First stop was Fibre Functions in rural Frederic, WI. (No website; link is to the Facebook page.) Audrey, the owner, is in my book group and in the alternate-Thursdays-knitting-group I attend when I can, and Colleen had taken a knitting class from her, so we were already acquainted. (Such is life in small towns.) But I had never been to her shop, which is housed in a small building behind her lakeside home.
Audrey had LOTS of yarn crammed into the tiny three-room building. We spent nearly an hour touching, squeezing, stroking, and drooling. (Wait, that sounded pornographic. Yarn, people, yarn!) After doing serious damage to Colleen's checking account and my credit card, we were on our way to the next stop....
...which was Blackberry Hills, the enterprise of Jerry and Loretta Pedersen. They have sheep and llamas and alpaca (and goats and cow and rabbits, oh my). I have seen and purchased Loretta's yarns and fiber at Yarnover and Shepherd's Harvest. The studio, in the walk-out basement of their home, has Loretta's spinning wheel(s) and loom(s) and lots of fiber. More damage to our respective checking account and credit card ensued. Happy damage, though.
[digression] The day before the event it occurred to me that the very last thing in the world I needed was more yarn. However, what was the point of going on a yarn shop hop if I didn't buy some yarn? So I resolved to buy something at each stop. Buy local, support local businesses, etc., etc. So I did. [/digression]
By this time it was noonish and we were hungry, so we headed to St Croix Falls to find some lunch. On the way we passed Chateau St Croix, a local winery that you have seen here before, where we noticed many tents on the grounds and lots of cars. We stopped to see what was happening, which turned out to be an art fair. We briefly walked through, but the food for sale did not tempt us, mainly because the outdoor temperature was quite possibly equal to the surface of the sun and we did not relish perching on a picnic bench in said sunshine to eat. So we left, but not before I bought a quarter pound of truffle cheese upon which to feast at bedtime.
And also not before I took my sole photo for the day.
Lunch was at Grecco's in a shady corner of their lovely outdoor deck (sort 0f) overlooking the St Croix river. Grilled salmon sandwich to die for for me, grilled chicken sandwich and a cup of carrot ginger soup (also to die for) for Colleen, and a glass of cold Sangria for each of us.
After lunch we headed across the river to Shelley's, site of my other knitting group and housed in a former bank. That is the former drive-up window at lower left in the first photo, and, no, Shelley does not sell drive-up yarn, sorry.
I left Shelley's with yarn and a pattern for the cutest baby sweater EVAH (no, I don't know anyone who is having a baby, but they seem to crop up about once a year; this time I will be prepared) and the yarn to make it.
There were lots of knitters and shoppers in Shelley's small shop while we were there; it is just that sort of welcoming place where one feels the urge to hang around and chat and maybe sit and knit a few rows. I overheard a woman say to another shopper, "There are shops with yarn, and there are Yarn Shops [I could hear the bold and Caps in her voice]. This is a Yarn Shop." I totally agree.
Last stop was the St Croix Art Barn in Osceola, where Mrs. I was selling her inventory. Her shop had been located in a former church on Main Street, but she had recently closed it and is looking for a way to continue her business with lower overhead. I left there with a couple balls of cotton chenille to make the softest face cloths on the planet.
Tomorrow (or soon), photos of the haul.
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Colleen and I had both been to Shelley's and the Art Barn many times, so we had no trouble finding them. But Fibre Function and Blackberry Hills were both out in the wood and unknown to us. The day before I came up with this: screen shots on my iPad of the Google Map to each place.