This year’s limited-edition LYS Day colorway from Stitch Together Studio, Rise Together.

Rise TogetherIt’s the only way to survive 2020‑‑together. It is no exaggeration when we say we simply would not be here today if it were not for you. We have been lifted up and held in every way imaginable by our customers and friends, and we’re taking the opportunity this weekend to say thank you. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for supporting us. Emotionally. Financially. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your creative life‑‑it is an honor, to be literally and figuratively knit into the fabric of your lives. Thank you doesn’t quite seem like enough.

While we’re still at extremely limited capacity in our bricks-and-mortar storefront (we are only allowing 3 customers in the shop at a time), this weekend is a virtual celebration that will include all of our fiber-loving friends, near and far.​​​​​​​

For one weekend only‑‑from 7 am Saturday morning until 11:59 p.m. Sunday evening‑‑we’re having an online sale.

We don’t usually have sales (ever!) but it’s our way of saying thank you for your loyal support.

20% OFF online and phone orders*

enter coupon code:
rise2020

at checkout to receive 20% off

OR

mention this coupon code when calling (231) 228-2800

Knitter’s Salve + Lip Tint from Lake and Woods Apothecary.

There will also be a gift with every purchase. Typically for this annual event, we tuck a physical gift into every box, but this year we wanted to give a gift that keeps giving‑‑to others who have also been shining their bright lights in Northern Michigan during these dark times. For every purchase throughout the weekend, you will each receive a $10 gift certificate to your choice of one of three local, women-owned businesses: Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate of Empire, Cottage Books in Glen Arbor or Lake and Woods Apothecary of Suttons Bay. Jody, Sue and Kelly have provided an endless stream of comfort to both of us in terms of chocolate, books and herbal remedies for the past six months, and we want you to have a bit of comfort in your lives, too. We hope you’ll use the gift certificate toward something‑‑a box of truffles, a poetry collection, a sleep-to-dream tincture‑‑you’ve had your eye on, but were too hesitant to treat yourself. Please do‑‑because you are worth it.

We’ll be giving away the $100 gift basket shown below to one lucky participant from our Saturday morning Zoom call‑‑all you have to do is come sit and virtually knit with us on Saturday morning from 10 am to 12 noon EDT, type your email address in the comment box during the call and you’re entered to win.

Yes. YOU can win this gift basket‑‑a $100 value!‑‑just by sitting and knitting with us this morning. One ‘Shop Small’ pinfrom Worthwhile Paper, one Woodsmoke + Apple candlefrom Farm House Candle Co., two skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Valein ‘Barberry’ + ‘Lake Letters’, a book of Lake Michigan-inspired essays and poetry from local artist Mae Stier.
One of Melissa’s current WIPs–Jessie Maed’s ‘Cozy Classic Raglan’ in AVFKW Floating in ‘Pip’ + Ocean Rose’s Mohair Silk in ‘Butterdream’. Our Wool & Honey Life tote, the beautiful brainchild of Emilie of Lief Design in Grand Rapids.

Open Stitch
Saturdays
10 am to 12 pm EDT

Sitting and creating with you on Saturday mornings…it’s what we DO.

Join us every Saturday morning as we sit and drink caffeinated beverages and knit (or crochet/spin/stitch/weave!) together. It won’t be exactly the same as being together in person, but it’ll be so very good to see you.

We’ll be giving away the $100 gift basket shown above to one lucky participant from our Saturday morning Zoom call‑‑all you have to do is come sit and virtually knit with us on Saturday, type your email address in the comment box during the call and you’re entered to win.

JOIN US HERE.

Meeting ID: 835 6727 2501

(In the event that the link itself isn’t working, head to Zoom’s home page,
enter meeting ID: 835 6727 2501
and you should be able to get right in.)


Oh, happy day! Introducing Dapple, the newest yarn in the Brooklyn Tweed collection. We encourage you to pour yourself a cup of something lovely, sit for a moment and read–and watch!–Dapple’s story, in the words of the team at Brooklyn Tweed…

“Brooklyn Tweed fell in love with the idea of woolen-spun cotton, a less-common blending and carding process that preserves the loft and softness of cotton, while maintaining a downy, natural look to knitted fabrics. They sourced organic Texas cotton from Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative to combine with the finest US Merino wool that they could find, with a goal of creating a yarn that “knits like wool and wears like cotton”. The sweet spot – a 60/40 wool and cotton blend that balances cotton’s breathability and softness with Merino’s memory and bounce. Dapple creates sweatshirt-soft fabrics that are perfect for next-to-skin wear while preserving the natural look of heathered wool.

Easy wearing with near-to-the-skin smoothness, Dapple delivers as the perfect go-to yarn for buttery soft baby sweaters, summer shawls and all-season apparel. This woolen-spun yarn is a blend of 40% Texas organic cotton and 60% Merino wool from Colorado. The spring and bounce of plump wool anchors this 2-ply DK weight yarn, providing structure and memory to your knitwear. Concurrently, cotton’s smooth hand softens wool’s rustic texture, making Dapple a dream for those knitters who crave a downier feel.

