16 September 2009

Door County Yarn Crawl 2009

While on vacation last month (I know, how do you go on vacation when you don't have a job? Well, it's not much of a vacation with the kids, you know. Kidding!) up at my parents' place in Door County, Mom and I went on a little yarn crawl, since there are two new yarn stores on the Peninsula.
First, we visited Red Sock Yarns (no website, that's the link to the Ravelry page) in Fish Creek. I didn't bring my camera, so you'll just have to use your imagination on this one: a nice, spacious store with yarn displayed mainly on freestanding shelves, a lounging area with couch, armchair, coffee table, and a pile of pattern books to browse through, and lots of yarn. It's all sort of a blur now, but some luscious, red Skacel Lace Merino came home with me, as well as some Crystal Palace Merino 5 in black for a hat for mom (custom designed - what's the point of a daughter who knits if you don't get exactly the hat you want?). I don't want to say it was all standard yarn, as they had a nice selection, good variety, but it was almost all stuff you can find most anywhere. Until we got to the counter, where I noticed one skein of sock yarn that looked to be hand-dyed. Turns out it was from a local indie dyer. Now, to my mind that is the stuff that should be piled up all over the place. Door County is, after all, a vacation community, and knitters like souvenir yarn, something we can't find just anywhere, something that will remind us of our leisurely days by the Lake. Anyway, we'd already made our purchase, so the sock yarn was left behind (just as well for me, as I need another skein of blue sock yarn like I need, well, another skein of blue sock yarn). The shop is tucked away at the back of the Fish Creek Top of the Hill shops, so keep going towards the back - it's there!
A couple of days later we went down to Spin in Sturgeon Bay (don't you love the names of Door County towns?), which is housed in an old bank building. I'm happy to report that they kept the beautiful pressed tin ceiling and bank vault.
Lots of sock yarn, lots of Rowan, Misti Alpaca, a wide variety of baby friendly yarns (in addition to being a vacation spot, Door County is also a popular retirement destination, at least for the summer), and a nice selection of books. I came home with The Art of Fair Isle Knitting: History, Technique, Color & Patterns, a couple of Cottage Creations booklets for Irish and Ukrainian dolls, and some pretty mother-of-pearl buttons for Penelope's unfinished birthday sweater (what? she doesn't know, and it hasn't really been cold enough for a sweater yet). Why did I come away without any yarn? Everything I was drawn to was pretty much like something already in the stash (see sock yarn, blue). And, again, they didn't really have any souvenir yarn. But I'm happy about the things that did come home with me.

And then we hit the place that does have souvenir yarn, Whitefish Bay Farm. I bought yarn for a yoke sweater there a couple of years ago, four natural-to-the-fleece colors, and they are still waiting for me to knit them up. I hope to do it this winter and have some groovy ideas for how to use the colors. They also sell roving, some hand-dyed yarn, as well as hand-spun yarn. I controlled myself and bought a couple more skeins of the palest, sheepy color - not sure if they will be insurance for the sweater project or for something completely different. Apparently they have their yarn processed by Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill, also in Wisconsin, and really like the way the yarn and roving turn out, so if you are looking for a processor, they might be your place.
While there I also visited the upstairs gallery, where I fell for this beautiful rug woven out of locks. Not quite in my budget these days (nor small enough to fit in my suitcase), but maybe next year.

So, that's it for this year's Door County yarn crawl. There are a few other fibery places up there, including some spots on Washington Island, but with little Miss Penelope taking two naps a day, it wasn't really feasible to get there this year. Next year I plan to knit some August Fiddle Faddle in the Woods a la EZ. Won't that be fun?


  1. Cool! I was looking at that vault door photo and thinking, ah, the qiviut!

    --AlisonH at spindyeknit.com

  2. Thanks for an interesting read, will be following your footsteps next week as we make our 33rd annual trip to Door County.


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