July 17, 2008
Thistledown Shoppe Newsletter
The Wee Shoppe with a Big Heart
In This Issue
Community Projects
Farmhouse Yarns
What's New
One Year Anniversary Sale
As we all know, the knitting community is a strong union of caring and like-minded individuals who rise up to help out each other in times of need.

Carrie Sharp, a dedicated knitter, is going through a medical emergency with her husband, John, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  They are driving back and forth to Ann Arbor for medical treaments.

So, we at Thistledown Shoppe are taking contributions toward gas cards for the family.  If you wish to contribute, contact us at the shoppe.

Thank you in advance for your generousity.

Community Projects


Every year, during the second weekend of August, we  host a yarn sale for Leelanau County 4-H, with 100% of the proceeds going to 4-H.  Last year we were fortunate to raise over $800. 

We are looking for donations of yarn and any other yarn related items, along with volunteers to work the sale.  Go through your stash and clean it out!

Cherryland Humane Society 

We also support the Cherrryland Humane Society by acting as a drop off site for any knitted or crocheted blankets for the dogs and cats at the shelter, along with any other items mentioned on their wish list.  We have a pattern at the shoppe for a knitted blanket.  Stop by and pick it up or we can email it to you.

Farmhouse Yarns 
Farmhouse Yarns

We have picked up a new line of fiber.  And instead of my trying to reframe their description, I am letting you see directly what Farmhouse Yarns has to say.

"Farmhouse Yarns are hand-dyed and by nature, each skein is unique and beautiful.  There is no such thing as dye lot.  Variegations vary and depend on the location of each skein of yarn in the dye pot.  Typically, skeins at the bottom of the pot are deep and rich in color and skeins at the top of the pot have more subtle, somewhat pastel shades of color.  If you want the variegation of color to be evenly distributed throughout your work, you might consider alternating skeins by working a few rows from one skein and then working a few more rows with another skein.  Now is the time to play with color and plan out your knitting."

Allergic to Wool brick
I Am Allergic to Wool

85% Cotton, 15% Rayon, Hand Dyed
150 yards, 8 ounces - a full 1/2 pound!
US 11 Needle, 2 stitches per inch
Hand Wash Cool, Flat to Dry

Very soft, comfortable and suitable for baby items

Silk Blend
Farmhouse Silk Blend

34% Silk, 33% Cotton, 33% Lamb's Wool
DK Weight, 350 yards
US 4 or 5 Needle, 5 to 6 stitches per inch
Machine wash gentle, cool dryer.

We also have patterns that were specifically designed to be used with these yarns.

For more information, you may visit their website.


Basics 1 - August 4 and 11.   Mondays from 3:30 until 5:30.

Never Knitted?  Knitted many years ago and want to start up again?  Are you a beginner with minimal experience in knitting?  Then this is the class for you.  Susan will teach you how to cast on, bind off, knit, and purl.

Materials needed:   worsted light solid color yarn, size US 8 needles, and Knitter's Companion.

Cost:  $40.

Basic II  - July 21 and 28/ August 18 and 25.  Mondays from 3:30 until 5:30.

This is the next step up.  You must be able to master the Basic I level.  If you are not sure, ask us and we will help guide you. 

Susan will teach increases, decrease, edges, and how to read patterns and charts.

Materials needed:   worsted light solid color yarn, size US 8 needles, and Knitter's Companion. 

Cost:  $40.

Fair Isle and 2 color knitting - August 10 and 17, 1 pm -3 pm

Have you always wanted to change colors in your knitting but didn't know how?  Susan will help you master the fun world of knitting more than one color.

You must be able to master knit, purl, cast on, and know how to read charts.

You will learn how to carry yarn for 2 stranded color knitting in the round and how to combine patterns.

Materials needed:  worsted weight yarn in 2 or 3 colors (strong contrast), and size US 8 needle.  If you want a felted project, bring a US 10 needle.

Cost:  $40.

Lace - August 6 and 13, 2-3 pm and August 20, 2 pm - 4 pm

You are ready to learn how to master the challenge of knitting lace?   Ingrid will help you feel comfortable with this level.

You must be able to understand basic stitches.

You will learn how to understand and read graphs, understand and read your knitting, and will begin a lace project.

Materials needed will depend on project chosen to knit.

Cost:  $60.

Planning a Sweater - August 24, 1 pm - 4 pm

Details to come later.

Socks using the Magic Loop - August 21 and 28, 6 pm - 8:30 pm

Socks are one of the most easy and portable projects ever.  Betsy is a master at this craft and she will introduce you to the wonderful world of the Magic Loop.

You must be able to cast on, knit, and purl.

You will learn how to create a golf sock using a long circular needle.  You will decrease, turn the heel, and pick up stitches.  These techniques can be applied to any sock pattern.

Materials needed:  32" or 40" circular needle needed for gauge.  Opal 6 ply or Fixation yarn.