Dapple’s unique blend of wool and cotton transcends traditional solid colors. Desaturated dots of organic cotton enhance the singular beauty of each skein. Experiment with the greater variability of dark tones or paint your project with a lighter, less variegated colorway–let Dapple do the work. With watercolor artistry and saturation ranging from light to dark in hue, each skein is a unique iteration with no dye lots to coordinate, making every project truly one-of-a-kind.

Cotton’s soft hand belies a harsh history of anti-Black racism and oppression in America. The ubiquitousness of this natural fiber is a direct result of the plantation slavery that enabled its lucrative proliferation. The modern production of organic cotton does not reproduce these traumatic conditions and, instead, reinvests in its workers and the land by promoting equitable labor standards, and regenerative environmental practices. This model leads us all to a more sustainable and inclusive future. Recognizing the violent history of cotton cultivation makes the future of agricultural success and safety for Black farmers an even more necessary goal. Legacies of exploitation and discrimination have kept Black farmers from land ownership and successful agricultural careers. Of America’s 3.4 million farmers, 95% are white, with Black-owned farms accounting for a mere 0.5% of American farmland. 3% of all profits from Dapple sales will be donated in perpetuity to the National Black Farmers Association. No complex issue can be solved overnight, but moving towards a more inclusive future for all is crucial to Brooklyn Tweed’s values of domestic sourcing, equity and antiracism. Read more about The Legacy of the U.S. Cotton Economy by Sha’Mira Covington HERE. Meet Brooklyn Tweed’s Dapple Collection Consultants and Contributors HERE.”

Dapple from Brooklyn Tweed on Vimeo.

We are thrilled to have this gorgeous, nuanced yarn in the shop, nestled in among all the others, bringing its hope for the future of yarn and the American people to our shelves. We hope you love it as much as we do. Find the entire Dapple collection HERE.


photo courtesy of Shannon Scott Photography

After three and a half months of offering only curbside pickup, we feel the time is right to re-open our bright yellow door. We’re taking every precaution to keep you safe, while keeping ourselves, our families and everyone else we come in contact with safe, too. We’ll open this Monday, June 29th and cannot wait to see you.

Summer Hours + Virtual Shopping Hours
Monday-Friday: 10 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 4 pm
Sunday: 11 am to 4 pm
(walk-in traffic)

Monday: 11 am to 4 pm
Wednesday: 11 am to 4 pm
Thursday: 11 am to 4 pm
(virtual shopping by appointment)

A few things you should know…

-We’ll have a hand-sanitizing station outside the door to use before entering, as well as several bottles of sanitizer throughout the shop to apply and reapply throughout your visit.

-Masks will be required to cross the threshold. Forget yours? We’ll have one for you to wear while you’re here, handmade by our dearest friend Martha.

-We will be limiting the number of customers in the shop to three (3) at any given time. This will give you the space you need to maintain safe social distancing, as well as give plenty of space to staff. If you’ve arrived at the door and the shop is full, we’ll put you on a waiting list and ask you to either wait in your car or stretch your legs in downtown Cedar. Don’t forget to bring your current project to knit while you’re waiting!

-And of course, if there’s any concern that you or anyone in your inner circle has been exposed to Covid-19, you’re feeling the slightest bit under the weather or there’s even a question, please. Please, please. Stay home. Get better. And come visit when it’s safe. We’ll absolutely be here.

We also do need to add that while Michigan’s numbers are looking good, there is always a chance of a second spike, especially in this tourist-driven area of the state. We trust Governor Whitmer to make the right choices for the safety of all; if she chooses to tighten restrictions, we will, too‑‑and we reserve the right to make that determination at a moment’s notice.

Next week, we’ll be implementing a virtual personal shopping experience via video conference. We are SO excited to offer this to all of our customers‑‑you’ll have the chance to schedule a one-on-one half-hour consultation with us, and we’ll help you plan the project of your dreams. 

This summer is turning out to be something entirely different than we were planning on back in January. Thank you for your patience, your unwavering support and loving us in spite of it all. We’ve been missing you, dear friends.

xo
Melissa & Liz


Custom-dyed spinning fiber for our 20-year emerald anniversary celebration: Honey Bee. Sourced from two US farms, this spinner’s wool was cleaned and combed at the 110-year-old Zeilinger Wool Company in Frankenmuth, MI. This is a once-in-a-lifetime edition fiber.​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Thank you so much for spending time with us this afternoon, dear friends. There were more than 135 Makers on this afternoon’s two-hour Zoom meet-up…wow! It was so great to see Kayanna in her space, working her magic‑‑and the colorway you helped her create? GORGEOUS.

Mid-Coast String, the newest Stitch Together Yarn, making its debut this afternoon. ​​​​​​​The Hive, pictured here, is our exclusive colorway.

USA wool. Hand-dyed in Iowa. Mill-spun in Illinois. Artisan yarn from the land-locked Midwest. Introducing Mid-Coast String, the newest yarn from Stitch Together Studio.

Mulletude. CAN YOU EVEN?!?

Targheeling Twist is the first base mill-spun especially for Stitch Together Studio. It starts with a luxurious fiber blend of USA-grown Targhee wool, bamboo and silk, dyed up in Kayanna’s Iowa studio. Then it’s sent off to her partner mill in Illinois where they spin it into a fabulous 2-ply fingering weight yarn. It comes back to the Stitch Together HQ for twisting and labeling and then it’s ready to fly off to customers all over the world.

