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Annual knitting event raises funds for cancer cure

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published January 31, 2012

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Knitting and crocheting aren’t just for making doilies. For the sixth year in a row, Knit Michigan is proving that the fiber arts are about making a difference.

On Feb. 4 the annual fiber-focused fundraising event will be held at Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills. Proceeds from the event will benefit five Michigan cancer charities: the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center, Beaumont Hospital’s Rose Cancer Center, Genesys Health System, Gilda’s Club and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Since the inaugural event in 2007, the one-day fundraiser has raised and donated more than $100,000 to those organizations.

“There’s something for everyone, and it’s for a great cause,” said Lisa Renaud of Knit Michigan. “It’s a cause that’s unfortunately near and dear to just about all of us.”

There will be plenty of activities to choose from for Michigan knitters, spinners, weavers, crocheters, felters and other fiber enthusiasts. There will be shopping at the “market” of 13 different Michigan yarn stores, hands-on weaving demonstrations, silent auctions, door prizes and much more. A handmade afghan will be raffled off to benefit Karmanos, and proceeds from the café will go to Guilda’s Club.

The day will also feature more than 35 classes, where participants can learn the basics of knitting, spinning and crocheting, and more advanced skills, such as intarsia knitting and embroidery with recycled materials.

In addition to taking monetary donations raised by entry and class fees, Knit Michigan will contribute to the cause by making comfort items, such as chemotherapy caps and lap blankets, to be given to cancer patients.

The Knitting Room in Birmingham will be participating in this year’s fundraiser. It will have a booth at the market with a number of unique projects for knitters to work on, as well as a finishing class taught by the shop’s Margaret Sheckell. Manager Sally Lobaza said the store is excited to be a part of the event because, in her opinion, knitters are generous with their time and skills.

“We all know someone who’s fought cancer. It gives people the opportunity to knit something that brings comfort, celebrate with those who have won their fight, and enjoy a knit-filled day.”

Knit Michigan will welcome early bird shoppers from 9-10 a.m. for a minimum contribution of $15, and the general public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. for a minimum $10 donation per person. Children 4 and younger attend for free.

For more information about Knit Michigan, visit