I don’t wake up early here, even though the sun streams through the bedroom door that opens to the deck that steps to the beach that leads to the bay that drops down from the great lake Michigan. As I sleep, the breeze through my door hits my face like fairy dust. The smell of the beautiful flowers drifts pleasantly around me. I know, the air fragrant and cool won’t be what I remember most.
It will be the colors of Michigan.
Everyone who has been here in the summer knows them. Maybe it is because every winter the palette is wiped clean, every inch of land and lake white again, that here and now there is every color. The water, so clear to the bottom, begins gold and gradually shades to pale green, to aqua and finally to navy where the bay–not as wide, not as massive as the amazing lake Michigan–only drops 350+ feet.
The sunsets here lie striped on the horizon, orange to pink to purple. The willows, whose roots reach out into the sand tripping us regularly, sway gently, pale green against the sky. And the inland fields, delineated by roads that twist and turn and rise and fall, are the gold of hay speckled with the the black and white of cows; the deep green of crops; the dusty red of old barns; and the everycolor of wild flowers.
And now and I hope forever, I won’t forget the round red cherries that dot the trees that line the hills every mile or so.
I am not the only one who is amazed by these colors. I began to search the local yarn stores attempting to find the blue greens of this water. There are some fine yarn stores in this area as the long winters make for good knitting. Working at Hooked in Haddonfield, New Jersey I have a pretty high standard. But, I do love the flavors of each local yarn store that I visit around the country and around the world. The owners and buyers bring their favorite colors, and textures, samples and artistic flair to the spaces they call home. I cherish the yarns bought at these stores, spun and dyed by locals. And after a few stops in towns nestled between Suttons Bay and Lake Michigan, I found the color I was looking for.
There it was in front of me the moment I walked through the door of Wool and Honey in Cedar, Michigan. They have maybe the largest selection of Quince and Company yarn I have ever encountered, along with many other fine hand-dyed yarns both local and global. The store was bright and uncluttered so I could see everything. The patterns were easy to browse, so well organized on magazine racks.
But what stopped me in my tracks, that moment I walked through the door, were the colors of Michigan. It was that color of the water, that variegates in shades of aqua, exactly as I had pictured it and just what I wanted.
But I couldn’t have it.
I was told it wasn’t for sale to just anyone. You had to be a member of the Sleeping Bear Yarn Club.
.. I looked up.
There were all of the seasons of Northern Michigan from the Aurora Borealis in winter over the great lake, to the cherry trees in summer laden with fruit, the abundant lavender, the golden dunes and the magnificent sunsets. Perched just below each 8×10 photo, on individual shelves were the hand-dyed yarns so inspired by the colors of Michigan.
and so…I joined that club.