This yarn is a 2-ply yarn mill-spun to mimic the look of handspan yarn. The colors shift and fade slowly in and out throughout the skein, creating an amazing subtle gradient. No two skeins are alike, so it’s highly recommended to buy enough yarn for one project at a time. The bamboo and wool take the dyes differently, so this creates the most dramatic, multi-layered yarn ever.

It is the ultimate honor to help Kayanna introduce this yarninto the world–we hope you love it as much as we do.

In Stitches. Like a Northern Michigan sunset.
Our newest tote bag–designed by Kayanna just for our weekend, which can be found HERE.

This sweet, roomy tote was designed for us by our dearest friend Kayanna of Stitch Together Studio for our shop’s 20-year virtual anniversary party. Emblazoned with our favorite mascot–the humble-yet-praiseworthy bee!–this canvas tote is deep with a wide gusset, heavy duty straps and is large enough for a sweater project.

​​​​​​​Thank you, every one of you, for being a part of the Wool & Honey story. From its humble beginnings as Inish Knits on Peggy Serbin’s farmstead in 1996 to today’s virtual celebration, the past 20 (plus!) years have been nothing short of a beautiful adventure. Here’s to keeping us around for the next 20‑‑we love you all so very much.

xo,
Melissa & Liz

Liz (L) and Melissa (R)


A sweet handmade likeness of our shop by our dear friend Kayanna of Stitch Together Studio.

This isn’t the post we wanted to write today, dear friends. Not in the days leading up to Summer’s first hurrah, the quintessential weekend that signifies the beginning of the best times, and one that marks an especially momentous weekend for us. This afternoon, Governor Whitmer gave the green light for retail business around Northern Michigan to open this Friday, May 22nd, and we are standing in front of you today to say we will not be joining this group. Not now. Not yet. ​​​​​​

We miss you so much. We miss laughing with you. We miss catching up on your lives at home. We miss helping you pick out projects, matching yarn, picking up dropped stitches, giving tips, learning from you, trading book recommendations, hearing about your kids, giving hugs, crying with you. We miss everything about being your local yarn shop‑‑whether you live in Traverse City or only visit once a year. This is, without a doubt, the hardest thing we’ve ever done.

But we also love hearing your voices when you call the shop to place phone orders. We love waving to you through the front window while you pick up your curbside purchases. We love seeing your faces on our Saturday morning Zoom calls. (We may or may not have cried with you there last week.) The Zoom calls have made our Saturday mornings even better, in fact, because now, instead of gathering with 10-15 of you in the back of the shop, we’re seeing almost 50 of you from around the world that under ‘normal’ circumstances couldn’t join us. (A special shout-out to Lorraine in Kentucky, Jan in Virginia, Betsy in Seattle, Josephine in Canada and Colette in Spain‑‑and that’s just a tiny handful of faces we love!)

However, we are committed to doing what’s right. To doing what’s safe. Not just for the two of us. But for all of you. For our customers. For our coworkers. For our friends. For our parents. For our children. For our community. For your communities. For everyone. This is the time to be together in solidarity‑‑but not together in person. We do not feel that now‑‑especially this holiday weekend‑‑is the right time to be open, and we urge you to do everything within your power to continue to stay home and stay safe, wherever you are. Travel restrictions have NOT been lifted during this new development, which means that Northern Michigan businesses are opening this weekend for local traffic only. Our greatest customer base is located in the metro Detroit and Chicagoland areas, and while it’s tempting to travel North this weekend, we urge you: please, please, please wait just a little longer. This goes beyond our reach, too; no matter where you are right now, staying home is the safest place you can be. Crossing state lines‑‑from Michigan to Ohio, from Florida to Georgia, from Wisconsin to Minnesota‑‑is just not the right move for the Greater Good. We know that’s not what you want to hear‑‑we certainly never expected to say it‑‑but from our hearts to yours, please know that this won’t be forever.

Every effort we make, every point of contact we pass up right now is another chance to stay safe and do better. If you must go out in your communities, please continue to adhere to best safety practices: wear your masks, maintain 6 feet between yourself and others, and wash your hands as thoroughly and as much as you can. There are other contact-free ways to support local Northern Michigan businesses this weekend. Most shops‑‑like the best bookshop in all the land, Cottage Books–are taking both phone orders and online orders, and we’re willing to bet that any specialty shop in Northern Michigan (including Leland Gal, Brilliant Books, Two Fish Gallery, Compass Paper Co, Poppy Things, Daisy Jane TC, Grocer’s Daughter, New Bohemian Café, and Leelanau Coffee, among so many others!) would be happy to sell you a gift certificate to use in the near future. Next week, we’ll be talking more about summer plans‑‑including our delayed virtual 20-year anniversary celebration and our summer event with La Bien Aimée‑‑and how gathering in-person at Wool & Honey will look over the next few months. We have some exciting plans, and they’re evolving to include more ways to involve more people (albeit virtually) than ever before. We are so grateful for you‑‑all of you‑‑and everything you bring to this little shop. We would be nothing without you‑‑thank you, thank you, thank you. We’ll be here on the other side of the Great Pause, waiting with open arms. Stay safe, stay strong. We love you.

