Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beads and Yarn in the Upper Peninsula!

We just got back from a short trip to go skiing at Marquette Mountain and then visiting friends in the village of L'Anse.  Who knew that there are great little bead and yarn shops up there?!

After a great ski day we popped into Bella Beads in downtown Marquette.  When I walk into a bead store I tend to take a good long look around and see what catches my eye. Unless I have a specific project in mind I look for beads that I haven't seen before.  I also rate a bead store on its selection of seed beads.  I mostly look for 15/0 (teeny tiny) and 11/0 (standard seed bead size).  When I walked into Bella Beads I found a whole WALL of seed beads, yay!  I was wishing I had the supply list for the Huib Petersen class I will be taking in February since I have very little bugle beads and I have no idea what size I need. I did remember that I need to teach myself herringbone stitch before this class so I picked up a fantastic book at Bella Beads by Carol Wilcox Wells "The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving."  I was told to purchase her first book, but this one seemed to have what I needed with an updated twist.  I used it all weekend!  I also purchased some beautiful seed beads to work with that weekend and add to my stash.

The second place I came upon was in downtown Houghton.  Mary has learned how to crochet and as far as she knew, the only close yarn store was Michaels.  I can spot yarn or beads from a mile away.  We popped into a little store that seems to have everything fibers for Houghton.  At first I thought it was just a sewing shop but then I saw yarn in the window and we were pleasantly surprised!  Sew Irresistible Creations had lots of yummy yarn! (They do not appear to have a website so the link has their contact information)  I don't normally spend more than $10 on a ball of yarn, but this was one of those instances where I knew I would be pining over this yarn when I headed back down state.  (I will get a picture/info for it up asap). 

The last related stop that Mary and I had in Houghton was Silver Rae Beading Studio.  It's easy to miss, the only sign we saw was right in our way on the sidewalk with BEADS UPSTAIRS on it.  This shop is kind of awkward because it has 3 little rooms.  It has yet another fabulous selection of seed beads (two walls!), but I ended up finding some really fun glass accent beads that I couldn't pass up.  Warning for down-staters: Cash is king in the U.P. and this store only takes cash or checks.  Luckily Mary and I had enough cash together to purchase everything we had picked out.

I also got started on my very first Herringbone Stitch project!  I was enjoying playing with the way it curves with the larger beads and now I am trying to figure out how i want to finish it.  I have made all of the waves face one way by stitching peyote stitch along the bottom, but now I'm stumped.  Expect a follow-up!

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