The other day (ok, I’ll admit it, it was the other month) we found ourselves wandering through the Living Traditions Festival in Salt Lake City. It was a random decision on a dreary, drizzly British type Sunday, which made the first performers we saw, The Salt Lake Scots Pipe Band, very apropos.
If you’ve never been to the Living Traditions Festival I definitely recommend it. In addition to the diverse performers there is also a decadent and delicious array of ethnic foods. After gorging on Sudanese food, which I’d never had before and is amazing, and washing it down with a Tongan coconut drink I then ventured on to dessert which consisted of a heap of Basque churros and a Mexican (Sugar, baby! Yeah!) Coke. My family also tasted delicacies from Pakistan and Tibet, and those are just a sample of the cuisines on offer. Plus, all the food booths represent nonprofits or churches so the money does good in the community.
But, I haven’t even gotten to the best part – the knitting happenstance.
The festival also has a variety of traditional crafts being demonstrated and sold. I wandered around oohing and aahing. Have you ever watched traditional lace making? It’ll blow your mind! The Armenian carpet knotting was impressive too. I found a booth where Nepalese knitting was represented, unfortunately one of the ladies was crocheting (which will do nothing to further the understanding of the difference between knitting and crocheting for nonknitters or crocheters) and the other seemed to be taking a break on a sock, so I couldn’t tell if there was actually a difference between Nepalese knitting and the knitting I’m familiar with.
Then we wandered into the craft sales tent and that’s when it happened – the knitting happenstance. There were some amazing knitting patterns being sold by a talented local designer, Anne Carroll Gilmour. I first came upon her knock-your-socks-off kilt hose, which are probably the best kilt hose I’ve ever seen! Unfortunately, even though I think I’m a pretty advanced knitter, they looked like they would do me in. Fortunately, my husband saw her Classic Highlander’s Balmoral Bonnet and fell in love. I was happy to oblige, even though it has some colorwork and I don’t really do colorwork, but anything to make my hubster happy (as long as it didn’t mean knitting those kilt hose!).
I left with pattern in hand. I just love when that happens! I went there to check out some local culture and left with a knitting pattern!