KOTO’s street dance featured 3rd annual Needle Rock Fashion Show

KOTO’s street dance featured 3rd annual Needle Rock Fashion Show

(note: click on the box in the lower right corner of the YouTube window to view full screen)

Needle Rock is a mountain pillar in the Telluride region, climbing to 10,564 feet above sea level. Needle Rock – pun intended – is also the name of the town’s only fiber arts store, as of April 20, comfortably ensconced in brand new digs: 320 West Colorado Avenue. (It’s the little purple house set back from the road, originally a fabric and sewing store. What goes around….)

On Friday, April 2, Telluride’s community radio station, KOTO, held its annual street dance to close out the winter season with a bang, not a whimper. The entertainment included Telluride’s all-women rock and roll band, The 525s, who opened the festivities for the main event, Ralph Dinosaur and the Fabulous Volcanos – and a fashion show. (I am not talking about the parade of pink on Main Street.) Between the acts, Needle Rocks Fiberarts, our local knitting salon, strutted its stuff on the stage adjacent to Telluride’s courthouse.

Needle Rock, the store, is fast becoming a pillar of the Telluride community, a hang-out and place of support that differs from a bar or a coffee shop only in that alpaca and premium wool – as well as green yarns such as soy, silk, corn, hemp and bamboo –  are on the tasty menu items, not drinks. Think of Needle Rock as bricks and mortar knitting bee, like the sewing and quilting circles of yore before Tupperware, cosmetics and sex toys became hooks du jour bringing women together. (Although Needle Rock is not exclusively a ladies’ club. Men knit too.) Locals have nicknamed the knitting salon on Main Street “Telluride’s living room,” because there is always a place to sit and relax with your projects, while admiring the mountain views.

Needle Rock co-owners Ginger Snip and Ann Kennedy were genetically predisposed to open a knitting shop. Ginger was named for the grandmother, a knitting champion back in red dirt territory. Ann’s mom was a knitting queen in her hometown, Hollywood, California. (A case of pearls before swine?) Ginger and Ann Kennedy met at the Telluride Academy’s Women in the Wilderness program and have been friends ever since.

“About six years ago, Ann and I took a refresher knitting course taught by Kim Perutz at the Ah Haa School,” explained Ginger. “As everyone knows, there was no knitting store in Telluride at the time, but the need was there, and so we decided to fill the gap. We dreamed up our name, ‘Needle Rock,’ and gave ourselves two years to make it all happen. One year and a half later, the space came up. Ann and I held our noses and jumped off the cliff.”

Needle Rock has grown by leaps and bounds since it opened, with support from local knitters, part-time homeowners, tourists, even knitters from Durango to Grand Junction. Needle Rock teaches classes, offers free help with knitting and crochet problems, and conducts weekly knitting circles.

Models supporting Needle Rock at the KOTO fashion show included Ann and GInger, plus Teresa Lauterbach, Tracy Nugent, Cath Jett, Bob Snip, Meredith Muller (Lily Spa), Cathy Dickinson and Penny the Labrador Retriever.

Check out the action by clicking on Clint Viebrock’s movie.

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