Every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., fiber art crafters fill Desert Thread to work on their respective projects and enjoy each other’s company.
The sister-owned yarn and fiber arts shop has welcomed people to “stitch night” since it opened in 2006. Cathy O’Connor, one of the owners, said that within two days of the store opening at its old location, a community member came in to ask her to host the first crafting gathering. O’Connor and her sister brought a group of crafters together the next day, and have now been regularly hosting the event for the last 17 years.
In the old store, the available space and the event were much bigger. Stitch nights are more intimate in its current location on Center Street, O’Connor said—Desert Thread currently has seating for fifteen people.
But that’s not a bad thing. O’Connor said she views Desert Thread as more of a teaching store where people can learn to craft instead of just a retail location: she really values the community the store has built up. The inside is extremely cozy, with couches instead of a table so people feel welcome to make themselves at home. O’Connor said she wants the store to feel like a living room.
The stitch night events draw fiber artists in every medium and skill level: people knit, crochet, hand stitch embroidery, spin yarn. The gathering also brings together a lot of people from various age groups, something O’Connor said feels rare in the Moab community.
At a stitch night last month, around 20 people came. They sat on couches, rocking chairs, and even on floor pillows. It was a lively space with a lot of laughter: people took regular breaks from their projects to ask others for advice or drink tea. The casual nature of the event meant that some people only stayed for a short time, while others filtered in late. Some people stopped by just to say a quick hello to old friends. Stitch nights are also sometimes frequented by visitors, who join in the event while on vacation.
O’Connor said stitch night is particularly useful for people learning their craft, or who are stuck on something.
“There’s always someone to help,” she said.
You can find more information about Desert Thread at www.desertthread.com.