Friday, August 27, 2010

Exhaling in Salt Lake City

Okay, maybe Utah is not all bad.  And maybe knitting for sanity is not all bullshit.

My dad was in the hospital again, for the third time in three weeks.  I had to drive down to Salt Lake City to take my cousin to the airport, so I decided I would take advantage of the free time and check out another SLC yarn shop.  When I picked her up from the airport almost a week ago, we visited Black Sheep Wool Company. It was small, serviceable shop.  But, nothing special.  I bought some beautiful balls of Mini Mochi to make some socks for my cousin.  And we left.

Fortunately, Black Sheep was not the end-all be-all of knit shops in Salt Lake City.  Blazing Needles (the name makes me want to "whip this thing out") is something special.  The shop is funky inside and out.  The house that is Blazing Needles sits on a corner in a pretty residential neighborhood.  There's cool fiber-related sculpture on the lawn and front porch.

As I entered I was immediately greeted by a friendly young woman who was eager to help me find what I needed, but content to answer some questions and let me browse after I told her I was an out-of-towner just trying to get a feel for the Salt Lake knitting scene.  The first thing I noticed inside was the large collection of yarns from Habu Textiles.  Just around the corner there was a full wall of Malabrigo of all types and another wall dedicated to the Cascade 220s - workhorse of all workhorse yarns.  At the back of the store there is a beautiful sun-filled room with a fireplace and French doors leading out to a lovely little garden.  There both the same young lady who greeted me and Cynthia, the shop's owner, offered water, coffee or iced tea.  So shweet!  And the yarns.  Beautiful luxury yarns.  Some handspun.  Some hand-dyed.  Tons of ShiBui!

There were a couple of women sitting around a big, beautiful farm table knitting and chatting.  Turns out they were also really friendly.  So, I decided to sit and knit a while.  Christy and Jane really made my day.  We talked about Utah - neither of them was a native.  Christy, who came to Utah 23 years ago, was originally from Seattle but had live for some time in Boston and North Carolina, and Jane was a fairly recent transplant from Austin.  We chatted about knitting, spinning, Christy's theory on the rudeness of Salt Lake drivers, the general lack of warmth of Utahns (particularly relative to Southerners), and, of course, sick parents.  And I was thankful for the company and the normalcy of it all.

So, maybe knitting for sanity in tough times is mostly bullshit.  But the comfort of the sisterhood of knitters is real.  Thanks for being there, Blazing Needles, Cynthia, Christy, and Jane.


Whitish said...

I'm sad to hear that your Dad has been in and out of the hospital recently. I honestly hope that his condition improves and he will be fine.

Doing things we enjoy during difficult times often isn't enough to make us feel better. It helps but it doesn't replace the camaraderie of others that have suffered through similar experiences. An understanding ear can do wonders for one's state of mind. In turn, your own ear is just as important when listening to how others have coped with their circumstances.

It might also be worth mentioning (since you referenced it first) that a viewing of Blazing Saddles might be in order to help lift your spirits. Just saying...

flyngmunky said...

thank you so much for your comments, ant. it really helps to know that someone out there is really hearing what i have to say.

and thank you for getting my blazing saddles reference. you rock!


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