Biggest influence was Matthew Wright

Someone asked me quite recently who had the biggest influence on my knitting career. I did not have to think for too long to tell them that the main influence was Matthew Wright.

I met Matthew in June 1996 when I had just arrived in San Francisco from Jerrabomberra Australia. My husband had been transferred here for a short time to work for a company located in the Financial district of San Francisco. I came with Alan for four months and we lived on Powell Street almost on California Street.

Within days of arriving I found the Yarn Garden on Sutter Street and Matthew was the owner. It was like a little piece of heaven for me. I could walk to the store and yes I could knit with him whenever I wanted to. Matthew had just opened the wonderful store over looking Sutter Street with a whole wall of windows. He had a gorgeous table with chairs just waiting for knitters to come and sit for a while.

Matthew introduced me to the designer Alice Starmore’s books and yarn and quite quickly I made two sweaters from Fishermens Sweaters, one of course is my favourite Cape Cod. And I am still in love with that sweater 12 years later. And of course there were other companies that I grew to love because of the yarn he carried in the store.

I went back to Australia for a short time and eventually moved back in January 1997. This time we were relocated to Foster City, but I could still get to the city of San Francisco very easily on a bus. And usually did twice a week.

This time I brought several sweaters to the store that I had knit but had never finished. With Matthews guidance and fabulous tips I managed to get all of them put together and they are still gorgeous. My biggest regret is that I did not take notes when we were going through the process, nor photos which would have been so helpful now.

We moved away from the Bay area in 1998 and sadly saw little of Matthew after that. Unfortunately the store closed due to the economic climate when the IT bubble burst and that was heartbreaking. If only he could have kept it going until the huge knitting revival about 2003/4 the store would have become a mecca again for knitters from all over the world.

When I worked at the Filati Yarn Store I paid for my finishing to be done as I really enjoy the knitting process most of all. Now that I have some time on my hands I am busy knitting and have four sweaters all waiting to be finished. This weekend I am going to sew together the sweater I have made for Orlando my hairdresser so that he can get some use out of it travelling back and forth to New York.

I would love to sit and knit with Matthew again as I have so many things to share with him. I have progressed so far because of the time I spent with Matthew in that little piece of heaven on Sutter Street called The Yarn Garden.

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