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Approaching the store entrance, you know there’s a fun-loving personality somewhere inside. The telltale give away is the sign that reads, “For an additional $4.95 we will provide a receipt that matches what you told your spouse you paid.” Once inside, owner Charlene Hatfield greeted me with a mischievous smile, and I knew immediately, she was the one behind the sign.
Besides the owner’s inviting friendliness, so many things make this shop special. The house turned yarn shop sits on Howell’s main street, so it feels more like a home than a shop. Various antique European cabinets replace the typical sterile store shelves, adding a cozy warmth.
Then there’s the yarn that you can only buy at Stitch in Time. Behind the counter, an antique cabinet from England highlights a 100% silk yarn where Charlene designs the colors carried only at Stitch in Time. There’s the cashmere blend yarn stored in the armoire from Italy and the completed woven products displayed on the buffet from Austria.
The variety and quantity of yarn also make Stitch in Time distinct. For example, Charlene carries Cascade yarn in every color it comes in, and she carries a lot of it. Immediately, you’ll be able to get what you need for that big project. “Most yarns I carry, I try to get every color, although it may never happen with Koigu. They have so many,” she says with a smile.
The Howell Melon Color
Another specialty is the Malabrigo yarn dyed exclusively for Stitch in Time, called Howell Melon. It’s available in several of their yarn bases including Arroyo, Chunky, Rasta, Rios, Silkpaca, Silky Merino, and Sock. Charlene named it after the Howell Melon, a hybrid cantaloupe found only in this Michigan region. The yarn color reflects Howell Melon’s color, a variegated yarn ranging from the pale orange of the melon’s flesh to a variety of greens representing the leaves and a light brown for the stem.
Dream in Color also makes a Howell Melon yarn for the shop. Dream in Color’s Howell Melon has more pastel shades than Malabrigo’s yarn of the same name. The greens are brighter in the Dream in Color brand, and there’s yellow and blue in the variation. It’s 70% merino wool, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon.
Not only does Charlene’s yarn highlight the Howell Melon, but also it even has its own festival. The Howell Melon Festival is a three-day annual event held in mid-August, which includes a 5K Howell Melon Run, live music, a classic car show and freshly made cantaloupe-flavored ice cream, served on the courthouse lawn.
The shop offers crochet, knitting, and weaving classes. Charlene is a certified instructor through the Yarn Council of America. What’s different about classes at Stitch in Time is that after, the basic class, each person in subsequent classes will be working on something different. Charlene indicates the advantage is that you will learn about things you’re not working on.
Another pleasant surprise is Charlene loves to bake so you may enjoy a special treat in her class. If you can’t attend, check out the website for her recipes.
Stitch in Time is located at 722 East Grand River in Howell, Michigan 48843.
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