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!
We’re in the homestretch. Four more shops. Here we go!
Here it is, Northwest Wools, a darling, tiny store just chocked full of amazing yarn and knitted samples. There wasn’t an empty space. As I walked around the store, I felt like a child at the end of a birthday party. I wanted more yarn (cake) but even I knew that wasn’t a good idea. Just like the birthday party child was stuffed with cake and ice cream and candy, I was stuffed with yarn.
It’s not that there wasn’t beautiful fibers, it was just that I was over loaded. NorthWest Wool has yummy yarn that look like they belong in a shop named NorthWest Wool. Warm wools, tantalizing tweeds, winter worsted. Everything looked like a shop getting ready for a long winter’s nap.
In all fairness, Linda and I need to go back here next time and put it first on our list. We left Northwest Wools and went on to Close Knit. Isn’t that a great name for a yarn shop. I always thought if I had my own shop it would be called In Stitches. Linda even bought a bag for me many years ago monogrammed with In Stitches. I couldn’t get my enthusiasm up to buy anything at Close Knit either. It was with a heavy heart and a light wallet that we decided it was time to go home. We didn’t visit Fiber Rhythm or Starlight. We’re saving them for next time.
These are the shops we did and didn’t go to. It was a great two days but I definitely had fiber exhaustion. You may be wondering about the buttons you get when you visit a LYS on the Rose City Yarn Crawl. Linda gave me all of the buttons, even the ones we didn’t visit so I could have a complete set. Is she a great friend or what?!?! We settled in for dinner with Linda’s son Joe who I adore. Dick was Joe’s golf coach in high school. When Joe married Jenny (Joe is an avid Detroit Lions fan and Jenny an avid Green Bay Packers fan) we gave them tickets to the Lions/Packers game on Thanksgiving Day. Joe said it was the best wedding gift ever. Linda and I ended our day with some knitting just like we end all days. Wait until you see what I accomplished!
Remember this before I left? The fabulous Issey scarf my favorite travel knitting. After waiting in the airport, knitting on the flight to Portland and knitting with Linda, it became this.
Pretty impressive even if I do say so myself. Issey will be my travel knitting when we go to the Coastal Condo in September. I’ll tell you all about it then.
Saturday, my last day with Linda and Denny, we went to Mt Hood. There it is in the distance. This marvelous day of memories, gave me many peeks at, well, peaks! I saw Mt Jefferson, The Three Sisters and far in the distance the very tippy top of the big guy, Mt Rainier. We went to the lodge where one of the scariest movies of all time, The Shining, was filmed. As I looked at the doors to the rooms all I could think of was, “Here’s Johnny!”, the famous Jack Nicholson line. You may think my yarn shopping was over but you would be wrong.
Our last stop on our unforgettable fiber crawl was Knot Another Hat in Hood River. Tremendous little town and fabulous fiber store.
I loved this quaint little shop just overflowing with personal attention and amazing yarn. Realizing this would be nostalgically my last hurrah at a yarn shop in the Pacific Northwest, I felt it was my duty to make a purchase.
I didn’t buy this but loved it. It is one of the Wonderland Yarns gradient sets. I took a picture so I would remember it for future purchase. I did buy a little something.
Once again horrible photograph, sorry about that, but the yarn is amazing. It is Pam Wilkins’ Fine Hand Spun Yarn in merino and bamboo in colorway Sunrise. I could not resist this because this is a local company and I never will have the chance to purchase Pam Wilkins until I go back to Linda’s again. It is a huge skein of 760 yards.
This is also a local fiber company Havirland Pax Sock in The Final Girls. I loved the colors. Linda thought it looked like Halloween. I just couldn’t resist. We explored Hood River a little more and then went home for my last night in the gorge. It was an over the top trip with fun and surprises at every turn.
Here I am back at PDX, taking the parting picture of my feet on the famous carpet. It was a fabulous trip. If you ever get to Portland in March, I courage you, no I dare you, to take the Rose City Yarn Crawl. It won’t be as much fun as my private crawl because you won’t be with Linda but it will be an amazing experience. Kathy fell in love with the Forest Grove kit and bought one online from The Knotty Lamb. You could do that, too. Writing this has reminded me of how much I brought home. I left my clothes and had a suitcase packed full of yarn. Going through TSA, I was pulled out of line to have my suitcase opened (and searched). When the young man got it open he said, “So that’s what it is.” I guess my abundance of yarn confused the x-ray machine. Well, the yarn and Jan got home safely. Can’t wait for the next Linda and Jan Yarn Crawl.
EEEEKKKK! I made a mistake in Let The Crawl Begin! I may have been just a bit overwhelmed. Facing exposure to 10 LYS I’d never heard of plus Cedar River Alpaca Farm plus the fabulous Knot Another Hat. I got mixed up in reporting on For Yarn’s Sake. The glorious yarn I said I bought at For Yarn’s Sake, I really bought at Twisted. Suffice it to say, I loved Twisted and would go there any and every time I visit Linda. That’s what happens when you don’t take pictures of every shop to refresh your memory. I apologize to Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake. Let’s get on with the excitement of Linda and Jan’s Yarn Crawl!
