Friday, 28 January 2011


My FedEx package has arrived in Utah! But as it turns out, I've already been there.

Yes, last year we had a long weekend in Salt Lake City (that coincided with Tim having a conference there and a night in the Grand Baroque Hotel, I mean, Grand America).

My trip to Salt Lake started when I borrowed the incredible book Knitting America: a glorious heritage from warm socks to high art by Susan Straw. There were lots of examples in there of incredible knitting done by Mormon pioneer women so I took my obliging family off to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers' Pioneer Memorial Museum. It was mind boggling. Truly, my mind boggled - at the museum itself, at everything in it, at the hours and hours, weeks, years, decades worth of work that must have gone in to the amazing array of handwork that was on display.

About the display - I am no museologist but I love to visit museums and I do think that this one qualifies as distinctly old fashioned in its manner of displaying the collection, the whole collection, all at once it seems. There is case upon case containing shelf upon shelf of quilts, lace, needlework, hair ornaments, jewellry, what-nots and what-evers. In fact there is so much on display that you can barely see any of it for all of the stimulation crowding in upon you on the next shelf, in the next case, on the next floor.

And this was sad because what they have there is absolutely amazing, I don't even know where to begin (which is sort of like the experience of actually being there). I really felt addled by the end of our couple of hours of visit and also a tad teary at the idea that I am here, a hundred years later, still knitting and crocheting and sewing (and in America), a sort of kinship with women a world and lifestyle away from my own.

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