Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Still Too Cold for the Bike

So here I am, having coffee in Deerfield and visiting a friend, when I realized I had to, HAD TO, finish an article I've been thinking about for four weeks or so.  Turns out I have a faithful reader in California who is a newer back-to-knitting knitter, and she wanted to know what she could knit for her teen.  I consulted the local experts, who were more than happy to provide suggestions:

And for those who don't know me, yes that's me in the photo.  I couldn't find a stock photo of an angst-ridden teen wearing anything knitted.  I figured since I look like everygirl and my face is obscured, it wouldn't be so bad.  Then, I pulled up the article on the finished page (it looks different from the page where I actually write and edit the stuff) and realized I look like a cutting-edge, flaming-hot, ridiculous narcissist.  Luckily, I'm not one, as illustrated by the fact that I'm about 64.48% embarrassed.

Especially since I post the articles on all of the facebook pages, twitter profiles, etc. of anyone to whom I link in the article, and within an hour, over three dozen people have "liked" it on their facebook pages.  Oh well...too late to edit at this point.

It could be worse...I could have protruding ribs like a REAL model.  Or I could be Bluto, looking as angst-ridden as any teen when he wears the same scarf:

He has no idea hot awesome he looks in "lettuce."

Anyway, since I'm just waiting on my tax return, I've decided to put all chores and projects on hold and just knit until the cows come home.  That's not bad, right?  I also would just like to say thanks to the local yarn shops in Chicago...I understand that knitting is a niche-hobby.  My articles will never be read by hundreds of thousands because...well...I don't write the weather column.  But at the same time, those who DO read my articles and share my interest in knitting are some of the nicest, most well-rounded and interesting people I have ever met.  There is something to be said for going into a specialty store and knowing that not only do the associates not get paid commission, they care about you as a person as much as they care about your purchase.  While talking to the yarn store employees about what to knit for your teen, the ladies at Knitche were clamoring to show me what they were talking about regarding looking at the "cool kids" stores before choosing your pattern.  What fun!

And it was 29 degrees this morning when I left...perfectly lovely weather (especially since it's sunny, so by the middle of the day you feel the chill and heat at the same time), but I can't have my first bike ride of the year be in weather that wears out my lungs too quickly.  I need it above 55 degrees or so.  But once it's that warm, watch out, because the next step is figuring out how to knit and ride at the same time...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Beauty of Knitting Friends

Good evening!  By the way, Knit Tips Tuesday was inspired by the fact that I'm OFFICIALLY AHEAD on my Scarf of the Month Series, so I decided to start another garment.  Only unlike last time, this one is on size 8 needles and it is literally miles of stockinette stitch.  It's cute though.  You read this while I look for a photo of what I'm making... the pattern (yes, Amy occasionally uses patterns) is from a book called Sensual Knits, and honestly there are only two patterns I don't like in the entire book.  To non-knitters, that sentence probably seems obnoxious.  But to knitters, finding more than one pattern in a book that you want to make is...well...a pleasant surprise.  Here is the picture of what I'm hoping to get when I'm finished:

I also measure out to the Small, which means it's time I ate a freaking sandwich.  Or an avocado...ooh...

So yeah.  It's stockinette stitch all the way.  But I handed in my taxes to be done today so I feel like one burden has disappeared.  The three ladies in the yarn shop today were all making little items; two of them were making socks.  Part of me is envious, and the other part of me thinks, " have to make TWO of them!"  I don't know if I have the attention span for two.  I must not be ready.

But after a weird week and an entire gamut (well, THE gamut...I don't think there is just one gamut) of emotions, I needed to get my yarn on.  I bought a pair of Addi Turbos to replace the circulars I had in the same size where the tips were wearing, and I finished next month's scarf.  Then, I learned how to provisional-cast-on with a crochet hook and knitting needle on only the second try, which makes me a new expert (I think).  THEN...I knitted up to the sleeves.

And in the meantime, I had some of the best laughs I have had in days.  Much needed.

