Holy moly. I hardly know where to begin. I was beyond excited to learn that Vogue Knitting Live was coming to town; of course, I had to go; I had high expectations; it didn't disappoint. My pal Narayani and I headed downtown to the Palmer House early Saturday morning to take full advantage of the market place. I've been to Stitches Midwest and local fiber fests before, so I had a good idea what to expect. The market can be a bit of a sensory overload if you walk in without a plan. Our approach was to take a lap before we decided what we wanted to buy. It mostly worked out. I love to look for yarn varieties I don't have access to at my LYS. I think it's really fantastic to have a tactile experience with new yarns and see samples knit using them before ordering them blindly online.
We were able to test-knit qiviut in the yarn tasting area...which might be the only time I'm ever able to knit with this delish fiber; although, the idea of a year long yarn diet to save for a sweater's worth did cross my mind (1,090 yards = $490!) We were also able to check out yarn spun from 100% mink (ethically collected; I asked) paper yarns and steel yarns.
We dropped in to visit the Windy City Knitting Guild and added a couple rows to Maureen O'wool.
There were a variety of fiber artists displaying their work. Kelly Fleek's sculptural hat creations were among the most unique and whimsicle pieces we saw.
Narayani and I both wanted to take these felted friends home with us to admire forever, and ever.
The knitted presidents collection (many more not pictured) were the most patriotic knits we saw.
And, there was this llama chair....
We had the pleasure of meeting designer Ann Weaver, (Ravelry), and she was lovely enough to sign a copy of her book White Whale Vol.II for me.
After the market, I listened to the Yarn Harlot talk about how amazing knitting is for our brains.
Then, I took a class with Josh Bennett that was WONDERFUL. He might be the most adorable knitter in the universe; I'd watch the Price is Right with him any day. ;-)
I came home with yarns from Habu Textiles. This booth was my favorite. The yarns are completely unexpected and unlike anything I'm used to. The grey is a cotton yarn destined to be this pattern. And the white/black is a yarn constituted from 100% Rayon. It's going to be this jacket when it grows up. Both of these are yarns I wouldn't have gravitated to without having seen them in action.
I grabbed a bag of Louisa Harding Willow Tweed in a 50% off bag sale; SCORE!
I couldn't resist coming home with a skein of sock yarn from Karida Collins' Neighborhood Fiber Company. The colors in her yarns are SUPER SATURATED and amazing. I was drawn to them like a moth to a flame.
Last, but not least, my copy of Whit Whale V.2.
I left feeling completely inspired- Such a great day! Please, please, please Vogue Knitting Live, come back soon.
Friends. I have been maintaining dwellings here at WillKnitForFood for almost two years. I started posting my projects as a way to chronicle my own creative attempts; over the course of time, it's turned into a really neat way to "interact" with other crafty bloggers. We comment, we send little notes; we share each other's awesomeness. We don't have to leave home to drop-in for a visit; the world is at our fingertips! The internet is cool like that. Sometimes, it even helps us find things and people in our own region of the world.
Like a lot of home sewers, I follow The Sew Weekly. At the beginning of 2012, Mena opened her doors to anyone willing to walk through them. I- was not, willing, that is, but I watched, from afar as all the new contributors introduced themselves. I added a lot of blogs to my RSS feed that first week in January. Among those I added was Chicago blogger Meg the Grand. Megan's skills are mind-boggling amazing; look at the things she's capable of here, here, here, here, here... the list goes on and on. In short, Meg's blog is completely inspiring. After a series of communications, we made arrangements to meet-up. I had seen these things go down on blogs before, but I had never ventured from behind the keyboard to make contact. To say I was nervous is an understatement. I decided the best way to assure a successful first meeting was to bribe, er... bring her a present.
