Knit Michigan 2012 in Review

This year we raised about what we did last year: roughly $25,000 which brings us to a total of $125,000 raised in the six year’s we’ve been doing this event. After a small amount of operating expenses are paid, the remaining money is donated to five regional cancer organizations.


The admissions crew tells us about 650 people paid either at the door or prepaid on-line.

The layout was a little different this year. The Field House housed only the auctions and the market vendors. The other activities were in the Dritsas Gym, right across the hall.
There you could find tickets being sold by a Karmanos volunteer for this beautiful afghan made of yarn donated by Skacel and hand-knit by Anneliese Pruett. The winner of the afghan was drawn by the chemo cap contest winner, Joan Dunsmore, assisted by Diane Lammers, KM committee member. People’s choice winners in the Chemo Cap Design contest were Barbara Boren and Jane Reiter.

The comfort item table was staffed by Kristine Scheuer and friend. Kristine is responsible for distributing all the caps after Knit Michigan. In all, about 500 caps were donated.

Volunteer Karen Brierly and friend managed the door prize area. They worked hard to make the baskets beautiful.

Beaumont’s Rose Cancer Center was represented by Ruth Dein, who has been at every single Knit Michigan event soliciting assistance in assembling afghans and educating visitors as to the services Beaumont offers.


The “Learn to” areas were busy.The young man in the first picture was busy teaching the teachers how to finger knit! The Learn to Knit and Crochet tables are staffed by the Blacksheep Knitting Guild. The Knitting Help table was staffed by Mike and Sam. Their table was for knitters who needed a hand with a project or wanted to learn a new technique. Weaving friends Joy Stimac and Donna Mrozek demonstrated warping a rigid heddle loom and weaving. Spinning sisters Annie Szuch and Mary Jill Freer ran the Learn to Spin area. They taught a pair of teen sisters who have fiber animals how to spin. Annie found the electric spinner to be a superb tool for teaching new spinners the hand motions of spinning.

Stacy Totzke and Ann Ryan (Colorbug Yarns) helped visitors create their very-own mini skein of hand dyed yarn. The yarn for the skeins was donated by Stonehedge Fiber Mill.

The Field House was bursting with activity. All vendor booths were greatly expanded this year to provide better ease of access. In all 14 local yarn shops were represented.


Located near the Auction area, volunteers Ann Marie and Zena set up a winding station with a humorous sign. They were kept busy making balls from skeins throughout the day.

For the third year, Nancie Williams and her fellow Friday night knitting group manned the auction area. Values were in abundence and serious competition added to the enjoyment (and disappointment) for several of the items in the silent auction. In all the auctions raised nearly $5,000.

For the second year since departing from the “marathon” style of the first four Knit Michigans, anyone could register for one, two or even three classes. Classes were offered on many different fiber techniques from felting to cardweaving and button making to the Grand Circus Park Hoodie. We would like to thank the following shops for teaching, even tho they could not have a booth: Artisan Knitworks, Knitting on the Fringe, and Sweet Peas Yarn.

They say an army runs on its stomach. With all the working and shopping going on, the work the Gilda’s Club volunteers did in the kitchen was greatly appreciated. A special thank you to those who contributed the soda, chips and candy that were sold at Knit Michigan.

And, tucked into a corner was the coat check. For much of the day it was manned by twins Jack and Blair. The coat check allowed visitors to shop unencumbered!