Frankenmuth part one: Zeilinger’s Wool Mill

May 26, 2011 § 6 Comments

Almost two (!) weeks ago, before my big move, I decided that it was time to visit a lot of the places that I should’ve been visiting over the years, but didn’t. One of those places was Zeilinger’s Wool Mill in Frankenmuth, Michigan. I also wanted to go visit the home of one of my favorite yarns, Stonehedge Fiber Mill (makers of Shepherd’s Wool), but alas, it was a bit too far away to make a nice, relaxing one-day trip of it. And admittedly I never did make it out to Holland, Michigan, to buy a pair of wooden clogs (the previous pair is upstairs in my closet, but sadly does not fit any more…though I think this makes my mom happy as she claims they would scratch the floor).

Anyway, I made the trip up fairly quickly on a very lovely day. Here’s part one, Zeilinger’s Wool Mill. I hope to post part two, the Cheese Haus and Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, at some point too. Of course, they aren’t strictly fiber/wool/knitting/crochet/spinning/crafting-related at all, but since you can do a one-day trip, as I did, it can scoot into the purview of this blog and not even strictly be off-topic!

Zeilinger’s Wool Mill has been around for a long time. I first heard of it many years ago, though I don’t really remember why. Perhaps it was because it is around the corner from Bronner’s and therefore someone mentioned it in passing? Well, anyway, I know I heard of them too from Clara Parkes’ amazing book The Knitter’s Book of Wool, because not only do they manufacture their own yarn, they also will do small-batch spinning, and apparently they are quite popular with smaller producers. In fact, I have some yarn spun at Zeilinger’s that I bought at the Michigan Fiber Festival last year, as the farm sent their fleeces to Zeilinger’s and then sold the yarn to me. It is a Romney-Columbia blend.

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I’m feeling motivated! And productive!

May 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

Shocking, I know…

Anyway, so I made this massive list of things to do this week before my big move on Friday/Saturday. I got another three-tier plastic drawer cubby thing for, uh, the yarn I’ve bought since the last plastic yarn-filled bin went home in April. I recycled the plastic bags that were breeding in my entry closet. I even designed TWO Fair Isle hats and hope to release the pattern for the second one as soon as I’ve finished both it and the hat currently on the needles.

The first hat’s pattern I am considering holding for submission in an actual publication (or maybe self-publishing? not sure yet). The color combo I picked, shown above, is quite pretty, but I have a feeling that I am going to be re-knitting it because I think stronger contrasts between the colors will make it easier to photograph.

This color combination is not what I’d typically go for, but there’s something really cool about the orangey-pink with the sunny yellow. My friend helped me pick out the colors, and she has excellent taste. As it has a bit more contrast between all the colors, it should show off the Fair Isle patterning much better in a photograph.

All the yarn in these pictures is Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool, which is fitting since I’m moving away now. Fortunately, I can either order it from my favorite LYS, or there is a nice LYS that carries some of the colors about twenty miles from where I’ll be living next week. This is somewhat embarrassing to admit, but knowing that I have a yarn store that stocks brands I like only a Metro ride away is oddly comforting, despite absolutely zero need to procure more yarn. Yes, I will be buying some, of course!

Anyway, for the second hat pattern I haven’t decided what colors I want. I might go for the first hat’s color scheme, or go with something more masculine.

Since I’ve been so productive, I decided to reward myself, so I purchased the amazing book Knitwear Design Workshop by Shirley Paden at Schuler Books today.* They had a coupon (I even remembered to check for a coupon!) for 30% off a hardback book, which Knitwear Design Workshop certainly is. I think it will help me a lot in my next goal, to actually design and knit a sweater. There’s also a fabulous knit coat pattern that I realllllly want to make. I added it to my queue on Ravelry, which I recently allowed to go over the one-page limit of thirty items, to TWO PAGES. Scandalous, I know, but I couldn’t resist any longer.

Now that my knitted blanket is nearing completion, suddenly 1500 yards in about a month (not even including other projects I’ve been working on) doesn’t seem like so much. Here’s the blanket at about 50% done. I’m at over 80% now though, which is only like, 225 yards left.

And finally, in the most recent burst of productivity, I even got my blogroll for fiber/crafting set up again. Check it out on the right-hand side of the screen.

*Links are provided for your convenience. I am not a part of Schuler Books’ affiliate program.

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