ST. CLOUD -- Knitting is an ancient tradition that has been practiced at one St. Cloud business for more than 20 years.

When you walk into Rocking Horse Farm it's like stepping back in time. You can smell the wood burning stove that heats the building which is filled with fabric of all kinds.

Owner Carole Wurst started selling Studio knitting machines in 1978 for a friend. She taught herself hand knitting, quilting and other types of needle work.

Wurst became a license hair dresser and opened up her own beauty salon. She had success selling the knitting machines and says she thought she should sell them for herself.

In 1990 she opened up Carol Wurst Knitting at Rocking Horse Farm. She sells both new and used machines. Some machines date back to the early 1900s.

Wurst offers knitting classes and clubs out of her shop for those interested in learning the craft. Some of the yearly events held at the shop include St. Distaff's Day Celebration for spinners, knitting camp, knitting design contest and the September seminar for machine knitting and fiber arts.

She has been traveling across North America doing demonstrations on the different types of knitting machines.

Wurst combines the past with the present using computerized knitting machines to bring her designs to life.

She says, "the latest things we can go and design right on the computer and feed it into our knitting machines."

Projects that used to take days or weeks knitting by hand now take a few hours using knitting machines with the computer technology.

She creates her own patterns and designs gathering inspiration from current fashion trends and past traditions.

However, Wurst says the knitting machines can't do everything, "you can do some things with those hand knitting needles that we can't do on a knitting machine. Hand knitting will always be there, I mean look how easy (it is to) take your hand knitting with you."

For many years Wurst has been collecting socks for her Toasty Toes campaign. She sends hand and machine knit socks to soldiers overseas that are made by volunteers.

Her shop is family run with the help of her husband Fred Wurst, children and grandchildren.

Rocking Horse Farm is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Ashli Gerdes, WJON News