Monday, April 27, 2009

Intentional Tourist

Detroit may be known as "motor city" to most of the USA, but to this knitter it may prove to be an oasis of wool...a virtual paradise of innumerable knitting stores. My husband has been working a contract job in Dearborn since February and has been hinting that he would like me to visit. Now I wouldn't want to insult any Detroit residents, but visiting this industrial city has never been on my short list of cities I wish I had time to visit. That is until I purchased my 2009-2010 copy of Fiber Mania. The listings for yarn stores in the Detroit metroplex were more than you could shake your needles at. I immediately booked my flight and this past weekend I visited the Detroit area, 2 yarn stores, and my husband (not necessarily in that order).

My husband is a very patient and loving man when it comes to my passion to visit yarn stores and fondle wool. He only has a couple of requirements. First, a good yarn store should have a soft chair or couch where weary husbands can catch a quick nap or two while we wander through aisles, look into bins and baskets, and ooh and ahh as we stroke and pet the sensuous fibers. This makes good business sense for a LYS owner as the more time knitters have to look around, the more yarn we just have to have. Nothing puts a damper on a good yarn outing than a husband tapping his foot, looking at his watch or gasp...following you around making comments like "I thought you just looked at that one."

His next requirement is geared more towards me. I'm currently in a sock knitting frenzy and absolutely adore sock yarns. Being a good wife, a wife that wants to share her knitting prowess, and having a husband that likes wool...naturally it follows that I would make him socks. Sock yarn for the most part is bright and cheerful. It screams "look at me" "that's right I'm a hand knit vibrant unique sock that wasn't bought at the big box store." This is the type of yarn I like to knit. I told my husband that I would knit him socks as long as they weren't dull, boring, somber black, navy or brown. "That's not's DIGNIFIED" was his reply. Luckily I've managed to find a few skeins for his socks that while not exactly bright and cheerful, they aren't staid solid colors either.

Old Village Yarn Shop in Plymouth was the first yarn store we visited. Note-this LYS did not have the requisite comfy "husband" chair so for the most part he stayed outside on the sidewalk. Old Village Yarn is a nice cozy store crammed to the rafters with yarn. Bins and sheves made interesting little paths that encouraged you to go deeper into the aisles to see what treasures lay around the corner. I bought 3 skeins of sock yarn there. One for my husband, a semi solid blue/gray araucania ranco solid, and 2 sock yarns for me.

Knit a Round in Ann Arbor was the 2nd store we visited. This is a wonderful store and they did have the "husband" chair (although he spotted the wine store across the way so he never set foot in the store) Knit a Round is treasure trove of wonderful yarns. Large windows in the front fill the store with natural light allowing you to see the dizzying array of yarns in all their splendor. The owner of the store is very friendly and helpful and even volunteered to mark my book with all the "absolutely have to visit" stores and which ones had gone out of business. I bought 5 skeins here. One for my husband, a very nice Opal memory striping yarn in shades of brown with flecks of green, 3 skeins for me, and 1 for a friend.

I highly recommend both of these stores if you visit the Detroit metropolitan area. I plan on visiting my husband and Detroit again and will update readers on my continuos fiber quest.