Friday, November 20, 2009

The Wool Cabin in Salt Lake City

Hi Knitters,
I am sitting in my most favorite place on earth, O'Hare airport in windy Chicago, waiting for my flight home to Madison. Actually it isn't too bad here right now so there must be some luck on my side. I want to share with you my fantastic day yesterday at The Wool Cabin.

What strikes me the most when I walk in the doors of this shop is how bright, sunny and fresh it feels. It is clean and organized with a huge variety of yarns, bags, patterns, samples, needles and helpful staff. It is a refreshing treat. The explanation for this welcoming atmosphere becomes quickly apparent when you hear the story of how this shop came to be. The shop is currently owned by two sisters, Alison (left below) and Suzette (right below). However, the shop was originated by their mother, Renee. She opened the shop with high hopes and with the intention of having a friendly shop and resource for knitters. Sadly, she passed away about five years ago and the sisters decided to carry on their mother's dream in The Wool Cabin.

The photo of Alison's and Suzette's mom hangs proudly in the shop and to look at it brings a tear or two to my eyes. In the photo Renee happily works on a customer's sweater and Alison said it is the perfect picture of her. Renee would be so incredibly proud of her daughters as they honor her memory through the shop but mainly the way the live their lives. Her legacy lives on through them. I love coming to The Wool Cabin, I have had the opportunity to be there two times now and I would come back anytime.
Aren't they wonderful? Both owners are fantastic and inspiring knitters. I started the day at the shop with a workshop. There was a good group of knowledgeable knitters ready at the go. I designed a mini-reversible toy that I am only making available to my workshop students at this time. I have a few more workshops to teach over the next months and then I'll see what I want to do with the pattern. Suzette and Alison smartly made a small kit with all necessary yarns and the pattern for the class. It was really slick and fun. Since the toy is only about 3 inches tall, you really don't need too much of anything to complete the toy.
There was a great display of the Itty-Bitty books and lots of Spud & Chloƫ everywhere you looked. I loved it. Suzette knitted up the Wrap Me Up Puppy and the Cupcake Pincushions. Alison knitted up the Baby Bartlett set and Ribbit. The Cupcake Hat from Itty-Bitty Nursery is up there, too. As for all shops, the samples are what sells the yarn and patterns. It is so fun to see things in finished form.
It was a glorious sunny day in SLC with warm temperatures and bright light streaming into the shop. They even kept the door open during the class and that fresh Utah air felt so good to me. What a pleasant setting for a class. The classroom is roomy and comfortable. The Wool Cabin offers classes all of the time and if you are in the area you should pop in or call to sign up.
The cute knitter on the right, Jessica, drove 3 hours just to take the class. Her husband had to rearrange his work schedule to watch their child and to let her come and take the class. She was adorable and such a treat to meet. Jessica is a fairly new knitter and she was awesome and remarkably accomplished. I wasn't close to that good when I was new and I mean that.

The ladies worked and worked. They were all excellent and skilled knitters so I didn't have to work too hard. I loved it. It was more like a big knitting circle and we all chatted and told stories during the class. I gave out my Big 5 toy knitting tips during the class. I had the trunk show on a table near by for playing time if someone needed a break.
The two hour class literally flew by. I couldn't believe how fast it went. I had a lot of good laughs during the class mostly due to Alison, the owner. She is a hoot and she really is silly and fun. I love being around her because I love to laugh. Alison gave me the most touching introduction. Her son has recently joined the military and she emails me with updates every once in awhile. She referred to this and she started tearing and that made me tear up. We quickly laughed to stop the tearing before it went too far. As I looked at Alison and her sister and her mom on the wall, it wasn't hard to get emotional.

Alison Barlow also has a knitting book of her own. This book was started by her mom and after she passed Alison finished it. Look here to see this wonderful book for beginners. It is a good one for anyone wanting quick and simple projects.
Now some of these wonderful knitters came to my class last time I was at The Wool Cabin and I remembered them. I loved meeting the new knitters, too. There were so many sweet women here I can't begin to describe how warm and friendly the class was. I had one woman tell me the class was better than Christmas. How sweet is that? I tell you, times and experiences like these make all of the travel worthwhile. You can't understand what the knitting means to people until you experience it firsthand. I am so grateful I get to travel and meet Itty-Bitty knitters all over. It is life-changing for me.
Most of the knitters got close to finishing one side of the reversible and a couple got a good start on the second side. If you can master the techniques in this class project you can knit every toy in the book with ease. I included all of the necessary skills for all of the Itty-Bitty Toys in this one tiny toy project. I loved seeing the concentration and efforts of the ladies. There was one woman doing the magic loop method and everyone else used double-pointed needles. Everyone did great!

The signing was fun, too. I had several people who couldn't get into the class stop by to see the trunk show and get their books signed. I was glad I got to meet them and sorry there wasn't more room in the class. I have to say it was a really nice size class, just perfect. There was a husband who came to get his wife's book signed (I always love that!). There were lots of kids and a couple of babies, and they loved the toys! It was all good!!
That's just my friends and me hanging out in the hotel.... we have a lot of fun bonding while out on the road:)

Thank you to Alison and Suzette for a wonderful experience. You have the sweetest knitters at your shop, it's really remarkable. It is a reflection of both of you and your mom, no question. The sisters then took me out for a yummy dinner at the Dodo Bird (?) restaurant. I had a fantastic turkey and swiss sandwich on a garlic roll that you dipped in a tangy barbeque sauce. I loved it. Plus they had my favorite soup in the world, butternut squash. It was smooth as silk. It was good company and good food. I appreciate the rides, too, Alison!

The Wool Cabin has a website and they take phone orders and ship directly to customers all over the world. They have tons of yarn, Blue Sky, Spud & Chloƫ, Noro, Debbie Bliss, sock yarn, Encore, Cascade... if you ask I bet they have it! Hop on over to The Wool Cabin for more information. This is a wonderful shop to support. They have the Knitted Chickens pattern I did for Blue Sky (see my sidebar for details) in the shop! I have so many requests for how to get this pattern so here you go. Suzette told me she has sent out so many chicken patterns around the world, she has lost count. I love that.

I signed lots of books for stock at the Wool Cabin, so if you didn't make it to the signing or class you can still pick up a signed copy.

I have to pass on some exciting news. Itty-Bitty Toys is already heading in for a second printing! Thank you for the support out there!

More news, Trent, my editor, keeps me posted on Itty-Bitty Hats and its availability. It is in the warehouse and should be shipped and available any day now. All backorders will be filled and IBH should be ready to roll once again.

My flight is boarding and I can't wait to get home! Oh, I can't wait.
Take care knitters.
best, susie