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.
Night Life Calendar: 12/06/2013
What's happening after dark across northern Michigan:Continued ...
Manistee celebrates season with reopened Vogue, Christmas Weekend
If you’ve never driven the 65 miles southwest to Manistee for the city’s Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend there’s an extra reason to make the trip this year.Continued ...
OTP gets in the spirit with 'Wonderful Life'
Jill Beauchamp has watched the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” every Christmas season since she was young.Continued ...
- Poll: Are you happy with results of Clinch Park makeover?
U-M to fix teen's broken heart
The University of Michigan stepped forward with a gift of open heart surgery for Nguyen Duyen, a Vietnamese exchange student who has lived under a cloud of uncertainty and stress for months.Continued ...
Editorial: TC obligated to recognize Indian villages at Clinch
The issue: Historic markers at Clinch ignore Anishinaabek people. Our view: Get it right.Continued ...
TCSF student gets equestrian scholarship from UT-Martin
Reiley Wilson is not unlike most high school athletes who aim to continue competing at the collegiate level.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 12/06/2013
Doesn’t make sense; Victims were helpless.Continued ...
Building Permits: 12/06/2013
Building permits issued in Grand Traverse County:Continued ...
Grand Traverse area lands state acquisition grants
Michigan natural resources officials recently decided it’s well worth $2.5 million to preserve about 8 acres on Old Mission Peninsula with beach access, an effort to keep the area from being turned into 10 lavish homes.Continued ...
The Record: 12/06/2013
Assumed names filed in Grand Traverse County:Continued ...
GT 911 downed by glitch
It wasn’t an emergency that rang Grand Traverse County’s 911 phone lines off the hook.Continued ...
Area receives state dollars for increased recreation
Local recreational areas will receive makeovers, courtesy of the state Department of Natural Resources.Continued ...
Top county official evaluated by board
Grand Traverse County commissioners saved some of their most critical words for each other during an annual evaluation of the county’s top employee.Continued ...
Girls Basketball Roundup: Titans drop opener
It wasn’t the best of starts for Traverse City West in Thursday’s girls basketball season opener against Grand Haven, but the Titans played the Buccaneers even the rest of the way in a 43-31 loss. (Plus more)Continued ...
Munson pharmacist awarded for pain management expertise
A professional state association recently honored a Munson Medical Center pharmacist for his expertise in pain management.Continued ...
Movie Capsules: 12/06/2013
New this week — All Is Lost: After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face. Rated PG-13 for brief strong language. (GAR)Continued ...
Community in Brief: 12/06/2013
Torch Lake Association party; ISEA Great Lakes Seminar; and more.Continued ...
Clearing the Record: 12/06/2013
Because of a reporter’s error, Coldwell Banker was misspelled in a Thursday photo caption.Continued ...
- Friday, November 29, 2013
Black Friday: TC shoppers hunt for bargains
The smile on Melinda Gall’s face said it all.Continued ...
Betty Who inspires community of fans
Betty Who? Soon you won’t have to ask. In just the past two months the rising pop singer-songwriter and Interlochen transplant performed live on VH1, posed for photos for Elle and Cosmopolitan magazines, made Time Magazine’s list of 14 Musical Acts to Watch in 2014 and signed a five-year deal with mega-label RCA Records.Continued ...
A moment in 'Paradise'
Craig Goodrich isn’t a professional photographer with a fancy DSLR camera. But his photo of a dragonfly on Perch Lake beat out images by more seasoned photographers to capture first place in this year’s Art of the Watershed photo contest.Continued ...
Moonlight owl hike, Wings of Wonder combo is a sellout
No matter what happens on the Full Moon Owl Hike at the Boardman River Nature Center next month, participants will see owls.Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 11/29/2013
Holiday train display; Benzie Festival of Trees; Holiday Art Fair; and more.Continued ...
Community in Brief: 11/29/2013
Library hosts P.J. Parrish; Community Film Series continues; history group potluck; and more.Continued ...
- Night Life Calendar: 12/06/2013