Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Chicago Yarn Crawl

Good day, everyone!  I have been super-busy at my day job, and of course it cuts into my knitting time (who do those big corporations think they ARE, anyway?).  But this is the last week of hell for a couple of months, and it's time to say hello again!

First of all, here is my latest Knit Tips Tuesday...who wants to join me in making socks?


Okay...so here is my Chicago Yarn Crawl experience.  On the first day, August 4th, I started in the afternoon after the Mixed Nutz got their tune on for a few hours.  I went to Initially Ewe in Western Springs, a new entry in this year's Crawl.  CUTE store; in addition to yarn, they have children's gifts, personalized monogramming service, and a great Christmas stocking trunk show which I didn't get back to but at least now know where to go!  The two ladies who own the store are lovely; I walked in, asked for a passport, and they took turns showing me around and just generally keeping the high expectation of good moods in the air.  I bought one ball of yarn, and decided that throughout the crawl, I would buy one ball of yarn per store.

By the way, I worked out the math beforehand.  Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a tightwad about money, mostly because I want to retire before most people and still have a steady income from various sources to make it possible.  The money I was using for the crawl came from patterns I've sold, articles people have read, and that sort of thing.  This was yarn money going toward yarn; the perfect example of the circle of life!

Anyway, I bought a ball of Cascade sock yarn.  Then I moved on to Idea Studio in La Grange.  The three ladies who own that store were in great spirits, so of course I purchased a ball of Lamb's Pride bulky, in the hopes I would find it later at other stores as well.  To spoil the surprise, I did.  Idea Studio's free pattern giveaway was too cute for words...it was a little girl's skirt which incorporated ruffle yarn, so the skirt looks like a low-key tutu.

Then, I moved on to Knot Just Knits.  Elizabeth of course saw me walk in the door, and in a grand and exaggerated fashion said, "Everybody, we have a celebrity!  The author of our free pattern has just walked in the door!"  She asked me later that afternoon if I would autograph her copy of the pattern.  I asked her if backhanding was the same thing.

After working Sunday through Tuesday, and having to work around a doctor's appointment, I went to twelve...twelve!...stores on Wednesday.  You get entered into a raffle when you hit five, ten, and fifteen stores, in addition to each store's individual raffle.  Quite honestly, by the fifteenth store, I was tuckered out and didn't think I could make it to Number Sixteen even if I tried.

My fifteenth store was Sister-Arts studio in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, right around the corner from where I grew up, and across the street from the Burwood Tap.  The ladies who own/work there are horrendously silly, in the best way possible.  I actually bought two balls of yarn from them; there was this yellow silk laceweight that I couldn't put down, and then there was a replacement ball of yarn from when Penny decided to relocate a yarn ball when she was a puppy.  And by "relocate," I mean "take from the dining room table and into her crate, and proceed to treat it like a one-year-old's birthday cake."

These ladies also staged a photo-op with Teeny Jesus, complete with complementary yarn colors and a silly sign:

I ended the two days with two balls of Imperial Ranch Bulky Roving, the two balls from Sister-Arts, three balls of Lamb's Pride, two skeins of Malabrigo silky wool, some fun variegated scarf balls, a Zauerball, a ball of Regia, and Lorna's Laces Solemate.  This yarn will be used for the sock tutorial referenced in the article, above.  Jeez...I better get to winding and knitting!

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