Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ooh, I got some more yarn!

Last week I was on vacation in Michigan, where my husband's family has a place on a lake. We go every summer, and look forward to spending that time with his parents and whichever of his siblings are up there with their families. It's great so have all that unstructured time swimming and boating and hanging out.. Another thing I like about going up there is that I get to check out the local yarn shops, which have some locally-dyed and -spun yarns, as well as some brands I can't get at home.

One shop I was particularly excited about was Stonehedge Fibers, in East Jordan, which is a farm and a mill. I had a chance to knit with their Shepherd's Worsted in some test knitting I've been doing this summer, and I loved how it knit up: a very smooth 3-ply with excellent stitch definition. Since our cottage is within ninety minute's drive of the mill, we decided to make an afternoon of it.

Since we had to take my niece to meet her mother south of town, we had to head north to get to East Jordan. This took us through towns we hadn't seen before, which was a nice change of pace. Most of these towns were farming communities rather than vacation destinations, so we were hopeful that we could find a good local restaurant for lunch. We found just the place in Kalkaska: Whitetails Steak 'n' Ale. The parking lot out front was full of pickup trucks, so we figured that was the place to eat. Once we got inside, there were deer heads mounted all over the place. There was also at least one boar's head as well as a fish. From where I sat, the fish looked plastic, but I figured they wouldn't have put up a fake fish with all the real trophies hanging around the room.

After lunch we made our way to the mill where the lady who owns it showed me into the shop. She had all the colors on the wall and the shelves. I know I saw the worsted and fingering yarns, but mostly I was paying attention to the DK skeins. Once I decided on a color, she had to go to her back stock for the quantity I needed, so I got to spend a little time with her very sweet farm cat, who let me pet her while I waited. Once I had my 14 skeins of Frosty Blue Shepherd's Wool DK, we waved goodbye to the kitty and took the scenic route home, which turned out to be not as scenic as we hoped, as we wanted to see water and got to see trees. They were nice trees, though.

Once we got to Suttons Bay, I stopped in at the Thistledown Shoppe, which is stuffed full of great yarn, most of which I ignored this time, since I was really only looking for Shibui Knits sock yarns. They had plenty of Staccato Sock and the superwash Sock. I got two skeins of Staccato Sock in Poodle Skirt, which is a variegated colorway in pinks with some tan and white. I also picked up two skeins of ivory Sock yarn to replace the Kollage Luscious I just used up.

After that stop, I'd pretty much blown my yarn budget, so I wasn't able to get any yarn from Wool and Honey in Cedar, though she had some really beautiful local alpaca roving and handspun yarn. If only I were a spinner! From what I could see in my quick lap around the shop, it looks like the focus is on local goods, so I'll have to make sure to budget for that when we go up next year.

So that's all I've got for now. Next time I'll have a progress update on the Lilleput Cardigan, as well as a pair of socks I started for the drive home. Until then, Friends.