xo,
Melissa & Liz


L to R: ‘Queen Anne’s Lace‘, ‘Dusty Miller’ + ‘Rhubarb

We are thrilled to introduce the newest small-batch offering from Wool & Honey: The Fields. Bright, bouncy and soft, this is a secret project that’s been in the works for months: a yarn grown, spun and dyed in the Mitten. Sourced from two family farms, this wool-lover’s yarn is 100% Bluefaced Leicester, and spun at the 110-year-old Zeilinger Wool Company in Frankenmuth, MI. It’s a combination of creamy, white fleeces combed together in a 3-ply heavy DK-weight yarn that’s sturdy, lofty and farm-fresh, and hand painted by our dear friend Brittney Lockridge in a color palette named after our favorite flowers. This is a once-in-a-lifetime edition yarn; there is a finite number of skeins available, and once they’re gone, that’s it. Forever.

Zeilinger Wool Company is a fourth-generation-run wool mill in Frankenmuth, Michigan. We chose Zeilingers for the project, not only because of their proximity to the shop, but because of their extensive experience with the fine fleece of Bluefaced Leicester wool. We are so grateful to April and Jon for giving yet another project of ours their undivided attention.

The Fields in ‘Goldenrod‘.

Britty Rae Knits of Petoskey, Michigan, is owned and operated by Brittney Lockridge. A former high school history teacher and Arizona transplant, she immediately took up knitting to keep her desert blood warm in the Great White North–where it quickly became an obsession. We love Brittney’s spunky dyeing style and are thrilled with the custom color palette she designed specifically for The Fields.

Not sure what to knit with The Fields? Try the Broken Thyme Cowl, the Linger Hat and Tinsel Mitts Kit or the Party of Five Hat and Sweater–all designed by Michigan knitwear designers. (Or in Andrea Mowry’s case, our favorite Michigander-turned-Mainer!)

Our yarn, in multiple stages, at Zeilinger Wool Co.

As we’ve said before, this yarn is extremely unique and extremely limited. While we may take on another fiber project in the future, it takes years to develop a batch that fits our shop’s particular needs. If you like what you see, please don’t wait. Even if we were to create a Northern Michigan yarn again, based on the fiber content and fleeces involved, another yarn would look completely different than the one we are offering today. This yarn is perfect for for a friend who has a piece of Leelanau lodged in their heart–until it’s gone, which could be sooner than you think.


This isn’t easy. COVID-19 is changing lives daily. Rapidly. Permanently. You’ve never done this before. We’ve never done this before. Let’s do it together.

​​​​​​​Today, more than ever, we’re honored to be a part of the Brooklyn Tweed story. As if this American yarn wasn’t wonderful enough, the company has created a model for community good that has utterly blown us away.​​​​​​​ With their ‘Apart Together’ initiative, they are offering all customers who are experiencing financial hardship during this stressful time the ability to purchase Brooklyn Tweed yarns at a more accessible price point‑‑while also supporting their favorite BT-carrying brick-and-mortar shops. We are offering these discounts to you, with credit back from Brooklyn Tweed to us for the discounted difference of each yarn sale.

​​​​​​Buying American yarns at a discounted price allows you to take comfort in new projects without creating additional money-stress‑‑while at the same time supporting your local yarn store. In this Pay-What-You-Choose system, any amount you elect to pay‑‑from 30% off to full retail price‑‑will be credited to Wool & Honey. This means you’re directly supporting us while we navigate life in the wake of COVID-19, and at the same time, supporting Brooklyn Tweed  and their mission: to connect Makers to their materials by creating timeless wool yarns and patterns that support textile production in the USA.​​​​​​​

Even a single skein supports your LYS. Buy a bundle of Peerie for that friend who’s always wanted to try it. Snap up skeins of Shelter for your holiday stitching and get started early. Take the plunge on that massive blanket in Ranch 02 you’ve been eyeing in your queue. However you choose to support your LYS, we‑‑and Brooklyn Tweed‑‑are behind you.

Liz is wearing the Collomia Pullover in Ranch 02, as knit by our dear friend Melissa Hunter (melissah33 on IG)​​​​​​​

Not sure what to knit? Peruse the full pattern library on BrooklynTweed.com‑‑all pattern sales directly support their wonderful network of pattern designers, which further bolsters our community. Additionally, they have made all of the BT by Brooklyn Tweed patterns available FREE on BrooklynTweed.com, giving you fresh, fun options for creating during these stressful times.

Order online and enter coupon codes:

BT10
BT20
​​​​​​​BT30

For 10%, 20% or 30% off your Brooklyn Tweed purchases now through May 15th.

See something you love but it’s out of stock? Give us a call at (231) 228-2800 or send us an email at thebuzz@woolandhoney.com and we’ll order it‑‑special orders qualify for this discount, too.

​​​​​​​


Y’all. We’re so glad we’re not the only Makers who struggle with self-control. Between conversations in the shop and comments on Instagram, Facebook and here on the blog, it looks like our latest post about the Gideon Method is striking a hauntingly familiar chord with many of you.

