Sandy Goetz is a regular around the back table at Yarn Quest in Traverse City.
At least twice a week, the retiree brings her latest knitting project to the yarn shop, where she finds camaraderie with the other women who also come there to knit.
"When you buy your yarn here, they offer you help with a pattern, but more importantly, I've made some of the best friends of my life here," said Goetz, who discovered her passion for knitting just two years ago. "Knitting has opened up a whole new world to me."
Although the art and craft of knitting has been around for generations, it has seen a resurgence in recent years. The Craft Yarn Council of America estimates that today, some 50 million Americans know how to knit or crochet.
Today and Saturday, area knitters will have the opportunity to check out the latest the knitting world has to offer when six northern Michigan yarn shops host the first-ever Greater Traverse Yarn Shop Hop. Each will highlight unique yarns and patterns and offer refreshments and ideas for handmade holiday gifts.
"I see it as an opportunity for people to visit all the shops and see what they have to offer," said Mary Hofmann, owner of Yarn Quest. "I love to see people get enthused about knitting and fibers."
Joan Slyker, owner of The Warm Fuzzy yarn shop in Alden, said it's been fun working with the other shops getting ready for the event.
"What's so wonderful about this is that these six shops could be in competition, but we're not. We all have different personalities and carry different yarns," she said.
Today's knitting shops offer crafters an array of yarns like their grandmothers never dreamed of, from skeins of sumptuous silks and shimmering ribbons, to baskets of baby soft alpaca and hanks of hand-dyed cottons. Northern Michigan yarn shop owners said that these days, they are also seeing a wide range of ages picking up needles and yarn.
"Knitting isn't just for grandmas," said Hofmann. "We've had junior high-aged kids come in with their mothers. We have expectant and new moms who want to make a blanket from the natural and organic yarns, and we even see a smattering of boys who want to knit scarves or hats for their girlfriends."
Even high school students are taking up the hobby. Every Monday morning, nearly a dozen students in the knitting club at Traverse City West High School meet to knit blankets for premature babies and scarves for chemotherapy patients, while catching up on the latest gossip. Knitting clubs like these have become increasingly common in recent years.
One of the weekly groups that meets at Michele Heckman's shop, The Yarn Market in Beulah, listens to a book on tape while they knit. Other groups meet to knit for charity or simply for social interaction.
"Knitting has traditionally been a women's activity and a place to share and talk," said Heckman. "In tough economic times, it's also something that you can sit at home and do."
Goetz sees the Shop Hop as a great way to introduce people to the craft.
"It's an opportunity for those who are not aware of the joys and beauty of knitting to see the wide range of handmade beautiful gifts you can make," she said.
Participants can join the Shop Hop with the purchase of a $5 passport. With a $15 purchase at a particular store, the passport is stamped and eligible for a drawing for that shop's prize basket. Stamp the passport at all six shops and shoppers are eligible for the grand prize basket, which includes a $50 gift certificate to each shop.
Participating shops include The Yarn Basket of Beulah, Thistledown Shoppe in Suttons Bay, Wool and Honey in Cedar, The Warm Fuzzy in Alden and Yarn Quest and Lost Art, both in Traverse City. Each shop will be open from noon to 8 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. For directions or more information, call Heckman at 882-4640.
First-ever Yarn Shop Hop runs today and Saturday
Sandy Goetz is a regular around the back table at Yarn Quest in Traverse City.
Community in Brief: 06/19/2013
Salon Art Show; dinner benefits 4-H group; ISLAND programs; and more.Continued ...
Community in Brief: 06/18/2013
Breezeway Cruise; quilt show; Barn Market; and more.Continued ...
Historical Photo of the Week: 06/17/2013
Can any readers identify the people in this photo? (Click the photo at right to view it larger.)Continued ...
News from 100 years ago: 06/17/2013
H.S. HULL has added the launch “Hilda” to the fleet of boats on Lake Leelanau. It is said that there are to be some fast motor boat races pulled off on that lake this summer.Continued ...
Community Newsmakers: 06/17/2013
Eight local residents have been nominated for the 2013 National Cherry Festival Distinguished Senior Award.Continued ...
Community in Brief: 06/17/2013
Ac Paw garage sale donations; Food Bank open house; Grass River events; and more.Continued ...
- Sunday, June 16, 2013
Following the Freedom Riders
Six Leelanau County and 31 Detroit black, white and Hispanic high school students were scheduled this morning to board a bus for a two-week trip that retraces the steps of civil rights “Freedom Riders” into the Deep South a half century ago.Continued ...
Green reunion committee searches for classmates
Listen up, Traverse City High School Class of 1973: Your classmates want you!Continued ...
Garret Leiva: Best gift on dad's day is fatherhood
Today, millions of men will receive a tie, gadget or gizmo destined for the back of a closet. Most guys think it’s the greatest gift in the world — fatherhood.Continued ...
Best Sellers: 06/16/2013
Northwest Michigan — Hardcover fiction: 1. “And The Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini, Riverhead Books, $28.95.Continued ...
Terry Wooten: Native heirlooms spark imagination
When I was 6 years old Grandpa Helmboldt gave me an old Indian pipe made out of wild cherry wood.Continued ...
Community in Brief: 06/16/2013
Summer crafts; geneaology group meets; Haas Quintet performs; and more.Continued ...
Books in Brief: 06/16/2013
Notable author Dempsey in Leland; Horizon events coming up; Readers watching Big Brother.Continued ...
- Saturday, June 15, 2013
Nurse practitioners keep coming back to Haiti
Family nurse practitioner Mary Ellen Sanok used to wonder, as a little girl in church, why people ever would choose to go on missions to third-world countries.Continued ...
Mental Wellness: Preserve awe throughout life
Toddlers are amazing. My daughter explores the nuances of the word “no” with unrelenting talent. At times, it can be overwhelming, but it is her way of diving into the adventure and exploration of independence.Continued ...
Body&Soul in Brief: 06/15/2013
Antique appraisals benefit Women's Fellowship; fund-raiser concert and dessert auction; and more.Continued ...
You're Needed: 06/15/2013
The Recipient Rights Advisory Committee at Munson Medical Center is looking for new members.Continued ...
Blood Drive Calendar: 06/15/2013
Where and when to donate blood in northern Michigan:Continued ...
Health Newsmakers: 06/15/2013
The Grand Traverse Pavilions Foundation received a $20,000 grant from the Art & Mary Schmuckal Family Foundation and a $2,000 grant from the Rotary Good Work Committee.Continued ...
Education Newsmakers: 06/15/2013
Jessica Abfalter, 29, of Grayling, a member of NMC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for two-year colleges, has been named a New Century Scholar and a Guistwhite Scholarship recipient.Continued ...
Community in Brief: 06/15/2013
School retirees meet; Notable author visits; tai chi in public; and more.Continued ...
- Friday, June 14, 2013
Erotic novel gets musical treatment
It’s raucous, sexy and naughty — everything a musical parody of the runaway bestselling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” should be.Continued ...
National Geographic exhibit comes to Dennos
What gives at the Dennos Museum Center? “Dancing. Feathers, Shameless Exhibition,” says one flyer for its newest exhibition that opens Sunday and runs through Sept. 22.Continued ...
Actor John C. Reilly stages benefit for Vogue
An unexpected call from well-known actor John C. Reilly was a welcome surprise to supporters of Manistee’s Vogue Theatre.Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 06/14/2013
Mushroom hunt; Consignment sale; Crafts and cars. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Community in Brief: 06/19/2013