Cost:  $40.

Class Policies:

We ask that you purchase class materials from Thistledown Shoppe. If you would prefer to use materials that we do not carry, please discuss alternatives with Kathy; there are many available options that we do not stock every day, and we are glad to make arrangements to bring in the supplies that you need.

Registration for classes is not complete until all class fees are paid. Space will be held for three days if participants wish to reserve space over the phone and come into the shop later to pay registration fees. We can accept credit card payments for class registration over the phone to pay registration fees immediately; receipts for such transactions can be picked up upon next store visit or mailed upon request.

To maximixe the time of all participants and your instructors, please purchase materials prior to class unless otherwise directed for a specific class.

Except in the case of dire circumstances, please respect your peers and instructors by turning off cell phones and pagers during class. If you believe that mitigating circumstances do exist, please discuss them with your instructor prior to the beginning of class and excuse yourself from the class area to respond.

Class sizes may be limited, so please sign up as early as you are certain that you can attend. Since cancellations do happen, please consider being an alternate if the class you'd like to attend is full.

Only cancellations made three days before the beginning of a class will receive a full refund of class fees. Refund of any class materials will be based on standard refund policy. No partial refund will be issued for sessions not attended. No refund will be issued after classes have begun.

We have an experienced staff that is available for speciality classes.  For example - do you have a group of friends that would like to learn a specific project?  Want to have a baby shower with each person knitting or crocheting part of a baby blanket?  Or what about a group afghan as a wedding shower gift?   Contact Kathy and she will help you set up the event or class.

What's New

knitscene fall 2008
knitscene fall 2008
Sweaters, vests, hats, scarfs, purses, and more.

A Fine Fleece

I first saw Lisa Lloyd's designs in the Wild Fiber magazine.  We then purchased her sock book Thistle and Fox Socks.  I was thrilled when this book came out.  Let Lisa describe her book for you.

 "The pleasure of knitting is that much greater when you know you're using the perfect yarn.  In A Fine Fleece I explore the different qualities of handspun yarn and present projects that show them to their best advantage.  The book contains valuable information for every knitter, even if you've never considered learning to spin (although you'll find inspiration in the book to do just that). While educating you on the differences in fine wools (like alpaca, merino, bradford, cormo, rambouillet, and suffolk) and the characteristics you can achieve in a handspun yarn by combining fibers according to certain recipes, I also share three important concepts:  the use of contrasting color and fiber; scale and perspective (chunky yarns with chunky cable stitches versus chunky yarns with delicate ones); and the creation of "poetic" sweaters that try to capture an emotion through stitching.

Each of the 25 projects in A Fine Fleece show the finished project knitted with both a handspun yarn and a commercial yarn so that you can train your eyes to understand how fiber and texture can truly transform a piece."

Freeform Serendipitous Design

Prudence Mapstone's book shows you a different approach to knitting and crochet.  She obviously loves to play with fiber and this book will give you the ability to do so yourself.  She includes tips on finding the right yarns, choosing your colours, fabrication, patterns and hints for successful knitting and crochet.  We were introduced to this book by one of our customers who was creating a wall hanging for her home.

If you are ready to take the next step  - check out this book.

Knit in 10 Hours: Afghans and Throws

Looking to knit a quickie afghan?  You can create beautiful, cozy afghans and throws even when you don't have a lot of time. The patterns include a variety of stitches and yarn weights to create throws appropriate for changing seasons. These designs knit up so quickly you'll want to make them for all your friends and family.

It's easy to give a customized gift, simply pick your favorite design then choose yarn in their favorite colors. Designs include ...
Eleganza Throw
Embossed Diamonds
Clear Skies
Sumptuous Slants
Tiger Stripes
Weekend Cabin

Knitted Socks

I am a sucker for books and socks, so it is a given that I would enjoy this book.  It has a full range of projects from traditional classics such as Fair Isle to fun items such as slouch socks and the above shown penguins.  Step by step instructions are given for each pattern, of which there are 25.  And it has socks for the whole family - from babies to adults.  Betsy brought this book to my attention and I agree that it is one to have in my personal library.


One Year Anniversary Sale!

Thanks to you, we have been in business for a year. 

To celebrate we are having an anniversary sale at 30% off everything in the store.  Consignment items are not included.  Stop by or call in your phone order on Tuesday, July 29, from 10 am until 6 pm.

Don't forget to check out our blog at Thistledown Musings to see what we and other knitters are doing.


Thistledown Shoppe
Fine Yarns and Notions
Suttons Bay, MI  49682
231-271-YARN (9276)

The Wee Shoppe with a Big Heart

Monday through Saturday 10-6 
Sunday 12 -4

Yarn Lover's Night: every Monday 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Spinning Night: every Wednesday 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Kathy Dawkins, Melody Jakubiak, Betsy Eike, Jillian MacLellan, and Susan Curtis