Liz’s Cedar Pullover KAL. Done with the body, almost done with Sleeve #1.

We’ve had a few questions on how to make modifications, exceptions, etc, so we thought we’d write another post. Consider this an addendum of sorts–The Gideon Method, Pt.2.

  1. No. This isn’t forever. Or at least, it doesn’t have to be, if that’s not what you want. The Gideon Method can be the new way you balance your creativity–forever–or it can just carry you through a phase of disorderly chaos. You can use the Gideon Method for the rest of your days, or just while you navigate a season of life. (Liz and I both think we’ll keep going in this way indefinitely.)
  2. What happens when unexpected things crop up? And yes. Yes, they will. Creative pursuits you haven’t planned for yet. Knit-A-Longs. New yarn you just can’t stop yourself from buying. You might become a weaver. Someone you know is going to get pregnant with triplets. Your spouse’s boss’s wife’s cousin will want to hire you to crochet a shawl for Christmas–but you won’t know that until Thanksgiving. Occasionally–and again, this is your life, so you’re going to have to decide how often you’ll make these exceptions–you’ll put everything on hold to cast on something new and knit like the wind. Until you finish or until you fizzle out–that’s your call.
  3. No, you do not have to stick with the 12-hour time limit. If you’re not a large project knitter (say, mostly a hat knitter), then maybe 12 hours per project is too long for you. Perhaps a 6-hour time limit is best for your lifestyle. However–and this is important–you cannot bounce between different time limits for different projects. If you choose 6 hours as your threshold, then it’s 6 hours across the board–not ‘6 hours for hats, 12 hours for sweaters, 4 hours for socks’ etc. Because otherwise, what would differentiate the Gideon Method from your normal method of….doing whatever you want? The goal with the Gideon Method in general is to create some firm-yet-loving boundaries that gently (subconsciously?) coax you into organizing your knitting life into manageable chunks. You’re going for more structure in your life, because–and I hate to have to be the one to tell you this–if you’re nodding your head while you’re reading this, you don’t have it.
  4. You can, however, tack on extra time to a project if that’s the final push it takes to finally finish something. You just can’t quit early. This is the part where we talk about tough love. If you want the Gideon Method to be more than a fad or a passing fancy–if you want to make a true lifestyle commitment and discover a way to permanently harness your creativity while maintaining a semblance of organization and completion in your life–you have to do the work. It won’t be a challenge to you–and in turn, become physically and emotionally fulfilling in a very real way–if you don’t push yourself.
  5. However. You can be flexible. You really can. As in Life. Because of course, you’re the one making the rules here. You need to be gentle with yourself; Life isn’t about making lists and ticking things off to Get Ahead. That isn’t why you fell in love with Making, and it certainly won’t keep the fires burning. In fact, that might be the quickest way to burnout. For most of us, turning our creative life into an Excel spreadsheet simply feels wrong. Just remember, though, when you’re giving yourself a free pass to cast on your 14th new project in 10 days, what brought you to consider this method in the first place. Knitter, KNOW THYSELF. When you recognize what’s happening, ask yourself what you really want in that exact moment (the freedom to start something new? the victory of finishing something that’s been lingering?) and reassess. Repeat as necessary. Personally, I’ve been living so long without seeing real progress on my own knitting projects that everything feels lackluster. When you have 18 projects on the needles (and truly, I’m certain that’s a gross underestimation), your life starts to look a little like, ‘twenty minutes on this sock here, an hour spinning fiber once a month, three rows on this sweater–set it down for two months’, etc. etc. and you end up finishing nothing and getting overwhelmed by everything. You need to–I need to–be able to experience the joy and deep satisfaction of finishing, and not just once or twice a year. If you’re a person who works with their hands, finishing should be a regular occurrence and again, sometimes too much of a good thing really is too much (I am, of course, referencing the constant and burning desire to cast on at random); making yourself work for something once in awhile? Sticking to a deadline? Pushing yourself to finish when you know it really is the right thing to do? When you actually do it, you might just realize you posses the power of a Greek goddess.
  6. Yes, there is such a thing as a freebie. And no, it’s not cheating. You can–you should–have something going at all times that doesn’t count against your number. Something for waiting in line, for emergency room visits, for social stitch circles, for the daily commute, when your nervous hands need something to do but you can’t even count to ten, for when your current sweater is too big to lug around. Something that’s small enough to fit in your purse or your backpack, something that goes everywhere you do. There is no time frame nor expectation for this project; sometimes you need something to knit because your current project is too big/complex/awkward to tote around, but you can’t just sit with your hands in your lap. I’m transitioning my Plaid Friday socks into my freebie (something I can knit on while customers are browsing in the store or I’m on hold with the insurance company), and Liz has a simple hat going with our January Sleeping Bear Yarn Club selection for our U of M grad brother-in-law, who will go crazy for the maize and blue. They’ve recently (albeit temporarily) become a one-car family, and despite having the initial reaction one gets when they discover they’re about to gain scads of free knitting time (around here, we call that elation), she quickly discovered her husband is very allergic to alpaca. Ahem. She can’t knit her KAL in the car, so she’s doing her commuter knitting on a freebie project instead.

