Michigan Interlude 

Last week I was in Michigan with my mother, and had the added benefit of seeing my niece and nephew, and getting to take care  of them for a bit.  While there, my mother was complaining of cold hands.  Personal experience with Dan and Sofia told me exactly what to do—make fingerless mitts! Not possessing a GPS or smart phone, I still rely on printing out old-fashioned maps.  Grand Rapids is not a city that I am familiar with, but it is not that big. Googling yarn stores turned up  A Grand Skein, and I drove there during a break to purchase yarn for those fingerless mitts.  I loved this yarn store, and the owner could not have been more helpful and nice.  So, I purchased yarn to make 2 pair of mitts, and noticed something on the way out.  The mitts were very simple, and the yarn was so soft, Mendocino by Crystal Palace, not a yarn that I had tried before, but I really loved it. What does not show up well on the photos is the color range of the yarn, a rainbow effect, plyed with a pink color, they were very pretty.


My mother loved them, and within a short period of time, her hands felt warmer.


What kept coming back to me was the thing I saw while at the yarn shop.  A big skein winder, with amazing ball-bearing gears, it spun so smoothly.  You know where this is going… I went back the next day and mulled it over for a bit and decided to purchase it.  The skein winder is made in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and I could not locate it online, I did find this demo video, and this one however.  Over the years I have learned when I find something I really like, especially if it is unique and not readily available, just purchase it.  This would have been too hard to ship, so I splurged and brought it home with me.  The winder came with either a table mount or a stand with the option of a table mount, I went full hog for the entire set.  If I want to become a custom yarn dyer, I might need the dyers 5′ winder!!  The workmanship on this is wonderful, and has been improved from the video to include pegs to wind a 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2 and 3 yard skein.  The walnut detailing is just a plus!



And I purchased this yarn also for fingerless mitts, Ella Rae Lace Merino worsted, but did not get them knit up prior to leaving…