My nerves and fears were for naught. Megan is as splendidly sweet as she is talented! To start our afternoon, we met at Windy Knitty. It was both our first time in the shop, and it left a fantastic first impression. The staff working that day (check out Brent's blog), chatted us up and helped by climbing cubbies to grab skeins of yarn. We both left with more yarn than we came in with and plan on going back soon and often. After leaving Windy Knitty, we made our way to Sifu Design Studio. It was our first experience in this yarn shop also. Sadly, we weren't excited about the time we spent there. We weren't greeted when we came in, we were ignored while we browsed the haphazardly scattered inventory at the front of the store; there was a pretty lively knitting group working away in the rear of the shop making it difficult for us to maneuver into that area, and nobody seemed to notice when we headed for the door empty handed. We couldn't end our yarny pursuits on that note, so we made our way down to Sister Arts Studio in Lincoln Park. SIS was wonderful. Donna, the shop owner, graciously and effortlessly juggled a party of tweens while she helped us around the store. I came home with a bunch of yarn Sunday. I also came home with this incredible knit fabric; a gift from Megan. (I told you she was awesome!).
Thank you, internet, for introducing me to my new friend. I have a feeling this meet-up was the first of many (we may have already squeezed in a second trip to SIS knit night. )
It's been two weeks since my last post, but the knitting never stops. Unfortunately, neither does anything else. I don't remember a point in my life where I've been as busy as I have been this year. I have a hunch things aren't going to slow down anytime soon. This isn't a bad thing, in fact, it's exactly the opposite. Mike and I have been really fortunate to see and share memories with a lot of people we love; in the process of doing so, we've had bunches of fun, but, gosh, all that running in circles sure can make a girl dizzy. Apparently, the older I get, the longer it takes for me to rebound into routine. Before I get too far behind (again), I want to share some of the fiber fun I squeezed in (including my first ever blog meetup! More on that soon). The weekend following my previous post, Mike and I made our way to Minnesota for a wedding. I consider it imperative to sample local fiber fare when I travel, and after reading The Harlot's account of her recent trip to MN, I knew I needed to make a pit-stop at the yarn garage. Time was tight; we had five hours between stepping off the plane and the start of the ceremony. Fortunately, the shop is only a 15min drive from MSP, and Mike is a very indulgent man.
From the outside, the shop is seemingly unassuming. Don't be fooled. This isn't your mama's LYS, unless, of course, your mama's LYS boasts a massive crystal chandelier, its own house blend of coffee, and store specific signature colorways . And, the glitter. Don't get me started! I spent my first 30 minutes getting lost among all the wonderfully unique yarn varieties, scoping out samples (Have you ever seen a sweater knit from camera film?), and interacting with the locals; the staff here treated us like old friends, offering us refreshments and introducing us to regulars as they helped us navigate the store.
If I lived anywhere near this shop, I would be there constantly! I may already be plotting a return trip.... To hold me over until I'm able to get back to MN, I'm getting another dose of StevenBe at Vogue Knitting Live where he will be inspiring creativity alongside Nadine Curtis. If you're planning on being in Chicago, you should come too! Steven is kicking off VKL weekend with an event at Loopy on Thursday evening.
It's Wednesday again. Already. Where did the week go? This month is sneaking by quickly. I did manage to get a good amount of knitting done since we spoke last, including finishing touches on projects from that pesky lingering UFO pile and progress on my WIP from last week. Not too shabby considering the number of additional, extra-curricular activities I crammed into the same timeframe. In acknowledgement of good behavior, I rewarded my own efforts by casting-on another project.
Afterall, Socktoberfest is well underway. I'm fashionably late starting, but I'm going to do what I can to knit as many socks as possible in the days remaining. I think 3pairs is realistic- if I hustle (reassessment to follow). To start, I cast on a slighlty modified version of this seasonally appropriate pattern.
I'm pretty anxious to turn the heel and start working the spider chart up the back of the leg; let's hope the enthusiasm endures! Must. Keep. Working...
It's been ages since I've done a WIP post. I should be spending my time working to finishing the few lingering projects I have verging on completion. But, I really, really needed to cast-on. You know how it is: knitter spends a lot of time commited to a particular project; boredom sets in; knitter starts to get a wandering eye; knitter orders yarn to squelch the desire for something new- promises to stash said yarn until current projects are bound-off and blocking; new yarn arrives; knitter wakes up in bed tangled in a strange new project, recounts the hazy events of the evening prior, accepts that she's done it again, stumbles to the kitchen to share a cup of coffee with the new project, allthe while trying to finishing before anyone notices...
This project is going quickly. Quickly enough, I don't think the others will even realize I've been gone. It's a lot farther along than I'm ready to share (here's a peak at what's to come). And, I'm definitely going to return to pending projects before I start another new one, probably.