Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sheep To Shawl

If you live anywhere close to Montevallo, Alabama, I HIGHLY recommend visiting this shop!! Elizabeth of Trailing Yarn had a post on her blog (Janury 24th entry) about her visit to Sheep To Shawl.

I had not heard of this shop and decided I had to get myself to Montevallo ASAP!!! I picked up my dear friend Cindy on Saturday morning and met up with Tonni to check it out. (Check out Tonni's blog for some additional pictures).

I could NOT have been more impressed!!! The owner and her daughter were both as kind as they could be to us.....letting us ask a lot of questions yet gave us all the space we needed to browse without feeling any pressure!!

There was a table set up with four different felted sheep.....I didn't think to take my camera but they were SOOO cute!!! This was the only duplicate so the owner allowed me to buy it, otherwise you can place an order for one. In addition to the brown she also offers white, black and gray!!

The owner's daughter has the job of assigning a name for all the sheep, so she took this little fella into the back for a moment of quiet to see what name came to her and low and behold.....BROWNIE it was!!! I couldn't have chosen a better name myself!!

The shop has a lot of roving, raw fibers and yarn that you don't see at other yarn stores, which was so nice to see yarnsI had never seen before, as well as some favorites such as Trekking and Step sock yarn to name just a couple. (And Thank-You Tonni for giving up the Trekking.....was it the drooling part that got you to hand it over or the fact that I couldn't keep my hands off it!!) LOL!!!

WE all three fell in love with a scarf that the owner had on display so much so that we all left with enough yarn to make the scarf and hope to have some free time to get together in the near future to work on this project!! The owner designed the scarf and was gracious enough to jot the pattern down for us!!

The owner also has a lot of her pottery on display and it is absolutely beautiful!!!!

If you make it to the shop be sure and save time to stop in at the local coffee house/bar/restaurant/hang out spot......named the Eclipse. Right on main street, can't miss it! Lunch was outstanding!!!!

Birmingham News did a great article on this shop:

Montevallo mom, daughter have learned to spin a yarn
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

NANCY WILSTACHNews staff writer

Fingers figured prominently in Rae Jean Flatt's switch from clay to yarn, because the Montevallo woman cannot abide hers being idle.
Stripping off a white cotton glove from her right hand, Flatt displayed her puckered fingertips. "It is hydrosis," she said, "from too much water."
When doctors told her to lay off making pottery for at least six months because contact with wet clay exacerbated the condition, Flatt took up another interest - fibers. Now she's spinning, weaving, knitting and crocheting hats, vests, scarves, socks, placemats, belts, purses and shawls.

It all happens at Sheep-to-Shawl, the store Flatt has opened on Main Street in Montevallo.

Baskets and bins:

Stepping into the little shop is like entering a kaleidoscope. Baskets and bins of yarn in all colors and textures line the walls, interspersed with baskets of, yes, unreconstructed sheep's wool. There also are spinning wheels, looms in various sizes and a bouquet of completed garments.

Flatt is particularly tickled with her "felting" projects. "This came from across the street," she said, referring to the Twice As Nice Thrift Store. She held up a white hat adorned with Impressionist-fuzzy flowers. The hat once was a stretchy wool toboggan cap until someone put it in the washer.

Now it's a thick, solid white with a texture similar to felt. Flatt fashioned the suggestion of a garland of flowers from colorful yarns and affixed them to the hat with a felting tool. The result is a designer original from a 25-cent, thrift-store find.

Flatt's sidekick in this woolly business is her 28-year-old daughter. Marissa Flatt is almost blind and suffers from neurofibromytosis, a disease that has caused fibrous tumors to grow on various parts of her body, including her brain. A series of brain surgeries when she was a little girl left the young woman with the symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

Although she has a high-normal intelligence, she has trouble with short-term memory. However, her mother has taught her to spin. Marissa saves hair from her angora rabbit that she spins into heavenly soft yarn.

She is working in the shop with her mother and delights in showing customers the funny sheep, llama and coyote puppets that are part of the decor.

For Rae Jean Flatt, the store not only feeds her own need to stay busy, it provides her daughter with a measure of independence and a downtown social network.

Sheep-to-Shawl offers an array of classes in beginning and advanced knitting, weaving, felting and spinning.

Store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. For information


clothesknit said...

hmmmm....i think i'm maybe 6-7 hours away. too long for a day trip? maybe next time we head to nc we can make a minor detour in the name of yarn!

tonni said...

What a wonderful picture of your purchases:)

I think clothesknit should plan on an overnight stay, don't you?

Doogle Knits said...

How far away from you is the fantastic yarn shop? Maybe, I could fit it into my upcoming trip to B'ham. And, where's somewhere nice for me to stay? Any recommendations.

Karen said...

It sounds like a great shop! I love the sheep!

Becky said...

Oh my. That shop sounds divine. I wish I lived close enough to go with you! Poo! Love the sheep too. That is soooooo cute.

I'm so glad to see you getting out of the house on a Saturday IN THE DAYTIME! (smirk) You work entirely too much. Good for you taking the day off.

flwrhead said...

Wow - the store has really grown since I visited! She didn't have any pottery there at all, guess that means I have to go back! I hope you signed up for her mailing list, I've already gotten a newsletter.

Emily said...

That sounds like such a fun trip (and a great post too, by the way)! How close is it to Birmingham?

Teyani said...

It sounds like an amazing shop.

sydney said...

It sounds like a nice shop! I miss our LYS.

Amy said...

That looks like a fabulous shop! I love that sheep :)