Thursday, March 27, 2008

Yarn Crawl - Chicago

On March 25, Knitting Homie, Cindi and I embarked on a Chi-town yarn crawl. We took the 9:20am train from Aurora, got off of the train in Downers Grove and walked to Knitche . Really nice shop, well worth the stop. The folks there were friendly and quirky and offered to wind our yarn, really nice yarn, some purchases were made, then back onto the train we hopped arriving at Union Station about 11:45. Next we hopped a cab and headed to Arcadia , In case we do it again, for future reference it was a $21 cab ride (it is WAY up North). We entered Arcadia at 12:05 (it had opened at noon). The lady (who I think was the owner/manager)greeted us. Her manner was bruske and Cindi and I both thought she was going to tell us that the store was closed or she was going to throw us out, but we were later to discover that this was simply her manner, she was helpful and friendly in a "city" kind of way. Some yarn was acquired, I bought Big Girl Knits at 40% and enough yarn to make a sweater for me. The owner/manager then helpfully gave us assistance in heading back downtown to The Melting Pot A $1.00 fare on the #22 Clark Street Bus transported us through several interesting ethnic neighborhoods and past the front of Wrigley Field and landed us within a block and a half of The Melting Pot where we proceeded to indulge in a lovely 4 course meal, Cheese fondue, salad, meat and of course DARK CHOCOLATE! I have to admit that until I tasted this chocolate fondue, I hadn't been too impressed with Dark Chocolate, but I am now a Dark Convert - Yummm, Lunch took 3 hours, it was heavenly. Next we caught a cab down to Knitwerks . It was my first experience of being "buzzed" into a store. It was a very nice shop, not huge, but the proprietress was friendly and helpful. They had a nice selection of really nice quality yarns and accessories. Despite my personal policy of usually purchasing something at every stop, I didn't see anything (despite the fact that ALL of the yarn in there was lovely)that desperately needed to go home with me, so I refrained. However, if I am again in the area, I will definitely stop, lovely yarns, really nice folks. We again asked for directions back to Loopy . Again we walked across the street and caught the #29 bus North ($2 fare this time) and got off at Balbo which was almost directly in front of Loopy. This is where the wheels fell off of my bus. I had been a super organizational freak, (yes, you who know me know how unusual this is for me) and I had made notecards with the names, addresses, phone numbers and business hours on index cards and then on the back of the card, wrote what I wanted to look for at each store. I was looking for 6 skeins of Dream in Color Classy for the Dream in Color KAL sponsored by The Loopy Ewe and I wanted to feel up the new Manos silk for a Clapotis 6 Skeins of Dream in Color was nowhere to be found, but at least I got to fondle it. I found the Manos Silk at Loopy, toyed with knitting it in Lorna's laces Black Pearl, but they only had 2 skeins and I would have rather had 3, and based on the staff recommendation, I purchased 4 skeins of Manos Silk in the Wildflowers Colorway I also purchased 4 skeins of a luscious black alpaca silk in ww for my BIL a lovely Koolhaas and a skein of something Noro for another hat. I passed up the brown and cream ribbon yarn that was 60% off, it was lovely, but I wasn't excited about knitting or wearing a brown/cream sweater. I loved the staff at Loopy, they were sassy and quirky and fun. I would go back to any of the shops again in a Chicago minute. We were lucky, we didn't have to walk too far before finding a taxi when we wanted one and we didn't have to wait too long for busses or trains, along with having good karma that day, we also had good CARma as on the way home we met a deer crossing the road up close and personal (i.e. we could see the whites of her eyes), but didn't hit it.

It will take my "mad money" a while to recover, but I am looking forward to another yarn crawl!

I'm going to knit warshcloths

About 3 weeks ago, I started a top down raglan from the Barbara Walker book, Knitting from the Top Down, I wanted to make it a University of Illinois (Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in U of I blue and orange) color theme putting a ... sequence in orange (because I couldn't get enough of the blue yarn)Anyway, I practiced jogless jogs and of course got a funny spot in the boobular area where I changed skeins of the blue yarn. Ignoring the funny disappearing orange stitch directly over my left breasticle, I bravely knit on. I knit an entire sleeve, diligently marking the rows in a little orange book that I kept in my knitting bag, circling the row when I decreased so that the sleeves will turn out to be the same. I got to where I thought the bottom of the 1st sleeve should be and I had a bit of yarn left, rather than finish the sleeve, I transferred the stitches to a holder to await final adjustments when #2 sleeve was complete. I joined a new ball and carefully mirroring the 1st sleeve, I knit about 1/2 of the 2nd sleeve and decided to admire my handiwork. I looked at the front and there was only 1 set of increases, that is odd, there should be one on either side of the straight part....upon further examination, you all know what I did, I made the sleeves on the stitches that I was supposed to use for the FRONT AND BACK of the sweater!!!! Grrrr, not being a small girl, this involves a fair amount of knitting. My mother bless her soul said that she would chop it into tiny pieces and throw it away. She thinks that I have the patience to re-knit the sleeves. I don't know. The sweater is in time-out for a while. I did rip sleeve #2, but don't know if I have the heart to rip sleeve #1, quite yet. I suppose I would feel better if I picked up the proper sleeve and knit it for a while before I rip #1, I don't know. I'm going to knit warshcloths for a while...