If the thought of knitting conjures images of your great-grandma in a rocking chair clicking away at teakettle cozies, think again. Knitting is in a renaissance, thanks to the current craze for all things authentic and handmade, as well as an increased craving for real talk—the need for an activity that offers a break from the plugged-in, online world we live in.
“Many people take up knitting during a stressful period in their life,” says Margaux Kelleher, owner of Wasatch & Wool (1635 West Redstone Center Dr, 435.575.0999, wasatchandwool.com). “For others, it’s because a mother or grandmother taught them. And for still others, it’s just the feel or color of a particular yarn that pulls them in.”
For Kelleher, it was a sock-knitting class that first got her hooked. “I get lost in the clicks,” she says of the peaceful and relaxing pastime.
A part-time Parkite since 1995, she traded the East Coast for the mountains for good when she opened Wasatch & Wool in November 2014. One peek at the boutique’s floor-to-ceiling shelves of texture-rich balls and skeins in a rainbow of hues, and it’s easy to see why a new legion of fans is picking up knitting needles. Kelleher’s unique yarns include organic and fair-trade options as well as gorgeous hand-dyed fibers sourced from indie dyers here in Utah and throughout the Mountain West. There’s extra-fine merino wool from Uruguay, mohair from Australia, and cashmere from Scotland, plus fibers from Pear Tree Llamas in Midway, and many more. Kelleher recently added rigid heddle looms for weavers and carries drop spindles and braids for spinners, plus a few supplies for felting. “My tag line is ‘a knitting community at 7,000 feet,’” she says, “but it looks like I need to change it to ‘a fiber community at 7,000 feet.’”
Kelleher hopes the cozy vibe at Wasatch & Wool will help foster that community, a place where locals and visitors can pop in, gather around the table, and knit/crochet/spin/weave together, whether seeking a break from the slopes or guidance on a new project. The shop offers courses from beginning to advanced and hosts ongoing knit-alongs. “We close the store, pour a glass of Prosecco, and cast on together,” she says. “I make zero guarantees about the quality of the work after a glass or two.”