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Women's Weekend caters to relaxing, learning, creating

Local shepherd and fiber artist Andrea Myklebust spins wool at the Purple Turtle. (Photo courtesy of Stockholm Merchants Association)1 / 2
Local shepherd and fiber artist Andrea Myklebust of Black Cat Farmstead will let weekend visitors try out the loom and spinning wheel on which she spins her sheep’s wool into yarn and weaves it into cloth. (Photo courtesy of Stockholm Merchants Association)2 / 2

STOCKHOLM -- Not all men like to hunt, and not all women like beautiful things. But during the Stockholm Women’s Weekend Nov. 5-6, those who do fit that generalization can enjoy a blissful couple of autumn days.

The annual Stockholm Women’s Weekend has become a destination for women from miles around to relax, learn and create -- whether or not the men in their lives have disappeared into the woods for deer season. Activities include both free and ticketed events at Stockholm's shops, galleries, inns and the great outdoors.

“For years, we had groups of women coming through town on the first weekend in November,” says Alan Nugent, proprietor of Abode Gallery & Design in Stockholm. “They described themselves as ‘hunting widows.’ So we thought, why not make the weekend into a total blast for them?”

Nugent and other members of the Stockholm Merchants’ Association have designed a schedule of activities that includes relaxing massage, hiking and classes in felting, rug braiding, painting and journaling. All the local shops will be open for shopping, and many of the establishments offer food and wine tastings.

“This year’s Women’s Weekend is all about local, natural, handmade, locally grown and the art of slowing down,” says Nugent. “There’s even a presentation about the ‘slow clothes’ movement, a kind of farm-to-table approach to clothing that's about where the materials actually come from.”

That presentation, by Jess Daniels of the Northern California-based "Fibershed" environmental nonprofit, will take place at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6 at the WideSpot Performing Arts Center in Stockholm. The event ($28) includes a brunch, catered by Stockholm Pie Company and Bogus Creek Cafe.

The full schedule of Women's Weekend events is on the Stockholm website, Highlights include:

  • Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery: During a “Paint and Pour” class on Saturday ($40), participants can create an artistic masterpiece while enjoying the local apple-based beverages. On Sunday, the proprietors of the Winery and Cidery will take visitors on a tour of the production facilities ($10).

  • Abode Gallery & Design: Robbin Firth, an acclaimed fiber artist from Hudson, will offer a weekend-long trunk show and demonstration of the scarves, tunics, hats, shirts and ties she creates at her HeartFelt Silks studio. On Sunday, she will teach a class on making home decor felted leaves with silk embellishment fibers ($55).

  • Maidenwood Lodge: Local artists will give classes in rug braiding ($50), sign painting on reclaimed wood ($40), and creative journaling ($45) at this beautiful country lodge on a nature preserve near Stockholm.

  • Sandy’s Clothing and Art: Beth Yelensky, a local massage practitioner, will be available for gentle and effective massage sessions (30min/$45, 60min/$90) throughout the weekend. In addition, Sandy's will present a trunk show of fashions by Natalia Romano, a rising young designer in the West Coast fashion scene, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

  • Purple Turtle Artisan Collective: Local shepherd and fiber artist Andrea Myklebust of Black Cat Farmstead will let weekend visitors try out the loom and spinning wheel on which she spins her sheep’s wool into yarn and weaves it into cloth (no charge; donations accepted).

  • Spring Street Inn: Innkeeper and outdoorsman Bart Armstrong will shuttle visitors to a nearby trailhead for a guided 45-minute hike out to Maiden Rock Bluff at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday (free).

  • WideSpot Performing Arts Center: The Old Fashioneds, an old time jazz and rock-n-roll band from Winona, will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday ($15).

Most events require advance registration. Information is available on the website,

Stockholm is on the scenic drive that winds along the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi. The area is known for its arts tourism, which includes the July Stockholm Art Fair, several “open studio” tours, and a regular series of art strolls.

“All the shops and galleries are stocked with holiday merchandise, so the Women’s Weekend is a perfect time to do some gift shopping,” adds Nugent. “There’s something for everyone to enjoy. Except maybe those who would rather be deer hunting.”

For more information, contact: Amanda Scholz, Stockholm Merchants Association, at or 715.442.2050.