Loopy – for Loopy Knit / Crochet in Missoula

By MARGARET DEWILLIAM HORTON

No matter where you live, autumn has drifted into town and all at once we are immersed. Warm afternoons top off cooler mornings. Sweaters, fleece jackets and hats are pulled on, then shed, only to be pulled back on again as daylight retreats. A multi-toned carpet covers sidewalks, trails and yards.

Late summer vegetables simmer in spicy stews. The air is crisp and anything baked with apple, pear or pumpkin sounds delicious. I’m thinking in color and texture and weight and warmth. It’s time to head indoors, nestle into the corner of the couch and pick up some knitting.

As the season shifts, so does my creativity. I want to hold a pair of wooden needles and listen to their faint clicking while I knit, purl and attempt to learn the variety of stitches I haven’t yetmastered.

By pulling luscious strands of fiber through each loop on my needle, I am able to create fabric with yarn and two sticks; casting on, casting off, increasing, decreasing and fashioning something that is both beautiful and useful.

I will make patterned hats in the round or a cozy scarf.  Finish a sweater and a welcome-home gift for a new baby I know. While practicing this ancient art, I connect with generations of those who have knit before me: out of necessity, for practical reasons, or to fulfill a need for artistic expression.

Often when I travel I make a point to seek out the local yarn store and throughout the years have found a few favorites. When I stop in at Loopy Knit/Crochet on Front Street I try to allow ample time for looking because I’m kinda crazy for the stuff.

I want to sink my fingers into a skein and allow them to get lost in the feel. Check out the selection of patterns and buttons. Absorb myriad possibilities, see what speaks to me, and then narrow it down. I usually don’t go in with a specific project in mind. I go for the potential and promise.

Knitting is creativity and community. It is visual, tactile, simple, complex, chunky, bumpy, fine and soft. It is relaxing, meditative and stress relieving. Just a few steps inside their wooden doors and I feel intoxicated from the effect of being surrounded by baskets and bins piled high with inspiration and the thought of discovering something new.

The owner was especially accommodating when I asked if I could take a few pictures. She said that would be just fine, then told me that students at The Rocky Mountain School of Photography, just a few blocks away, often come in armed with their cameras. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s so……well..….loopy for all of that colorful fiber.

Enjoy this Visit Missoula Blog?  Chances are you’ll like some of Margaret’s other blogs: Big Dipper Ice Cream – Great Cones Oh Boy!,   This Time Last Year, So Why Missoula?, Visit Missoula, and My Top Ten Things about Missoula. And, if you’re visiting Missoula, be sure to check in with Destination Missoula for more information about making your Missoula Visit GREAT!

 If you’ve enjoyed this Visit Missoula post, please link and share! If you’re interested in using the written piece or photos for any other purposes, please contact its author, Margaret DeWilliam Horton at thisfriendlyvillage@gmail.com. She will be more than happy to help you. Peace!

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Margaret is a writer, photographer and mom who lives in the rainy but green Pacific Northwest. She has been a frequent visitor to Missoula and the surrounding landscape for many years and knows that a part of her lives there as well. Please stop in to find out about her visits and why she looks forward to coming back each time. Hopefully it will make you want to visit as well. You can find out what else she’s been up to, thinking about and take a look at more of her photos on her website at www.thisfriendlyvillage.com