Moab Happenings Archive
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Desert Thread: Stitching Together A Creative Community
By Linda Schmidt

Entering Desert Thread may take your breath away. It’s rather like going into the warmest, most wonderful toy shop you’ve ever encountered! Not only is it filled top to bottom with brilliant color, texture, and a wonderfully wide variety of items, but it is so artistically arranged that the skeins and balls of yarn seem to have achieved their purpose already, by merely being beautiful on the walls and shelves.

Looking beyond the highly visible yarns and fibers, other items catch the eye: fanciful felted creations, spinning wheels, and two inviting couches in one corner, with toys to occupy little ones. Exploring more deeply, felting supplies and kits, threads, knitting and crocheting needles, buttons, craft publications, yarn dyes, and items of clothing come into focus. What a delight!

Sisters Rosie Boone and Cathy O’Connor opened up Desert Thread in 2006. Participating in local craft fairs, they saw a need in Moab for a source of quality fiber craft materials and tools. They also enjoyed the brief fellowship experienced with other artisans at these events and longed for more. Envisioning a focal point that would encourage the growth of community among fellow fiber crafters, bring new participants into these crafts, and supply the materials for them, they acted. Desert Thread was their response.

Knowledge, experience, and personal warmth are hallmarks of this business. It can be seen in the inventory and heard in every interaction with customers. Inventory has been selected for its quality. Mutually supportive relationships with suppliers of very fine wool, such as Cunnington Farms just south of Moab, have been developed. Wanting the best for their customers, tools such as knitting and crocheting needles have been put to use and chosen for their superior characteristics. Rosie and Cathy are both highly skilled crafters, and they use the very products they sell.

Desert Thread’s weekly stitch night has been a popular event, drawing fellow crafters together for an evening of fellowship and sharing techniques. Rosie’s knitting, crocheting, and felting classes have also brought together both new and experienced crafters. The result of these gatherings has been the creation of close groups who not only develop skills but make life-long friends.

Cathy is always on hand in the shop. She notes that there has been an exciting increase in the number of people getting back into handcrafts, with a definite rise in both younger women and men. Though classes and stitch nights are currently suspended, she invites folks to come into the shop on an individual basis for help, welcoming them to spend time on their projects in the cozy couch corner.

In addition to teaching at the charter school, Rosie works in her studio. There she dyes wool, creates felting kits, and felts her own “RosyO” line of specialties, such as wool jewels, little sheep, and other treasures for the shop. Both sisters look forward to resuming community with fellow crafters, and are hoping they will be able to start up meetings and classes in January 2021.

Desert Thread is located in the heart of Moab at 29 E. Center Street. Hours are currently 10am to 5:30pm Tuesday through Saturday. Phone 435-259-8404, or email For more information on all of their products (and photos of little felted sheep!) check out their web site at

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