You may think I am beating a dead horse by saying this, but knitting groups are the greatest.  Whether or not these people are my friends outside of the yarn store, the knitting circle to me is like a bar to a lonely middle-aged man in my neighborhood.  It's comfort, it's motivation, it's escape...It's just a good, good place.

Thank you.  All of you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another Wednesday

Good evening!  First off, here is a run-down of what's what in the knitting world for the month of April.  There are other events, of course, and a whole slew of classes, but here is a synopsis anyway:

Anyway, I only have FOUR MORE ROWS on the May scarf.  Seriously.  And the date is still a single digit.  I feel like dancing, only the only ones who will see it is the dogs.  Maybe the cat.  I don't know where he is at the moment, actually.

After writing the article this morning, I decided to head down to Shorewood to meet Cindy Cooper, the owner of Elemental Yarns.  We had a lovely chat and I am going to do a story on her place in the coming weeks.  I then swung by Downers Grove to Knitche to get more info on another story I'm writing.  Anyone who has knit something for their teenager, please let me know!  What worked?  What didn't?  Did they get to participate in selecting a pattern?  Do share, please...but send me an email to instead of responding here.  Thanks!

I also encourage you to look at yesterday's post...I took photos on a gorgeous spring day in Chicago.  Lots of tulips, baby...and that's how it SHOULD be considering it's Easter-time.

So now I have a addition to finishing May's scarf and starting June's scarf, what garment should I start?  This has been weighing on my mind for a few days...should it be something for NOW or something for FALL?  The only reason it's in question is because...let's face it...I probably won't finish it until fall.  Last year, our friends at Lorna's Laces said they saw a statistic that the average knitter finished over thirty projects in 2011.  I assume that means EACH sock, EACH fingerless glove, EACH dishcloth...

Anyway, I'm hoping to ramp up the column this month as well.  Please subscribe on my page and continue to share my articles with members of the knitting world who do not currently read them.  Now that I have 50% free time (do the math, for those of you who think I all of a sudden went part-time at my job...I get three days on and three days off) and I'm relatively settled, I want to be the knitting ambassador of Chicago the best I can!  I'll still continue with Knit Tips Tuesday but want Chicagoans to learn about yarn shops and festivals that may not be near their house.

That's all for now...I hope life is treating everyone well!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Good afternoon, is your Knit Tips Tuesday:

Also, please subscribe to my articles, and/or "like" my facebook page.  It's just an easier way to get info on knitting...the articles get emailed directly to your inbox when they get published.  You are always welcome to comment, or send me a private message if you have a question but don't want the whole free world to know about it.  The facebook page can be found here and the subscription link to can be found here (just click on the "subscribe" button).

So, I'm halfway done with NEXT month's pattern, and I don't know how the two test-knitters are doing but my plan is to blow them out of the water.  I was feeling so good about myself today that after leaving Soldier Field for the Children's Miracle Network kickoff meeting this morning, I walked from there to the Milwaukee bus.  I also walked from downtown to Soldier Field, so by my estimation, I probably walked almost six miles today.  It was THAT glorious outside.  Here are some photos I took, including Teeny Jesus painting his face blue and orange and getting ready to BEAR DOWN!

Cherry blossoms outside the Field Museum.

The Field Museum of Natural History, shortly after sunrise.

Tulips on State Street.

One lonely guy that, I thought, was at the perfect stage of bloom.

Tulips at State and Washington.

Proof that Mayor Daley may have been corrupt, but MAN did he make Chicago look gorgeous.

Teeny Jesus, proving he's a Chicago Bears fan.

What's even more awesome is I finally went into Blommer's Chocolate Factory.  Even though I'm not currently eating chocolate, I got a contact high from the heavenly was ridiculous.  I also ran into a friend from my childhood on Lake Street, proving that my world gets smaller and smaller by the minute.

I think I'm going to go and enjoy more springtime with yarn.  And I may clean up dog poop in the back yard...