Posted by: Steve | August 27, 2008

More on Michigan Favorite Fiber Shops…

Another weekend trip north this past weekend only sadly signaled “summer’s over”.  Reinforced by local schools starts and only one question comes to mind..

Where has the summer gone?

A stop through Howell, MI and a visit with Beth at The Spinning Loft  is always a joy.  Beth is passionate about spinning, and her shop shows it.  I enjoy her warm welcome.  On both trips through this summer, I found her shop literally littered with wheels.  If one is seeking a place to try-before-you-buy, her shop is at the top of my mid-west list for a focused spinning specialty shop.  I had the opportunity to sit down at a Lendrum, Majacraft, Mach-1, and had a chance to try a Ettrick Windwheel brought in by a customer.  While a unique design, I’m still not sure what it offered over more conventional wheels.  I left with a beautiful, Edward Tabachek drop spindle, selected to replace a heavy unbalanced monstrosity I’ve always had trouble using.  You know, the kind that puts the DROP in ‘drop spindle’ and probably more suited for spinning rope?

Beth gave me a couple of helpful tips that have lead to a more successful long-draw drafting technique.  (Did I mention I spin?)  A looser grip on my back hand holding the fiber, and spinning from the fold got me closer to an acceptable “supported long draw” drafting technique.  Thanks again Beth!

The other stop was new for me:  Heritage Weaving and Spinning.  Further off of the route I travel, the side trip was more time consuming than I had planned.  What I found was delightful!  This well stocked shop in Lake Orion, MI, seemed to cater well to the knitter, spinner, and weaver.  I dug into their big library and left with several new additions to mine:

  • “Intarsia:  A Workshop for Hand and Machine Knitting” by S. Stuever & K. Stuever (in preparation for a Kaffe Fassett project this winter)
  • “Latvian Mittens” by L. Upitis
  • “Traditional Aran Knitting” by S. Hollingworth

as well as a few balls of Elsebeth Lavold’s Hempathy needed to complete another knitting project underway, AND another Lucy Neatby sock pattern “Zig Zag Socks” – selected on the basis of the success of the Fiesta Feet!

So, where has the summer gone?  Friends and family; two college graduations;  three trips into Michigan; exploration of Georgian Bay and Manitoulin Island; knitting projects; a new/old circular sock machine, and more.

Where has your summer gone?

Bon tricot/Good knit,



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