Last week a bunch of us left Darlene and Kathy to fend for themselves at the shop while we traversed through slush and snow to the other side of the state. We loaded up a minivan and a Toyota Corolla with piles of yarn, t-shirts, totes, and other saleable goodies, then somehow crammed ourselves into the vehicles as well. “Why would you go to such lengths?” you ask. It wasn’t only for a slumber party at Kim’s parents’ Royal Oak condo; though that was surely a perk. Here I am with Marilyn getting caffeinated early on Saturday morning:
Our real reason for traipsing to the Detroit suburbs was to attend the second annual Knit Michigan. This event is a fundraiser for cancer-related organizations throughout Michigan. Knitting “marathoners” collect sponsors and attend to take classes, shop at vendors’ booths, and commune in a fibery manner.
We arrived at the venue on Friday evening to set up our booth. The allotted 45 minutes passed lickety-split, but we managed to create a 10-foot square tent replica of the brick-and-steel City Knitting we’d left back in Grand Rapids. That night we whip-stitched the final letters to our one hundred percent hand-made shop banner (now hanging on the wall in the shop, because we know you need to see it!), spread out our blankies, and crashed for a short sleep.
Back at Knit Michigan by 8 am Saturday, we knew the real fun was beginning. Lorilee was among many instructors who volunteered their time to teach classes, while others staffed the booths and tried to accomplish transactions the old-fashioned way: without a computer! Imagine an elementary school gymnasium full of knitters and spinners. I’d be hard-pressed to find a friendlier atmosphere.
Two experiences highlight my day at Knit Michigan:
1. Watching Kristin H (our token marathoner) traipse about in her self-designed knit dress and our designer Lyra hat, making friends with everyone within a 1000-foot radius.
2. Bringing over 100 home-made hats from all of you out there, to donate to the participating organizations. And an added bonus: the organizers sent us right back home with a big box of hats to give to Lacks Cancer Center, here in our very own neighborhood.
Finally, a Big Thank You to all who donated hats for us to take to the event. And mark your calendar for the first Saturday in February 2009. We plan to be there again, and we’d love to see your faces in the crowd.