Wednesday, August 2, 2017

From Homesteading to Knitting in One Fell Swoop!

Will try to shift the focus of this from a homesteading and farming blog to a small shop owner blog. Yikes! Could be a train wreck. So, the ducks are all gone, they liked to swim in one of our farm ponds and sadly, something got them there. They never came home. Will try again next year.
Down to only 5 chickens. This is also sad, I love my homestead and gardens, and this year it just didn't happen. Because......
A year ago, I cashed in my retirement and bought a small yarn shop. It's been a ride. It's been fun, exciting, adventurous, nerve wracking and fun. Oh, I said that already. Would do it again in a heart beat.
I already had another business, online, that I worked from home. This was a quilting and sewing thing, so in order to keep what little sanity I had left, I moved that business over to the yarn shop. I still work at home, but that's mostly website maintenance;  also merged the websites for the 2 businesses so that would be a bit easier.
That was a good move.

So, the yarn shop....... I've written about it before, back in January when I last posted. HERE: Crazy Aunt Ter's Life And Times

So that's pretty much my life right now, but lets get to the fun stuff. We have so much going on at the shop on any given day. Lots and lots of people drop by to show off their creations, get help with current crises and of course, stock up on yarny goodness.

Today, we have what we affectionately call our Super Scrappy Sock Club. Every Wednesday afternoon from 12-4 we work on scrappy socks. Get the kit here: and use it with your choice of patterns. There's enough yarn to knit a pair of socks.

Our big event is our Grand Opening Week. From Aug 8-13 we will be celebrating almost a year open. We'll have prizes, discounts, free patterns, some refreshments, giveaways.....And, on Aug 12th, at noon we will have our Ribbon Yarn Cutting Ceremony! All are invited.
Ironically, the same week is the I75 Yarn Crawl where knitters, crocheters and other fiber nuts will make their way from Northern Michigan (we're the northernmost shop) all the way down to somewhere in Tennessee. All along I75, yarn shops will be playing with more discounts, prizes....
You can get your passport here:

Also, during that weekend, we have yet another Trunk Show! Skylie Knits from Mio will be here to show off her hand dyed yarns, stitch markers and more.

Like I said, lots of stuff going on!

More to come.... Life is Still Good!!

Visit us on our Facebook Page, here:
And check out our new, improved merged website here:

Crazy Aunt Ter's Life And Times

Crazy Aunt Ter's Life And Times

Sunday, January 1, 2017

So.... as of July 2016, life on the homestead came to a screeching halt, when the Universe threw me a curve in the form of a Yarn Shop.
Here's how that all went down.
Friend: There's a yarn shop in ________ that is for sale, you should jump on this.
Me: Um, yeah, right, in all of my spare time.
Friend: Come on, we will help you with it (ok, maybe that part is a lie, maybe all that was said was the first part).
After laughing it off, a little niggle started in the back of the little brain. The little niggle grew into a full fledged idea and by the next day I was in.
We've never been one to really think things through, lets just jump in to see how deep the water is.
Well, the water was deep, and cold, but that's another story.
Doors flew open, loans were approved and an acquaintance (now a full fledged employee, friend and necessity) approached me with an idea for this ridiculousness that had now become set in stone.

One of the doors that opened was a vacancy in a building we owned in town.
So, an opening date was set for Sept 17th (by this time it was the end of July, so, you know, 6 weeks).
Yeah, 6 weeks to totally renovate the building, paint, floors, new walls..., and do all of the stuff required with such things. And, I had to get a sign permit. Yeah, you have to have a permit to hang up a sign.
So, literally, a week before the opening day, a UHAUL was rented, a short drive was made, yarn was boxed up and moved and our local knitting group was corralled into unloading and setting up this mess.

North Woods Knit & Purl in West Branch, MI was born!

That was 3.5 months ago and this thing has grown like a bad weed.
More doors opening, more opportunities and people coming out of the woodwork to help, offer services and just want a place to play.
It's been a wild ride, but I'd do it all again, and our shop continues to grow and flourish and become a place for fiber freaks to play!
We currently offer an amazing selection of Cascade Yarns, Plymouth Yarns and Needles, Berroco Yarns, Mountain Colors Yarns and of course all of the obligatory toys like Dreamz Needles, Chiaogoo Needles, Addi and Clover Needles as well as an array of stitch markers, needle gauges, scissors, felting stuff (a technical term) and coming very shortly, spinning wheels.
We have a Crochet Corner, a lounge with chairs and a fireplace, 24/7 (well 10-5, M-Sat) hot coffee, tea and cocoa and a spot to wind all of these beautiful hanks into cakes.
We have a "Yarn Really Does Grow On Trees" display highlighting all of our sock yarn.

Our current projects include an "Enter the Fiber Forest" room for our spinning and dyeing projects.

So, as you can see, the homestead suffered a devastating hit, but as things settle down, more and more homestead-y things are happening, besides, the chickens really don't care if I'm there or not. As long as they have water and food and some hay to scratch around in, they are happy.
If I had thought ahead, I would have grabbed a 100 lbs or so of potatoes from the local fruit and meat market to can up today.

Our first trunk show will happen in 2 weeks. We are hosting Kat and Claire from Why Not Fibers in Traverse City, MI on Jan 13 and 14th.
Come on over and see us, and bring a project to work on, we'll leave the light on for you, I mean, the coffee will be hot!

Please like us on Facebook, here:

(Yes, we also have llama and alpaca - in the form of fuzzy, warm, totally pettable yarn!)

Life really is good, and in 2016, it got a lot better!