This is the place. It is the community, the family where everybody knows your name. August 2 to August 16 were two wonderous weeks at Ann’s By Design. They were two weeks that put Ann’s By Design on the map. It all started out with the I-75 Yarn Crawl. This was Ann’s second year to participate. The target for the Crawl is for Ann’s By Design to have something which can’t be found anywhere else. In come the Magic Balls.
If you remember from past Knitting: A Love Story posts, Magic Balls make Survivor Shawls. Survivor Shawls were invented by me to honor my beloved Annabelle and her triumph over breast cancer.
Isn’t she beautiful!?!? My buddies Thea and Linda worked on cutting yarn for Magic Balls for the better part of May, June and July. Then I started taking the 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 yard pieces and making them into 460-500 yard Magic Balls. I made 40 this year. Last year I made 50 and 20 more for Breast Cancer Survivor week. Then we made up a cowl kit which nobody else sold.
We kitted The Dissent Cowl, the tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg and her Dissent Collar. People loved it. What I think I learned is that people love projects with stories behind them. They loved the story of the Survivor Shawl and they loved the story of the Dissent Cowl and so they bought and bought,. You all know I have a million stories. I’m trying to come up with my next story for Ann’s By Design’s next kit.
The I-75 Yarn Crawl started on Friday, August 2 and Ann texted saying we sold several of the Dissent Cowl kits. I decided to go in Saturday and make more. While I was working on the kits, I heard the front door open and voices. Then I heard foot steps coming to the back of the shop where I was working. A man said, “You probably don’t remember me but I’m from Dayton and my wife and I came last year.” (I did remember him.) “I bought one of your Magic Balls, made a Survivor Shawl and gave it to a survivor. She said it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen.” Well, I will admit that I did get a little teary right them. “It felt so good that I want to buy 4 Magic Balls and feel that way again.” We hugged, I thanked him and he thanked me. WOW! What a feeling. I was overcome by his kindness in sharing his story with me. I’ve got to kick myself in the pants and get busy to make some more Magic Balls for Breast Cancer Survivor’s Month. At one time I had 13 tubs of pink yarn and now I am down to one really big tub. I think if I walked around the Stash Studio I could find maybe a small tub of pink yarn hiding on the floor. It makes me sad that when the pink yarn is gone, Survivor Shawls will be no more. But as they say, “It was a hell of a ride!”
On August 16, Jocelyn Brown columnist for the New Detroit News and writer of the column Handmade featured Ann’s By Design in her column. I love Jocelyn Brown, read her every week, visit the LYS she writes about and have even appeared a couple of times in Handmade. Jocelyn is the thread that ties together readers of the Homestyle section of the Detroit News and Free Press who love making handmade items. She has a loyal devoted following. I told Ann to be ready for customers who have read the column. Saturday, August 17, two groups from the Detroit area traveled to Adrian because they read about Ann’s By Design in Handmade. This is only the beginning! So you see, those were two fabulous weeks at Ann’s By Design. Oh, by the way, if you don’t live in Michigan Ann’s By Design has an online shop. Come see us!
This blog is dedicated to Mary Helen Growt my first knitting teacher and the woman who changed my life. The mission of Knitting: A Love Story is to preserve, share and promote the love of knitting.