Friday, January 12, 2007

Windy City blues.

Apparently I was a little obssessed with blue yarn while I was in Chicago.

I managed to visit two yarn stores; this despite having no wheels and taking all manner of buses and trains to get to where I needed to go. I forget how enormous the city is until I realize that it takes me about an hour and a half to get from my parents' house on the South Side to my friend Marie's house on the Northwest side, one bus and two trains later.

But one of the yarn stores I found was Loopy Yarns...where else but in the South Loop! I stumbled across them on the Internets somewhere, and I wish I could remember where because I told the very nice woman working there that maybe I'd seen them on a blog and she was thrilled to hear it! She excitedly told me that they were hearing rumors that they're one friendliest yarn stores. Well, if you're going to have a rumor circulating about you, it may as well be something like that!

It's a great store, and they were friendly in just the right way, asking if I needed help but not in an aggressive or snobby way. They had a great clearance section, but I gravitated to their wide selection of sock yarn, since I'd read on their website that they'd just gotten in new Fleece Artist yarns. I also found Brown Sheep sock yarn, which I didn't know existed, but I ended up falling in love with this gorgeous Fleece Artist colorway, which is on the right:
It's called Aegean, and the picture doesn't do justice to it--the blues are just so deep and vivid. The skein on the left is a half skein left of Malabrigo that I bought at the Knitche in Downers Grove. My Austin LYS doesn't carry Malabrigo, but I've read so many raves about it on the blogs that I had to bring some home to see what all the fuss is about. As it turned out, a friend was having a birthday in early January, so I reached into my mini-stash and made a simple roll brim hat with the Malabrigo:

Ohhhhh. Yeah, baby. Now I know what all the fuss is about. It's like someone drafted a cloud and spun it into the softest yarn imaginable. And I still have half a skein left! The Knitche was a cute store, with lots of fancy yarn, and you could get a cappucino there, too! In theory, a good idea, but if your staff is busy serving up coffee and trying to help people with their yarn at the same time, it can get a little crazy. I was about to give up and put the Malabrigo back, but the lady in front of me kindly let me purchase my yarn ahead of her, as it seemed she was looking for a million different single skeins, maybe to make a funky afghan.
I got some lovely craft-related Christmas presents, too.

The bag is from my beloved friend Jennifer, who went to a craft fair and found this gorgeous bag at a booth where the vendor had just put the finishing touches on it. It'll make a perfect knitting bag...heck, it'll be perfect for any occasion. And this book! Sew What! Skirts is from my brilliant and beautiful sister-in-law, who lurks here and occasionally comments, and apparently knows me better than I thought. I had just been looking at this book at Borders and putting it on my must-have list the next time I got a coupon in my email. It essentially empowers you to draft your own patterns and it includes instructions on many different variations. It's perfect for the odd length or two of fabric you fell in love with at the store and which is now sitting in your stash, waiting to see the light of day.

Finally, my holidays were wrapped up with some fun news from my sister: apparently, a dress I knitted for my niece THREE years ago finally fits her! Even better, she's wearing it of her own volition. My sister explained to her that Tia Cookie handmade that dress for her. My niece shook her head. Nuh uh. She didn't make it with her hands, she made it with needles!

Hee hee. From the mouths of babes.
P.S. I found that Bloglines had dropped a number of my feeds recently, and Karen also noticed that I fell off her blogroll! So check your feeds to make sure you're not missing any of your favorite reads.


At 1:35 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Ooooh, sock yarn!! Yummy. I love the colors in that - and I am trying to imagine how much better it looks in person. :) I've been reading all the fuss about Malabrigo too, but can't seem to find it around here. We'll be in upstate CT at the end of the month, so I'll have to look at the yarn store I've already scoped out for our visit. I've found if knit-bloggers are raving about a yarn, it does not disappoint. Your new book sounds perfect - I can't wait to see what you sew up from it. And your niece is so adorable. Sounds like you've got a future knitter there. :)

At 12:54 AM, Blogger Marisa said...

I think I see magic in her eyes...


I'm blue too but only b/c you're not here. Then it snowed tonight so all is ... better.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Nancy said...

It sounds like your niece might be a member of FKA (Future Knitters of America). I haven't been to Loopy's, but my SnB friends go there all the time - they work Downtown. Don't you just love Knitche!? Did you go to the bead shop next door? Go Bears!


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