Above all, have fun. If establishing some parameters for your creativity is actually giving you more freedom (raises hand), then great. Keep going. If it’s not, and it’s starting to feel like your joyful hobby is all work and no play, then scrap it. This is your life. Make it beautiful.

(And in case you missed it, the original post about the Gideon Method can be found right HERE.)


Melissa’s newest cast-on, a poncho for Sasha, and the straw that broke the camel’s back the project that inspired this post.

“Startitis is great. Finishing ain’t so easy.” -Lynn Gideon

Yeah, Lynn. We HEAR you.

It’s 2020 and the fact is, we’re out of control. Or rather, our projects are. Completely, utterly, embarrassingly, hilariously out. Of. CONTROL.

We’d like to say it’s a job hazard. That it’s industry research. That we’re Creatives Who Cannot Be Bound By Time Nor Space.

But in all reality, we’re just two knitters who like to knit. And to Makers, is there anything better than starting a new project?

A tiny sweater Liz knit that’s completely finished, except for weaving in those pesky ends. We won’t say how long it’s been in this state.
Melissa’s Madewell Cardigan, cast on in May 2019, in anticipation of Joji’s visit to Michigan in July. Obviously missed that deadline.

The only problem with loving to create as much as we do (and we have a hunch you’ve got this problem, too) is that there’s just not enough time to do it all. Every single day, the number of new patterns, new yarns, new notions, new ideas that arrive earthside is astounding. Thrilling. Often overwhelming. This is our job, sure, but we still can’t keep up. We imagine you can’t either.

Makers love to start new projects. But finishing? Ay, there’s the rub.

A gradient honeycomb blanket that Liz started late 2015, as a baby blanket for Cecily, her four-year-old. All that’s left is half its I-Cord border and a good blocking.

We’ve tried all kinds of ways to keep on task and be accountable, to each other and to ourselves. Checklists. Planners. Journals. Weekly check-ins. Blog posts. Ravelry threads. Social pressure from our Saturday morning Stitch Circle (which always has more room, so if you’re reading this, please know you’re welcome to join us!).

It ain’t working.

Liz’s Community Tunic by Joji, also cast on in anticipation of her July arrival. Ahem.

Then we thought back to a conversation we had with our dear friend and customer Lynn about 3 years ago, about rotating a grouping of long-lingering projects in 12-hour stints, and we thought, yes. Yes. This makes perfect sense. This is something we could do.

Here’s how it works:

You corral up to five (5) projects from your pile, preferably WIPs that are sizable, hanging out on the needles for longer than two months and/or those you’re having a hard time talking yourself into finishing. You rotate through these five only, dropping or picking up new projects when and only when you’ve bound one off OR finished a 12-hour cycle, whichever comes first. You absolutely can keep introducing projects to your five–there’s no ‘rule’ about having to alternate between newbies and old WIPs–but once you’ve started the clock, you must maintain project monogamy until those 12 hours are up. When you’re done with your 12-hour block, if it’s not finished, your piece moves to the bottom of the pile; you will now need to work through four 12-hour segments of knitting time before you can go back to this project. Obviously, every knitter is different (we all knit at different speeds and have varying time in our allotted knitting schedules), so your 12 hours might span over a long weekend, a week–even a month. This isn’t a methodology that works only for people who routinely schedule marathon knitting sessions; this method works for commuters, lunchtime stitchers and for those who only have ten minutes with their morning coffee. There are weeks when neither of us knit much at all. That’s life, darn it. But every one of those little moments adds up and before you know it, with a plan in hand, you’re actually chipping away at something. You’re making visible progress. Shock and disbelief, YOU’RE FINISHING SOMETHING.

Melissa’s current WIP, the Copenhagen Cardigan knit with our November 2016 yarn club colorway ‘Bay Lane Bonfire’ + Ritual Dyes colorway ‘Scorpio’ on Fae.

For example: I started my Gideon Method on Tuesday morning, with this red sweater. I’ve knit a lot since then (rather than sleep, which is not by choice) and am currently 5 1/2 hours into this 12-hour block. I’m nearly halfway into my second sleeve, and because the button band is knit at the same time as the body of the sweater, all that’s left to do after the sleeve is done is to tack down the pockets, which makes me extremely confident I’ll finish the sweater before the 12 hours are up. That’s a good thing, because according to this method, if I wasn’t finished, it would move to the end of the line and that would reeeeeeeeally bum me out, as I had planned on wearing this sweater for Christmas 2019–I’m really ready to wear it now. (Insert eye roll emoji.) Next up is the poncho for Sasha (the picture at the top of the post), the project that started my current project anxiety. Once that’s done–and boy, I hope I can do it in 12 hours, because if I don’t, my No. 1 Mom pin might get taken away–I’ll move on to the Madewell Cardigan, then the Mon Manet Light, then the Plaid Friday socks. As these projects fall out of rotation (sweet, sweet success), I have some very specific yet vague plans as to what I’ll add into my Fab Five, including several top-secret samples in a new-to-us dyer (more info on that soooooooon!), a Hawkbit Cardigan in our Dunes yarn, a Mon Manet in Fresh Water Fiber and the first sweater I’ve ever knit for my husband–a plain pullover in mYak Medium in Tibetan Sky (his choice!)

