The growing redevelopment and newfound interest in Detroit, coupled with its lack of yarn shops, has caught the attention of Crafty Lady Trio owners Lynn Cusumano, Martina Browning and Patty Halan, who purchased the Macomb yarn shop nearly 11 years ago.
“We’ve been excited about how Detroit is coming along and all the new venues and excitement,” said Cusumano, who lives in Shelby Township. “My husband and I own Tiger tickets, so we’re down there a lot. We’ve seen a lot of changes and a lot of excitement down there.”
The trio of yarn enthusiasts have come up with a fun and clever way to celebrate Detroit’s rebirth by putting together 12 monthly knitting projects. In January, they’ll launch an online yarn club called Club KYHO (“Knit Your Hearts Out”), bringing quality yarns right to the doorsteps of individuals who might not otherwise have access to such fibers.
“The first year begins with a celebration of the city of Detroit and all of its wonderful, historic and new venues worth visiting and worth knitting about,” said Browning, who also lives in Shelby Township. “Places such as the Grey Ghost Restaurant, Belle Isle Park, the Renaissance Center, and Campus Martius Park are just a few of the inspirations members can look forward to learning and knitting about.”
Here’s how it works: “Those who wish to join will have the option to choose a one-month, three-month, six-month or 12-month membership. Prices range from $49.95 for one month to $419 for the whole year,” explained Browning. “Each month, members will receive yarn sufficient for a (one-skein) project, a link to download a pattern, a unique reusable project bag, and an extra surprise.
“Those who choose the 12-month membership will also receive a unique, one-of-a-kind skein of Trio Magic yarn, along with a pattern as a special gift.” The yarn that comes in the kits will be “exclusive to club members,” with many coming from small family-owned businesses that produce Michigan raised fibers. While the yarn is exclusive, the patterns may eventually be available in the store. Browning said, “Either the yarn or the pattern of the month will evoke a place, memory, event or activity in the area.”
Among projects will be fingerless mittens, hats, cowls, and scarves, and the skill level for patterns will vary. Some patterns “could be for a beginner,” but if someone is having difficulty following the instructions, they can drop by the shop for a two-hour help session for $12. Cusamano said, “If it’s a simple question, we would help them for free.”
She also noted, online yarn clubs are nothing new. After many requests from out-of-town customers, and about a year of planning, Club KYHO is Crafty Lady Trio’s answer to a popular trend among knitters. It’s also a way for them to compete with existing online yarn shops and clubs with hopes that they’ll continue “to be around” as a local yarn shop.
Halan, a resident of Utica, said, “The future of hand knitting and crochet is in the hands of the young people of today. With (Club) KYHO, we can, hopefully, reach a larger audience and not only tempt them with unique yarn and patterns, but encourage them to create.”
Still shopping for Christmas presents? If so, gift certificates are available for Club KYHO, and can be purchased either in the store (15401 Hall in Macomb), or by phone and then sent by mail.
Seen here is the pattern for the Grey Ghost Cowl, which was part of their three-month trial run for Club KYHO.
Detroit News Columnist Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150, firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/DetroitNewsHandmade.
Grey Ghost Cowl
Estimated time: 10 hours
Tools: Size 3 knitting needles, yarn needle, scissors
Supplies: 1 skein Trio Lite (300 yards, fingering weight), small amount of waste yarn for provisional cast on
Abbreviation: CO cast on, st(s) stitches, k knit, p purl, rs right side, m1 make one stitch, yo yarn over, rep repeat, BO bind off
CO 82 sts with waste yarn and provisional CO method. Switch to Trio Lite yarn.
Main pattern rows
k1, m1, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
Row 2: p
Rep above rows 5 times
Eyelet row (rs):
k1, m1, k3, yo, k2tog, (k5, yo, k2tog) 10 times, k3, k2tog, k1
(Note: the eyelet row is always worked on a right side row.)
Continue in main pattern rows until approximately 12 rows into next colorway.
Rep last 2 steps until there is enough yarn remaining to BO with kitchener st (approximately 4 times width of cowl).
BO, joining ends together with kitchener st. Tuck in ends.