Weekend Shopping

I mentioned earlier this week that I did buy a few things at each of the three stores in Bemidji that stocked anything fibery or knitting-related. I thought I’d also share my experience at each store, in case anyone goes up to that area.

I didn’t know until a few months ago that Ben Franklin stocked yarn, much less Cascade, Plymouth, and Classic Elite! So the store was at the top of my To See list when up there. Their selection is small, yet varied. There was a good amount of Sugar ‘n’ Cream, in many colors, more than I’ve ever seen at once in either Michael’s or Jo-Ann. Likewise, I saw a nicely sized and colorful assortment of crochet cotton. I bought two different colors of Sugar ‘n’ Cream for my Secret Pal 8. There was a small selection of Cascade 220, but I don’t remember seeing many colors–dark red, navy, and forest green, for sure. Another nice yarn in stock was Plymouth Galway, also in mostly dark colors. Two more things I noticed was a variety of novelty yarn, both inexpensive (eg: Lion Brand), and moderate price level (eg: Sandesgarten Funny eyelash), and they also had some Red Heart in stock. Oh yes, there were some nice knitting books and individual patterns (eg: Fiber Trends), and Addi Turbo circular needles.

Pamida is more like K-Mart, and I didn’t even know they had yarn until my Aunt told us. Their selection is very small, mostly Bernat boa or boucl´┐Ż. They did have some of these gigantic Bernat skeins (300 g) which would come in handy for afghans. Two skeins of CottonTots at about 50% off jumped into my basket: Mom picked out a couple colors, and I can make about 3 washcloths with each skein.

cottontots.jpg

The name, Bemidji Woolen Mills, should give you a big hint at what they carry. Lots of woolen outerwear, blankets, and more. They also have their own yarn, “Bemidji’s Original Homespun” which is worsted weight, tweedy, and lanolin-rich, yum. The hanks are a generous 225 yards and less than $5. The Homespun also comes in Natural (off-white), Oatmeal Heather, Oxford Gray, Sandy Heather, and Charcoal Heather. But that’s not all! Their yarn selection is composed mostly of Lamb’s Pride Worsted, and I do believe they stock just about every color Brown Sheep produces. The rest of their yarn stock is mostly Lopi and a miscellany of mohair, alpaca, etc. Most of the books and patterns available there were, not surprisingly, by Reynolds Lopi and Fiber Trends. Needles in stock were Susan Bates Quicksilver and Pony Pearl plastic.

So what did I get there? No yarn, I’m sorry to say, though the wool is always so tempting. My purchases were quite the June Project Spectrum:

mnmittens.jpg

Turquoise Pony Pearl DPNs (these are my first Pony set… looking forward to trying them out), and a pair of purple and gray wool, blue cotton lined mittens. We found some shelves filled with these yummy, colorful, and generously-sized mittens. They are available in XS, S, M (mine), L, and XL. I used to have a wonderful pair of black ribbed double thick mittens with the BWM label, but I lost one in college. These are very similar, but they’re not the store brand. I checked out the website listed on the tag, and it appears to be defunct (replaced by a generic search engine site :/) so I’ll quote the information here, since I found it interesting.

Mittens with a Mission: Our mittens are carefully cut and assembled by the workers at our Winona Occupational Rehabilitation Center, a sheltered workshop for people with disabilities. Each mitten is made from the wool & cotton fabric or yarn, which remains after the sweater parts are cut. Sweaters for your hands…only from Winona, Minnesota. Minnesota Mittens

Updated Sep 2009; I received a note from a PR person from Winona ORC, and they are still doing this program. I have updated the webpage link above so that it will go to the information page. I don’t know if the Winona ORC is still doing this, the website I found doesn’t have any information. And funnily enough, I couldn’t find them at the online BWM store, either. Did you read through all of this? Yay you! But I need to mention one more thing… if you order the Homespun yarn online from BWM, be warned that it may take several weeks or even a few months… it’s very popular!

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2 Responses to “Weekend Shopping”

  1. Chris Says:
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    BMW?? Or BWM?? :)

    Those are great mittens!

  2. limedragon Says:
    June 16th, 2006 at 5:14 am

    LOL Typos corrected. I think I kept typing BMW because of Bemidji. : )

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