But why now?

Before I started my plan on Tuesday morning, my knitting was stressing me out in a major way. Sashi had asked me back in December (about 10 days before Christmas) if I would knit her a poncho. She doesn’t ask for knitting, really, and she’s pretty picky about what she’ll wear, so of course I said yes. That very night we chose a pattern (Breathe Mélange by Heidi May) and narrowed down the yarn–she ended up choosing Malabrigo Rios in ‘Sand Bank’. When she woke up in morning, the first words out of her mouth were, “Mom? Can we talk about my poncho? I know you knit a lot of things, and I know you’re busy, but I was hoping you could finish so I could wear the poncho this year?”

Insert major Mom Guilt, because this isn’t the first time (nor the 10th, if I’m being honest) that I said I’d knit something for my daughter, and then somehow, it doesn’t get done. I have the very best intentions–we all do, don’t we?–but how do I change? How can I make good on these ‘promises’? Not just to my daughter, but to myself?

Liz’s Cedar Pullover KAL in Kelbourne Woolens Perennial in ‘Gold’, the PERFECT golden yellow for a Queen Bee.

Liz, too, got a hefty dose of Mom Guilt a few weeks ago, when Cecily asked when her baby blanket was fiiiiiiiiiinally going to be finished. Today’s the day, Sweetheart, she said. She stopped everything she was doing to work on it, and then. Well, you know. Life. She sent Cecily to bed that night with the blanket as-is–tails hanging from every direction, yarn still attached–and somehow, it didn’t quite have the same effect.

She’s also experiencing the pressure of too many WIPs and the overall feeling of treading water–and has been for a long time. She knit most of the samples for the 12 Knits this year, but it’s been waaaaay too long since she’s knit something on her List–and without a bona fide plan, she feels like nothing ever gets finished; the personal projects always get pushed to the bottom of the list when your knitting time is limited.

Her clock started yesterday (it took about 15 seconds of convincing to get her on board with the Gideon Method) and she’s currently an hour into her Cedar Pullover KAL–well below the sleeve divide (just a few inches from the hemline lace), which means she’ll most likely finish the pullover before the end of this 12-hour time slot. When she’s done, she’ll move on to the mini mohair sweater (just the ends to weave in!) and the honeycomb I-cord blanket for two quick-and-dirty, ‘attaboy’ finishes (we’re always going to take those little confidence boosters when we can get ’em), and then on to her Wool & Honey KAL, her Community Tunic, her Six and Seven Advent Shawl and samples in the aforementioned top-secret dyer. Maybe a sweater for Cecily in there, too.

“But I’m a Maker,” you say. “Knitting is the one place I let my creativity run wild. With knitting, I don’t have to keep to a schedule, I don’t have to check in with management, I don’t have to treat it like work. It’s my refuge and my sanctuary. I don’t want to mess with that.”

And to that we say, Amen. Yes. We HEAR you.

Liz’s Six and Seven Fiber advent calendar shawl, pictured here with the custom Fringe Hank ‘Indigo’ from AVFKW.

But.

Don’t you sometimes get overwhelmed with your WIP pile? Sometimes, isn’t too much of a good thing, well, too much of a good thing? And finishing. Wouldn’t you like to do it more often? You know, so that you could actually cast on MORE OFTEN?

Melissa’s Mon Manet Light in ‘Schomberg Sugar Maple’ , our yarn club selection from March 2017. I reeeeeeeeally want to wear this sweater this winter. Using the Gideon Method, I actually think this is a realistic goal.

Yeah. We thought you’d say that.

Melissa’s Plaid Friday socks. FYI, Thanksgiving Weekend 2019 has come and gone. This is Sock #1.

To be clear, Lynn didn’t come up with this method herself. It was introduced to her by a needlepoint group outside of Detroit in the 1990s. But to us, this will always be the Gideon Method. Thank you, dear friend. We love you. (We’ll let you know how it goes.)

Many of the enamel pins pictured here can be found in our online shop HERE, as well as several of our project bags, which can be found HERE. Others are gifts from friends.

(Want to read even more? Of COURSE we have more to say. The Gideon Method, Part 2 can be found HERE).


Read to the end of the post for the big surprise…

Liz wearing the Cloudline Hat in Aurora + Lovat.

The Cloudline Hat

For our last of our 12 Knits this year, we found a pattern that’s so good, we couldn’t have created anything better–perhaps the very best beginner’s hat pattern we’ve ever seen. We’ll be using this as our go-to hat in the shop for the rest of our days–the combinations for yarns, fibers and colors are endless, and it works for every gender. Thank you to Jared Flood from Brooklyn Tweed for this creation.

In the words of the designer….

“With Cloudline we challenged ourselves to design the perfect ‘first hat’ pattern for a new knitter while also creating an appealing project for seasoned knitters as well. This hat is knit using only basic techniques: the knit stitch, the purl stitch, and the knit-2-together decrease and is the perfect project for practicing circular knitting (or for whipping up last-minute gifts!).

