Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Homage L'Atelier

My friend January and I have been trying to remember how many years ago we began knitting on Saturday afternoons at L’Atelier (a charming knit shop on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica); maybe in 2000.  My introduction to the shop came from a friend I made at the Brentwood Dog Park.  

My hyper-Vizsla Bradley always needed full out running which was available there.  Female dog owners would sit on the benches and talk or knit.  One young woman was knitting a gorgeous sweater for her husband and told me where she went for her yarn. The next day I went to L’Atelier, bought yarn to make a throw, called January and said, “I found something fun for us”.  Jan immediately made a throw.  That was the beginning of many throws, sweaters, scarves, purses and new friendships.

Leslie, the owner, was very welcoming, wrote wonderful patterns, suggested color combinations and generally insured that we spent almost all day Saturday knitting. Soon, Jan and I found ourselves making friends with other women and in a short time, knitting at L’Atelier became our Saturday habit. Ultimately, I think there were seven of us.  Knit, talk, knit, talk, eat lunch, knit, talk, well, you get the idea. We began celebrating each others birthdays and for a time would go out after the shop closed on Wednesday nights to drink wine and knit in a well-lighted bar. Mistakes were made.   A few times we had a “holiday party”, combining Christmas and Chanukah.

The group included a Property Manager, College Professor, Make-up Artist, Corporate
Finance Manager, Health Administrator, RN, Special Ed teacher and moi.  We ranged in age from 40 to... 

One Monday a woman parked in front of the shop forgetting it was closed.  She was so distraught and forgetting her foot was still on the gas, plowed into the plate glass
window thinking she was in reverse.  When we arrived to knit on Saturday, Leslie had
furnished the parking lot with chairs, tables and umbrellas and we sat down to knit as usual but outside rather than inside.

Sometimes we would go on field trips to other knit shops or movies or lunch or dinner. We even went to Thai Town for wonderful foot massages.
Nothing planned in detail, we just did things together; we surely spent a lot of money on yarn.  We figured it was way cheaper than a shrink.

As in all of life, change happens and our L’Atelier is now closed on Montana Avenue. The shop may be gone but will continue to knit together at one of our homes.  

You can't keep good women down or away from their knitting.


Anonymous said...

Yea for your second blog! Did you do it all by yourself? I loved it!

January Garabedian said...

Betty, I love the story and of course it brings back lots and lots of fond memories!