Handmade. I don't care if it's olive oil soap, semi-precious jewelry, handturned cherry wooden teething rings for baby or vintage-styled paperie, if it's artisan-crafted, I've got to have it. (And yes, I have purchased every one of those things over the past month. What? I'm doing my part to support the Handmade Movement--and the economy in general!)
As a disclaimer, I'm not just buying these things for me--I'm constantly on the prowl for fabulous little treats--knitting and non--to bring to Inish Knits. Customers are always looking for one thing--big or small--that is unique and lovely and has a little Michigan-infused flavor. So how's this for local flavor?
But quite possibly the prettiest--and most popular--are these Leland Blues. Ultra local, there is a very limited supply of these stones. As in, fewer than twenty pairs.***
Leland blues are so right now--and under such limited production (once they're gone, they're gone!)--that I just couldn't help myself. I had to have some of my own.
Leland blues come in 32 (!) naturally occuring colors--the duck egg blue is my favorite--so Liz made me a special set. And some earrings to go with, natch. (The fifth marker of my set immediately jumped onto the lace cowl.)
And then there's the matter of soaps. I kinda can't stop. Depending on my mood, I can choose:
And you'll be seeing more soaps, salves and lotions at the shop in the near future--I'm happy to be working with some very, very cool women who make very, very cool stuff.
Next time, there'll be knitting. Or yarn. Or both.
***Looking for the perfect Up-North gift for your knitting circle? Do you deserve a little pampering? (The answer here, in case you were wondering, is yes. It's always yes.) Each set of Michigan stone stitch markers is $25.00--a set of five stitch markers with all sterling silver findings and to denote the beginning of round marker, you'll find a small Petoskey stone. These markers fit needles up to US 6 (they're very popular with sock knitters!), but Liz can easily make a pair to acommodate needles upto US 11. Email me at inishknits AT charter DOT net to reserve a pair--and yes, mail order is always available.
Who would have thought that a summer of knitting/spinning/shop owning/bridal shower hosting/wedding attending/running/P90X-ing/reading/fiber festivaling/apricot crisp baking/high school reunioning/frosty adult beverage drinking/corn picking/daydreaming could get so dang busy?
Not me, obviously. Otherwise, you might have seen me around here more often. I didn't expect to be away so long--heck, I didn't expect to be away at all.
As a tactic to garner your forgiveness, I've got pictures of wool. Will that do?
I started another sweater. (Don't even.)
I'm quite proud of myself for keeping on this one, for the fact that it's Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn, I'm knitting on US 1s and I've finished a front and a half, plus started the back.
A lacy, silky cowl that's about halfway finished. This will be one of the free projects for this year's 12 Knits of Christmas--stay tuned! (I'm almost finished with planning the Whole Shebang. We'll be starting early this year--October 1st--so if you're not signed up to receive the Inish Knits newsletter, please email me at inishknits AT charter DOT net. Bigger and badder for 2009? You bet.)
"Starry Night"--fiber from All Spun Up. One of three skeins in this colorway alone I have spun/skeined/washed/dried/sold this month.
"Falkor"--fiber purchased from Creatively Dyed. (Again, these two flew out of here in the arms of one happy customer.) And yes, I named them after that magical, wispy creature from the 80s cult classic, The Neverending Story.
"Nicotiana"--superwash Merino fiber purchased from Pigeonroofstudios. This one sold itself approximately three and a half minutes after I tagged it and hung it on the shelf--whee!
I took a break from spinning--just a short one, mind you--to throw together a little dessert from the juiciest, perfumiest, most perfect local apricots I have ever eaten in my life. EVER.
Apricots? Meet Gingersnaps. I think you were meant for each other.
Then we opened a farm stand at the shop with Curt's sweet corn and hydroponic strawberries from our friends Mike and Nikki McHugh. Calling this produce "fresh" seems cheap. Scrumptrulescent? Perhaps.
And then, there was a foray to the Michigan Fiber Fest. Down on Friday, back late that night. And it wouldn't have been quite so late if we hadn't driven through Rockford twice. Whoops.
Some of my purchases--the Yarn Hollow rovings and the Bellwether yarn--are here. (Sorry if this is a broken link--I'm new at this Flickr thing. Look for me there under the username "woolandhoney". Same for Ravelry.)
And what would a trip to a fiber fest be without goat's milk soap and lotion? Without purpose, I say.
This past month in a nutshell--I get sleepy just thinking about it. What's been up with you?