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.
Prep Sports Scoreboard: 04/11/2014
A roundup of prep sports results from across northern Michigan:
GT Academy founder faces bank fraud, tax evasion charges
Grand Traverse Academy co-founder Steven Ingersoll faces federal charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and tax violations, accusations that publicly surfaced about a month after the school severed ties with his management company.Continued ...
Editorial: Recent BATA changes put accountability first
The Bay Area Transportation Authority is undergoing some needed accountability changes that should improve service to some while rewarding others for playing by the rules.Continued ...
TCL&P resists coal dock pressure
Traverse City Light & Power board members withstood heavy lobbying and allegations of closed-door maneuvering from influential local groups to place the $2.68 million coal dock property’s future in the hands of the city’s elected representatives.Continued ...
New zombie flick set in northern Michigan
Most days Brian Dawson is a mild-mannered veterinarian. Others he’s a flesh-eating zombie.Continued ...
Derrer to play at Syracuse
Dakota Derrer won’t have to be one of the boys anymore. But now she’ll have to resist the urge to hit like one.Continued ...
Career Kickstart kicks off today
Job seekers can get free professional clothing and lots of advice on resumes and interview skills at an event today at Northwestern Michigan College.Continued ...
High schools among most challenging in U.S., state
Local students have the opportunity to attend two of the most challenging high schools in the nation, based on the Washington Post’s annual rankings.Continued ...
School gets ATM
TBA Credit Union installed an automated teller machine at Traverse City West Senior High School.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 04/11/2014
Enabling the homeless.Continued ...
TBAYS set to celebrate silver anniversary
Fred Haines had a vision. He also had passion and determination. And on any given day in the spring or fall, if you gaze out at the expanse of soccer fields at the Keystone Road Soccer Complex and see hundreds of kids kicking balls around, you are able to see it all spring to life.Continued ...
NMC administrator off to China for student recruitment
A Northwestern Michigan College administrator is off on another trip to China with hopes of recruiting high school students from Beijing to enroll at NMC their senior year.Continued ...
The Record: 04/11/2014
Assumed names filed in Grand Traverse County:Continued ...
Life after 'The Voice': Maloney out but not down following cut
Ryan Whyte Maloney is out but he isn’t down. The Traverse City native and “The Voice” contestant was cut from the show Tuesday after making it to the top 20 on Monday.Continued ...
Forum: TC can't get bed tax, visitors centers can
I am writing to comment on the March 29 Another View: “Local tax a local windfall” about Franklin County in New York state seeking state approval to impose a bed tax on hotels and motels in that county, and your Online Poll question asking readers whether such a tax is a good idea.Continued ...
Kalkaska's Will Noble headed to the next level
This season Will Noble took his game to another level. That’s allowed him to take his game to the next level.Continued ...
Building Permits: 04/11/2014
Building permits issued in Grand Traverse County:Continued ...
Saturday festival all about dirt and Earth
Mara Penfil likes dirt. She likes to remind people that leaves fall from trees and turn into dirt, mushrooms grow in dirt, all kinds of organisms make a home in dirt.Continued ...
Bums add Wrenn, Rossi to infield
The Traverse City Beach Bums added to an already fairly loaded infield by signing shortstop Taylor Wrenn and infielder Drew Rossi.Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 04/11/2014
Celebration for Pete Seeger; OTP Studio Theatre stages police drama; Dirt Fest; and more.Continued ...
Prep Sports Roundup: Morgan, Cvengros pitch Glads to sweep
Gabby Morgan pitched a two-hit shutout as St. Francis blanked Benzie Central 10-0 in the opener of a non-league doubleheader Thursday. (Plus more)Continued ...
Movie Capsules: 04/11/2014
New this week — Draft Day: At the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams. Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language and sexual references. (HOR)Continued ...
Forestry experts gear up to fight next deadly beetle
Michigan foresters fear the sight of a black beetle with white spots.Continued ...
Grand Rapids band feels 'at home' in TC
Members of Grand Rapids’ Sweet J Band consider Kilkenny’s Irish Public House in Traverse City their home away from home.Continued ...
Night Life Calendar: 04/11/2014
Entertainment in the region:Continued ...
- Prep Sports Scoreboard: 04/11/2014