Monday, March 19, 2007

My Husband, Some Hot Shot.....

Here's his ancient Chinese secret: taking me yarn shopping all over Chicago. He is SO sweet. When we planned to go to Chicago, the first thing he did was get on the internet and search out the yarn shops for me. We stopped at 2 of them on the way up, and he actually picked things out for me. There's a new one, only a few months old, called Knitwerks. The owner, Cherrl, is very nice, as is the shop. Though the selection was small, I was able to find some things I wanted. Like this Interlacements yarn, with about 100 million yards for $30-some dollars.

Next on the list was Loopy Yarns. This was a nice sized shop with lots of different things to choose from. There I found some clear clogs to wear with hand-knit socks, like the boots I've seen before. I was about to leave with only that, when I overheard the lady tell another customer that anything with wool in it was 25% off. Well, if I had known that, I would have done some more serious shopping. As it was, I went back and picked up some Hand Maiden Great Big Sea Silk, some Schaeffer Anne, and some Fleece Artist Nova Socks yarn. Did I mention I hate knitting socks? But, boy is this some beautiful yarn! And at 25% off, it's even more beautiful.

The next morning, we headed first to the Knitting Workshop, located in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. They had LOTS of yarn, and it was everywhere. Their prices were clearly displayed with most of the yarn, though not on the skein itself. I bought several patterns from Jade Sapphire, a ball of some OnLine stuff to put with Katia Sevilla ribbon for a pretty scarf they had displayed, which uses the purse stitch (yo, p2tog on all rows), and finally a lovely laceweight soy silk yarn I'd never seen before. The two gals in there were quite nice.

After that, we next went to Knitters Niche, which is a bit further north. We were not greeted when we entered, though there was a woman sitting at the table where my husband sat, who was knitting away on something. I assumed someone would pop their head out from the back and say hello, but that did not happen. After a few minutes of looking around, the woman at the table said, "Can I help you find something?" I was a bit startled. I said, "Oh, I thought you were a customer." She said, "No, I was just in the middle of something." When I saw the lace pattern she was working on, I understood. But still, it was not a nice feeling. She wasn't the owner, just a worker. I looked all around and couldn't find anything I couldn't live without, but when I told my husband I was ready to go, she finally spoke up. Mind you, we were in there for about 15 minutes with only the one peep from her. Sitting right thee on the table in front of my husband was some beautiful mauve colored Misti Alpaca laceweight yarn, which was like 400 and some yards for only $7. Suddenly, I felt that was too good to pass up. So, I bought 3 skeins, and she became chatty Cathy. I was over her and the shop though, so it's not a place I will likely return to.

From there, we grabbed a cab and went to Knit 1. Though their webpage said they'd be open, they did not look open, so I jumped out and went to look. It appeared that their front window had been broken out and was boarded up, and the lights were off inside. It is still operational, apparently, as it still looked like a knitting shop on the inside, just a closed one!

We hopped back in the cab and went over to the one place I just had to see, Nina. I had seen the shop on the web, and it looked like a sushi bar. Very stream-lined, very minimal, clean lines, ultra sleek. The owner, aptly named Nina, jumped up from the couch to greet us when we came in, and offered to be of help. I've never seen a more lovely display of yarns than this place had. It was not overwhelming. It was all take-in-able. Do take a look at their website and you'll see what I mean. There, I bought a new Della Q large striped tote knitting bag, which I love. It is really pretty, in the yellow/gold colorway. I also bought a nice skein of Misti Alpaca Hand-Dyed in the pinks and browns colorway. It is gorgeous, and I'm knitting Lucy Neatby's Lettuce scarf with it, the pattern having been bought at Knitwerks on Day 1 of the Chicago Knit Shop Attack.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

PassioKnits: The Stars at Night Shine Big and Bright

PassioKnits: The Stars at Night Shine Big and Bright

The Stars at Night Shine Big and Bright

I surprised my sister with this sweater last Fall, knit from a pattern in the Philosophers Wool book, "Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified," with a bunch of different yarn from my stash. (Actually I mixed these two patterns together, STARS and KILIM JACKET, so she could wear it as a jacket instead of a pullover). Her son's team name is the Stars, so I thought it would be perfect to wear to cold Friday night football games. She was totally surprised when I showed up at her office and bestowed this upon her. It was great! It truly was better to give than to receive in that case!
If you ever want to do a Fair Isle sweater, I STRONGLY recommend that you take a look at the two-handed method shown in a great little video on the Philosophers Wool website. It made it SO much easier to do in the round than the front and back piece method I was using for a Classic Elite Fair Isle sweater. After learning this method, the Stars sweater only took me about 3 weeks to knit, and afterwards, it took me a year to go back to the half-done Classic Elite sweater and finish the pieces! Luckily, I was able to do the sleeves in the new method, so that made finishing it bearable. I really can't begin to tell you what an impact this little video had on my knitting! I have no affiliation, I'm just a VERY satisfied consumer!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Shetland Tea Shawl

I've been so busy over at my other blog, Yarnswatch, that I haven't posted here in ages. So, I thought I'd post some finished objects which have been long neglected.

Yes, you've read those dates right. I finished this gorgeous shawl back in October! I first posted a photo in this post back in July, when it was still in its cobweb form. It is from Meg Swansen's A Gathering of Lace book, and is called the Shetland Tea Shawl. The yarn is Suri Alpaca from the Alpaca Yarn Co., and I must say, it was like heaven to knit! I couldn't wait to get the thing done so I could curl up in it! It is SO soft and so yummy. I really loved it!