see how their customers love and cherish them. They treat everyone who comes in the door with respect and genuine interest. This same feeling comes through in Alison's book that she finished for her mother. Sterling publishers had contacted Alison's mother about doing this book, after she passed away, Alison finished the book for her. It makes me want to cry. What a tribute.
The Deseret News came in and did an extensive interview and photo shoot. I swear they took so many pictures of me that my mouth started quivering when I was trying to hold my smile. Those should be good, right? That should come out in the newspaper in a few weeks. Suzette and Alison took me out for a quick dinner and a couple of their knitting group friends met up with us. These ladies plus a few more make up their knitting group and they had just returned from a "knitting" trip to Las Vegas. They had some good stories I'll tell you! What a funny group. I have to give a special shout out to Kristi (sitting with a pink shirt and glasses): Hey Kristi, I loved meeting you. You are too cute!
The group above was the class I taught on Friday night. It was a lovely group of hard working knitters of every level. I had to laugh because they were a fun, laughing, talkative group but as soon as everyone was casting on it became dead silent. I could hear the clock ticking. Then they would all start talking away and helping each other out and so on. It was really fun and we ran right out of time. I had so much more I wanted to do with them. They were an enthusiastic group. Hopefully there will be a next time and we can pick up where we left off!

My driver took me by this landmark. If you have children around my kids' age you will recognize this building. It is the actual high school used for the Disney movie "High School Musical." I had to throw this in, my kids were impressed by this!
This is an example of how kind and warm this shop is. That is Suzette on the left and Julie on the right and they are untangling an enormous skein of recycled silk that a sad customer brought in. They spent hours happily untangling this mess for the woman. I couldn't believe they did that!
Here is quick shot of Alison (left), me and Suzette just before I left the shop. You couldn't meet two nicer shop owners anywhere on the planet. Because they are sisters and the legacy they have carried on, you feel such a sense of love and happiness when you step in the door. Can you believe these women are grandmothers? Well, Alison's daughter is due in March. Alison has 6 kids and Suzette has 4, all boys. See, I fit right in here, they all just talk about family, kids, babies and knitting all of the time. It was a dream come true.
The Wool Cabin is so quaint. They have beautiful space and natural light provided by these big windows. The walls are lined with yarn and they have center displays scattered around. Everything is so easy to find and the way things are displayed is so appealing. They have put careful thought into the design of the shop and it shows.
The seasonal decorating was fun and tasteful. I loved it because they were already playing Christmas music in the shop. I loved The Wool Cabin and Salt Lake City. I would go back anytime! I signed lots of books, met tons of fantastic knitters and I had a joyful trip. It couldn't have been any nicer.
I finished these for my little sweetheart on the plane rides to and from. I used a different colorway of the Kaffe Fassett Regia. Using only one ball I made these for my 8-year-old daughter. She is so excited about them.

I can't believe the stripes almost match and I didn't even try. I used US size 2 dpns and cast on 48 stitches. These went so fast, they just flew off the needles.

It is good to be home. I will be off again in a couple of short days so today I will rest up and enjoy my family!

Thanks again Suzette and Alison. I will never forget the trip to SLC!

best, susie