Cloudline’s bi-colored marl fabric is created by holding two strands of fingering-weight Peerie together as you knit. With 45 colors to mix and match, hundreds of striking fabrics can be created, allowing for endless variations and a finished look that’s uniquely your own. We’ve found the colorplay aspect of the pattern to be quite addicting, and we can’t wait to see which unexpected combinations will become new favorites!”

Find the Cloudline Hat Kit HERE.

Peerie: A Sweet Deal on One of Our Favorite Little Yarns

From now through December 31st: buy 5 skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Peerie, get 1 FREE. We love this yarn so much, we used it in three of our 12 Knits this year! And at this price, now is the ideal time to plan a sweater for yourself in the New Year. Enter coupon code freepeerie at checkout.

Find the entire color range of Peerie HERE.

The 12 Knits of Christmas 2019 Prizes

A bowl full of Six and Seven Fiber Alfalfa in Plumage

With every 12 Knits purchase, you are entered to win one of three (3) $100 gift certificates to Wool & Honey, plus one lucky winner will have the opportunity to create their own custom colorway with Rachel Lundstrom of Six and Seven Fiber–and take home a sweater’s quantity on the base yarn of their choosing. 

Find our full collection of the 12 Knits of Christmas 2019 HERE.

The Cedar Pullover KAL

The Cedar Pullover by Joji Locatelli, knit for us by our dearest friend Melissa Hunter in Kelbourne Woolens Perennial in Raspberry

This sweater means more to us than we can possibly say. Ever since we saw the first sneak peak of Joji’s latest design (and knowing the stories behind it!), we’ve been bursting with happiness and love for our dear friends Tracie and Jodi–and so much pride for our little town of Cedar. We had the honor of hosting the Grocery Girls (and their extra special surprise guest Joji!) here in July, and it was pure joy to see these friends enjoy each other’s company in this little part of the world we love so much.

L to R: Tracie Millar, Melissa, Joji Locatelli, Liz and Jodi Brown at Fishtown in July 2019

We’ll be knitting the Cedar Pullover together from January 1st through 31st and we can’t wait to knit it alongside you. The yarn, pattern and needles are all available to you at 15% off and the prizes everyone finishing (a Knitter’s Salve + a Lip and Cheek Tint from Lake and Woods–a $25 value) and one grand prize (a Lake and Woods body oil, first aid salve, marigold glow makeup tint and body butter as pictured above–a $75 value) are an extra bonus–perhaps the push you need to cross the finish line.

Thank you to the one and only Melissa Hunter (melissah33 on IG +  melissah3 on Ravelry) for knitting our gorgeous sample.

Click HERE to read more about the Cedar Pullover and to sign up for the Knit-A-Long between now and December 19th.

A Traveling Yarn Trunk Show

We’re so excited to have a sweet selection of Traveling Yarn (dyed by Sarah Wharton in Phoenix, AZ) here in the shop this weekend for our party–there’s a little something here for everyone.

Back in Stock: Vixen, Bōsa and Dyed in the Wool

L to R: Spincycle Dyed in the Wool in ‘Rusted Rainbow’, Little Fox Vixen in ‘Tomato Tomahto’ and Little Fox Bōsa in ‘Otherwise Engaged’ and ‘Hazelwood’.

Some of our very, VERY favorite yarns of all time, back in stock this weekend. Little Fox Vixen (fingering weight, 80/20 superwash Merino/silk–400 yds) and Bosa (DK weight, 65/20/15 superwash Merino/silk/yak–231 yds), and of course Spincycle Dyed in the Wool (fingering weight, 100% handspun wool, 200 yds), which hardly needs an introduction at all. We don’t expect them to last long!

Find Little Fox Vixen HERE, Little Fox Bosa HERE and Spincycle Dyed in the Wool HERE.

Our Holiday Gift Guide 2019

Perfect Presents

1. Wool & Honey Collection

2. Leelanau Books

3. Tea

4. Knitter’s Backpack

5. Poza Cowl (Verb’s Floating)

Stocking Stuffers

Stocking Stuffers

1. Candles

2. Enamel Pins

3. Wrist Rulers

4. Kristin Hurlin Cards

5. Specialty Stitch Markers

A $25 Gift Certificate for Everyone

We are so grateful for this wonderful, close-knit community, which extends so much further than we could have ever imagined–it includes customers-turned-friends all over the world. We want EVERYONE to have a magical 2020 filled with Making, and in a small way, we hope we can help.

We’d like to give each of you a $25.00 gift certificateto use in 2020. There is no purchase necessary, nothing you need to do to apply–it’s completely FREE. It’s our Christmas gift to you.

You can use it to take a bit of pressure off your own gift giving (think of your mother or your neighbor or your best friend…), but of course you can keep it for yourself, too–a reward, perhaps for giving so much of yourself in 2019.

We hope that everyone reading this truly takes us up on this offer–and that you pass the word to everyone you know, especially those who might not already receive our emails. Forward this email to a friend, tag them on Instagram and Facebook, share and re-post our posts on social media; we want as many Makers as possible to have a very Merry Christmas.

Click HEREto pick up your free $25 gift certificate now throughout the weekend.

Please limit to one per person. If you’re attending the party tomorrow evening, please refrain from signing up online.