Wednesday, February 8, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--Day Three

Brews, blazing, baked goods, and beautiful views...


For our final day in  Salt Lake City, we’ll take in an inventive yarn shop as well as some of the city’s iconic sites.

DestiKNITters are a flexible breed.  We like tea just as much as coffee, so today’s adventures launch from:

Tea Zaanti
1324 S 1100 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
801-906-8132

The owner knits—what’s not to love? This isn’t an early morning place—they open at 10am—but this very sit-and-knit-friendly establishment combines a high quality tea experience with a laid back, homey atmosphere.  Small but well-done food choices round out the menu so you can nibble while you sip and stitch. My sources recommend the cucumber sandwich (of course—how can you have tea without a cucumber sandwich?).

Just down the street you’ll find today’s yarn shop adventure.

Blazing Needles
1365 S 1100 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
801-487-5648

Look for the house-like structure with the large metal yarn-and-needles sculpture in the front yard.  Yes, they’re needles, and yes—wait for it—they do indeed blaze:
video

Blazing Needles is a boisterous, friendly store packed with stock and one of those back tables continually filled with chatting knitters. Owner Cynthia Mills’ love for connecting people shows up all over every welcoming, artistically stuffed room.  

Cynthia (left) and yours truly
“Best friends meet here,” Cynthia boasts, and it’s easy to see why.  “It’s a safe place for community to gather.”  Cynthia cares about how companies do business and fosters good relationships with vendors.  “It’s really all about the people, not selling yarn.”  

Blazing Needles is a flagship store—meaning they carry every yarn in every color—for Shibui, Brooklyn Tweed, and Quince and Co, with more to come.

Fun, creative launches, impromptu parties in the back garden, and community projects like teaching local 4th graders to knit are part of the Blazing Needles experience.  There’s simply no way anyone would leave this shop without something new and wonderful—with the encouragement you need to tackle a new artistic challenge.

Projects, pottery, and yarn seem to spill from every corner. Here’s what caught my eye:

Spearheads Sweater
The stunning yoke on this sweater by Jarod Flood makes a dynamic statement for either men or women. You’ll need six skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Quary in your base color, plus one skein in a contrasting color.

Easy Folded Poncho
There seem to be a million ways to knit this popular pattern, but Cynthia recommends holding strands of Habu Silk N85 and Tsumugi together on a size 6 needle to make this contemporary and elegant version.

Ingeborg Slippers
Who doesn’t adore hand-knit slippers?  Especially when they’re as beautiful as these by local designer Kristin Drysdale. A perfect project to step up (pun intended) your color work, these use 1 ball each of two colors of Rauma Strikkengarn wool.  You’ll have the toastiest toes around, or they also make a great gift for someone who travels frequently.

Knit Along: On the Spice Market Shawl
Melanie Berg’s standout design gets a new kit version with every season—and who wouldn’t want to own several of these gorgeous accessories?  Shibui Stacatto silk and wool blend combine in a palette of colors—you could pick your own, but if you’re like me you’ll know you could never outdo the brilliant kits for color combinations.

Once you’ve stuffed your adorable Blazing Needles tote with yarn and patterns, it’s time to stuff your brain with good books.  That means heading to:

The King’s English Bookshop
1511 S 1500 E
Salt Lake Cty, UT 84105
801-484-9100 
DestiKNITters know independent bookstores are essential to life!  This wonderful shop entices you with nooks and crannies just begging to be explored.  There’s a little bit of everything here.  We especially love stores committed to supporting local authors with signings and such.  Volumes upon volumes are complimented by just the right amount of gifty things and a truly splendid children’s section.  Go!  Buy!  Save the independent bookstores!

Ready for lunch?  We’re heading downtown to spend the rest of the day in Salt Lake City’s unique city center.

Les Madeleines
216 E 500th S
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
801-355-2294

Another owner who knits—hooray!  Chef Romina offers a nice variety of soups, sandwiches, and cafe fare for your lunch, but you’re mostly here for the star attraction:  the buttery, flaky pastry known as a Kouing Amann (pronounced “queen-a-mon").  There’s a debate as to whether it’s best heated or not—so get two and conduct your own test.  In fact, get a dozen to go—this place has the most adorable take-out containers I have ever seen. And not just gingerbread men, but Ginger Dudes.  Love.

Next, walk over a few blocks and explore:

Salt Lake City Public Library
210 E 400 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
801-524-8200

Safdie Architects photo
Yes, a library.  One look at this place and you’ll see why this Moshe Safdie design is worth a visit.  Visually stunning, the building is worth a good long wander through the cozy sitting areas, or a ride on the a snazzy glass elevator to the rooftop for a city-wide view. If you have kiddos in tow, the children’s area is great fun.

Next, no visit to Salt Lake City would be complete without taking in:

Temple Square
50 W S Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84150
801-240-2534

The view from the top 
The 35-acre site serves as the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often known as the LDS Church or the Mormons.  It’s also home to the celebrated Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  No matter what your theology, you can marvel at the near-perfect acoustics of the Tabernacle, enjoy the gardens (especially beautiful at Christmas or in the Spring), and maybe even catch sight of a new bride. While the temple itself is not open to those outside the faith, the Visitor’s Center has an intriguing scale model and other information. 

For dinner, head up to the top floors of the luxurious Joseph Smith Memorial Building.  There you’ll find two restaurants—the casual Garden Restaurant and the more upscale Roof Restaurant—both of which offer unparalleled views of the temple, the complex, and often all the way to Salt Lake.  It’s the perfect way to cap off your adventures in Salt Lake City.


Up next, we cast on the ingeniously constructed Fili Mitts from Unraveled Sheep.

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