Dreaming of a beautiful, stylish sweater made from the softest yarn, even though temperatures are topping 100 outside?
At Erica Raspberry's store, Knit 1 Bead 2, the air conditioning cools those who are making their sweaters in time for winter.
Knitters continue to knit in the summer because of the Zen. Raspberry says when you focus on the physical action of knitting you take your mind off day-to-day thought processes.
"You take sticks and string and turn it into something wonderful," she explains.
However, you may continue to dream if you do not know how to knit a sweater but according to Raspberry, anyone can learn how to knit if you have the desire. It is not a talent, but it is something learned.
"I prefer one-on-one instruction since everyone learns at a different pace," Raspberry says.
Raspberry hears people say that their grandmother tried to teach them how to knit or crochet but they were unable to acquire the skill. Grandmother may have been the best knitter in the world, but not the best teacher.
There are numerous styles of knitting such as American, Continental, right hand and left handed. Raspberry teaches a student the style appropriate to how his or her hands move.
The hardest thing for beginning knitters is the patterns because many people cannot follow written directions. Because of this, Raspberry has found that demonstration is easier for learning how to knit.
One student of Raspberry's has trouble reading, so the patterns are especially difficult. Sadly, people told her that she could never knit a sweater or knit with lace. However, Raspberry talks her student through a pattern and she is now on her fifth sweater, and according to Raspberry, the sweater will be "New York runway fabulous."
Still, not everyone's first project is a sweater; most people begin with squares, scarves, or baby blankets. However, Raspberry says that many students go on to making sweaters if they stick around her long enough.
Raspberry has encountered people of all ages with the desire to knit. Currently, she sees more people in their 20s and 30s picking up the craft.
"Knitting has reached celebrity status," she adds.
Knitting is in style, and celebrities such as Julia Roberts knit their own clothes.
Anyone who is interested in knitting is encouraged to call Knit 1 Bead 2 for free instruction.
Raspberry has taught knitting and crocheting as long as she can remember. She even taught herself how to crochet with books when she was 19, and 10 years ago she taught herself how to knit.
Raspberry specializes in natural fibers of all kinds from cotton to cashmere. In her store, you will find everything from simple, easy to-care-for yarns to the most exotic. One of the more exotic yarns on the shelves is Qiviut, which is the downy undercoat from an Alaskan muskox.
In addition to more than 10,000 individual fur balls, Raspberry also carries a large selection of beads with a focus on semiprecious stones and fancy centerpieces.
Since Raspberry opened Knit 1 Bead 2, she has hosted a knitting and crocheting circle every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. Just bring yourself.
"Show up and try something new and share the creativity," Raspberry urges.
She also adds, "knitting is cheaper than therapy and is a lot more fun."
Knit 1 Bead 2 is located half way up the steps to the Jerome Palace. Keep in mind that there are 20 steps on the way up and on the way down to Knit 1 Bead 2.
For more information, visit www.knit1bead2.com or www.knittinggeek.com. Call (928) 634-7236 or toll-free (888) 634-7236.