Unexpected Fiber Finds While On Vacation

I recently went on a road trip through the Midwest with some good friends. Our itinerary included national parks, museums, and gardens and included a lot of unexpected stops when something caught our eye from the road. When asked what I wanted to see on and do on the trip, I didn’t have much in the way of ideas. I expected there would be lots of great scenery and that I would get to do some birdwatching and maybe even some sketching.

What I didn’t expect was to trip over cool spinning and knitting stuff along the way.

I’m not talking about supply stores. The only shopping we did was at gift stores and to buy groceries. I’m talking about finding fiber-related things in the places we happened to go.

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City, MO turned out to have world-class miniatures on display, more than we could see in the hour and a half we had before the museum closed. We are not talking doll house furniture played with by children (although they have some of that as well), but miniatures made by artisans and admired by avid collectors.

I was in awe of the size (tiny!) and detail (exquisite!) of the furniture, glassware, ceramics, and woven rugs on display. Then I came to the hand knit clothing and it blew my mind. Cable-knit sweaters? Color-work sweaters?! and only two inches high?!? Look at the pictures, and you’ll understand my amazement.

Some intrepid knitters must have used wires to make these


This tiny gem fits in the palm of your hand.

I also found a tiny spinning wheel. I wonder if it works?

If you look in the reflection at the top, you can see my fingers. It gives you and idea of just how small this spinning wheel is.

I should have expected to see fiber art at the T/M museum; I just wasn’t thinking. But I also came across a yarn bomb project in the last place you would imagine: The Mammoth Site museum in Hot Springs, SD. While it’s not as elaborate as a traditional yarn-bombing project can be, I loved the idea of a yarn project that anyone could be part of.


A truly wooly mammoth.

It never occurred to me to include fiber art as part of my vacation plans, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t. I enjoyed these finds all the more because I wasn’t expecting them.

Have you come across fiber projects where you least expected them? What were they and where did you find them?


Published by

Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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