As I write, most of the schools in Michigan are closed and, if it’s anything like yesterday, it will be too cold even for the knitter’s to come out. Good thing we have serious stashes at home! It’s much warmer at our house this morning – up a full five degrees over yesterday’s nine below. A good day for warm wooly mittens and Orenburg lace shawls. Yes, plural. Shawls. It’s a two shawl day!
I have heard from several people that I’ve been absent from this blog for a while. Yup. Sure have been. It has been so very, very busy at the shop that I’ve had a hard time keeping up with just about everything. After returning from the island it always takes me a few days to get my feet back under me, find the top of my desk and bottom of my mailbox and prepare for all the new classes on the schedule. Then, we had our annual Smart Sheep Party which is really a thank you event to our best customers (to qualify this year, simply take one class or spend more than $500 at the shop during calendar year 2007). Participants enjoyed great sales prices, chances to up their fiber purchase discounts to 50% off retail, great eats and wonderful company. Many brought their knitting and “hung out.” One of my favorite parts of the evening is the fashion parade. Following are photos of Kathy in her Bohus sweater knit from Jamieson’s Spindrift, Jane in her Sweater Workshop inspired Shepherd’s wool raglan, and a close up of Lisa’s Silk Garden modular vest knit from Lucy Neatby’s Equilateral Vest pattern (she’s fulled it slightly because it was too big!).
All in all, it was an evening of inspiration and bargains!
The Friday before the Smart Sheep Party was another very cool knitting event. The Detroit Chamber Winds had a recital and invited knitters. Sally, the oboeist and event coordinator, is a knitter and one of my students. The evening was well-attended by knitters and others, including Christa and Shelby Newhouse who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. There was a good turn out of familiar faces and the music was so wonderful that sometimes you just had to put down your needles and absorb it. As with any gathering of knitters, we enjoyed a lovely display of knitted items, including the pianists handspun Collie-wool lace shawl. Its natural gold color made it glow. I hope Sally can pull off an evening like this again because we all enjoyed it.
While January was busy, there’s no way it could top Knit Michigan, which was held February 3 at Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills. Bridget Dean and I conceived the idea for this event, but it took a whole slew of enthusiastic fiber folks to make it a reality. Sorry, no photos yet, but they are coming! The bottom line is we had over 350 people participate in some way – as visitors, volunteers, marathoners, or instructors – and we grossed over $14,000 which means we will be able to forward over $3,000 to each of our four charities: Gilda’s Club, Genesys Health System, Karamanos Cancer Center and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. More on Knit Michigan as soon as I have pictures and I’ll share some stories with you at the same time.