Day 2 started with us leaving very early. We hopped into Linda’s Subaru, crossed the Bridge of the Gods and headed to our first LYS. We left Portland and headed to the country. We saw fields of clover and boxes of bees. Finally, we entered Forest Grove.
Our first stop of the day was the Knotty Lamb and it swept me off my feet. We got there a little early so we decided to window peep. All of a sudden the door opened and a voice said, “Do you want to come in?” I was not prepared for the wonderland of yarn, the funhouse of fiber that greeted me.
Everywhere I looked there was a yarn company I’d never heard of and a knitted sample that made it come alive. You know, I am a sucker for a knitting sample. I wanted to do a walk through and get the lay of the land before I started to buy but I found myself grabbing up skeins of amazing yarn like a chef might grab up vegetables at a farmers' market. I became Alice and this was my wonderland.
This was my first grab. Forest Grove is an amazing wrap pattern designed for the Knotty Lamb for the Rose City Yarn Crawl. The yarn is gorgeous and the pattern intriguing. Does it get any better than that?1?1?1. The yarn is Barnyard Knits Hand Dyed in merino and nylon. It’s the perfect sock yarn combination but who would want to hide this beautiful fiber in a shoe or boot?!?! The colors are Old Tin Roof, Faded Farmhouse, Rosebud and Tourmaline. The wrap starts with a circular pattern then sweeps out to each side. When I got home and emailed my sister Kathy the picture, she immediately called the Knotty Lamb and now she has her own.
I looked behind the counter and there it was! Somebody had grouped these three beautiful Magpie yarns together. The fiber is merino, cashmere and nylon and who really can refuse yarn with a little cashmere?!?! The colorways are Stormfront, Gobsmacked and Soirée. I don’t know what I’m going to create with these amazing colors but it will be beautiful.
Once again, my photography doesn’t do the color of this glorious fiber justice. I saw this amazing Cedar House Yarn and immediately fell in love but I didn’t pick it up. After all it wasn’t vibrant colors (which I seemed to be favoring) and I didn’t have a clue what I would do with it. It is Sapling Sock and the colorway is Painted Hills.
Ok, this Concentric is 100% Baby Alpaca, need I say more. The colorway is Pastel Pop. It’s an amazing 4 ply which starts in a taupe and changes one strand at a time until it is teal. I think it will become a mind blowing scarf using the right pattern which adds interest but doesn’t detract from the beauty of the fiber. When I look at this I just sigh in deep pleasure.
I must admit I did pick this up immediately when I saw it and never put it down. Fifty Shades of Gradient by The Fiber Studio was made for me. The tagline is “Yarn to dye for.” I swear, all these shops knew I was coming and stocked up on yarn they knew I couldn’t resist. In the mean time, I walked back to the Cedar House Yarns picked it up , put it down, picked it up and it finally ended up at the point of sale. OK! Do you think the Knotty Lamb did right by me? I think so. On our way out, Linda and I couldn’t resist. . .
A LYS with a place to take a souvenir picture or selfie! Is that cool or what! Linda gave the Knotty Lamb pin to me, we took a picture of the Knotty Lamb and we were on our way to the next stop. WHICH REALLY WAS FOR YARN’S SAKE. How could I forget?!?!?! I think I got the yarn which hit it out of the park here.
Here we are in Beaverton in For Yarn’s Sake. I must admit, even though this was only our second LYS of the day, yarn fatigue was setting in. The Knotty Sheep had taken a lot out of me. See the glass case next to the point of sale? Denny spoke in awe of that case. In that small little case he says he saw a $300 skein of yarn. That might explain why it was locked. I thought I needed to take the dare and buy that amazing skein of yarn whatever it was, but it wasn’t there. Saved!!!!!! But Linda grabbed me my the arm to show me two fabulous finds. Maybe the finds of the whole yarn crawl.
This is Alpha B Yarns Sexy B. Linda says it is only sold in For Yarn’s Sake. It is 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere. I have felt some yummy yarns in my travels but none yummier than this. The colorway is Esther’s Orchid. Every time I look at it I end up just nodding my head, sighing and petting the skein. Ok, now for the big reveal. Remember this?
Remember the infamous Portland Airport carpet?
Meet Knitted Wit Victory Sock yarn in PDX Carpet!!!!!!! Is this just the best, or what? People have asked me what I’m going to make out of it and I say “NOTHING!” This will remain exactly like it is. For Yarn’s Sake is the only place you can get PDX Carpet, too.
Even though we visited couple more LYS on day two, I need to stop here. I think all of the amazing pictures are overloading Weebly. Things are getting wonky and I don't want to loose this awesome piece of work. I will come back in a couple of days and finish up.
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.