Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chicago Yarn Store Roundup

While my sister worked, I shopped. Thanks to Franklin, I had a good lead on a couple of yarn shops.

First stop, Loopy Yarns on South State Street.

Chicago- Loopy Yarns Door

I showed up here sweaty and disheveled since I walked from the North Side. The ladies were so nice! They sat me down in front of a fan and handed me books to look through.

Chicago- Loopy Yarns Wall

Meanwhile, I was distracted by the wall of Lorna's Laces! I didn't know they dyed their yarn in Chicago, did you? In fact, some of the colorways are named after Chicago neighborhoods.

Lornas Laces- Edgewater


Lorna's Laces- Pilsen

And Pilsen- for example. They also helped me replace the dpn's I broke at the Farmer's Market. Thank goodness, I was making serious headway on the Tesserae socks. Really, the ladies there were so nice and we chatted for a good hour about ravelry, knitting, and jello pudding. If I lived closer, I would go there everyday just to hang out!

I also went to We'll Keep You in Stitches. While this wasn't on Franklin's list, it was on my way back to my sister's house from downtown. This shop is on the 4th floor above Oak Street. It was a pretty fancy address for my sweatiness but I was a tourist, so who cares???? This shop is teeny. And really seemed more focused on needlepoint than knitting. While the ladies here weren't super warm and friendly, they weren't rude either. I didn't seem to be their top priority but that was OK with me. I was getting a little worn out after all the walking I did. Also, most of the yarn was still in plastic bags, so finding the great yarn that's there was a little tricky. But I perservered...

Noro Kureyon- S233 Blues

Noro Kureyon in S233. It's the perfect blue.

Online Supersocke 100- Sierra

ONline Supersocke 100. More of a purple than in this picture.

But the main attraction for me...

Noro Silk Garden Sock- S252

Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn S252.

At this rate, I decided that any more yarn I bought on this trip would have to be yarn I didn't have already. I need to stretch my horizons and not go completely broke in one week!

Those were the only 2 I made it to in Chicago. Although Nina and Knitting Workshop were also recommended. So you'll have to check those out on your own.

In other news, I start work tomorrow. It's just orientation and computer training the first week. But it's still exciting. (as is the upcoming paycheck!)

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Saturday, July 26, 2008


I went on a treasure hunt while I was at home. Not only was my mother a knitter, she was a spinner. And I knew there were wheels around that no one was using.

But we live on a farm with many barns. And finding the wheel I remember would not be as easy as if it were sitting in our living room.

Michigan- Barn and Tower

I started in the barn next to our house.

Michigan- Loft

As you can see, finding a particular item is sometimes challenging. But I managed to spot them.

Michigan- Spinning Wheels

Michigan- Spinning Wheel 2

Michigan- Spinning Wheel 3

Michigan- Spinning Wheel 2

But these weren't the one I remembered. I actually thought she had an Ashford Joy. But I couldn't be sure. At any rate, it wasn't in this barn. So I tried another location knowing that there were 4 wheels I could use if I couldn't find the one I remembered.

Michigan- The Duck Blind

My parents have a cabin in the woods. There's no electricity or phone. It's their getaway. There was a chance that my mom had the wheel I remembered out here. But, like the jackass that I am, I forgot to bring keys with me. I had to go back to my house and collect the keys.

Michigan- Mushrooms in the Wookds

I'll distract you with a mushroom in the woods picture while I collect the keys. Pretty, huh?

Well, it was worth another trip...

Michigan- Schacht Wheel

I found a Schacht Matchless Single Treadle wheel. This is a picture after I cleaned MANY cobwebs off of it. It's gorgeous. Now, it made the long (and expensive) trip to California to my living room.

Michigan- Schacht All Clean

Here's another picture to show the loveliness. I looked up the serial number and this wheel was built in 1987- which means my mom owned it for almost 20 years. I think it'll go another 20 for me. I even got it going a little last night. We'll see...

First Spinning

Just so I don't get too far behind...
Click here for the latest Yarn Pirate Booty Club pic.
Click here for the latest Rockin' Sock Club pic.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

My Hometown

As I mentioned before, I grew up on a farm in Hamilton, Michigan. Well, what do you do when you go home? (besides sweat through all your clothes due to humidity that you aren't used to???) You go to the Ag Expo with your Dad.

Michigan- Ag Expo Sign

On the campus of Michigan State in East Lansing.

Michigan- Dad with Mill

My Dad (blue shirt) wanted to look at a portable sawmill. No kidding. Apparently this one cuts really straight boards. There were lots of tractors and a few things I couldn't identify.

Michigan- Ag Expo Swirly

Seriously, what is this thing? (A prize to anyone who knows!)

My personal favorite is the giant cow.

Michigan- Ag Expo Giant Cow

What's going on with her udder???

My Dad had to work while I was home. So I pretty much puttered around the surrounding areas. These pictures are from Holland, Michigan. It's about 1 town over from where I was raised.

Michigan- Dutch Village

Yes, Dutch culture is well represented here. This is the windmill at Dutch Village- a Dutch theme park. (yes, you read that correctly.) The highlight for me as a kid was the giant swing. And funnel cake- yummmmm!

Michigan- Dutch Sign

In case you can't find the bathroom, just follow the little Dutch girl.

Michigan- Veldheer Farms

The barn at Veldheer Farms. They grow flowers and bison. There's even a Tulip Festival in May every year. They line the streets with tulips that somehow all bloom at the perfect time. It's really beautiful. (Almost makes up for the crowds!)

Michigan- Fields

The view from the top of my Dad's barn. They mowed the straw the day before I took this.

Michigan- Straw Bale

On this day, they started to bale.

Michigan- Pickle Plant

This is a pickle plant. The sandy soil in my town is perfect for pickle growing. (NOT the same as a cucumber!)

Michigan- Soybean Plant

Soybean plant. Another good crop in our area. Of course, there's lots of corn too. But I figured you know what that one looks like!

Of course, all of this is pretty close to the shores of Lake Michigan.

Michigan- Sunset 2

Can't complain about that one bit.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Let Me Explain

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Re-entry into regular life is always a bit of a challenge. Even more so with this trip because it was so relaxing. I'm in denial that I need to jump back into my life. The other issue is that I shipped a lot of things home so I can't show you all the spoils of travel just yet. There will be foot dragging until the loot arrives...

One quick announcement before we get going. Ruth is having a reorganization destash. It's huge! Go here to check it out.

I started my trip in Chicago. My little sister lives there and was gracious enough to let me crash for a couple of days. I was met by a fabulous midwestern thunder storm. Of course, it wasn't as cool for her since she had to be at the farmer's market at 6 am. Oof! I admit, I slept in that morning. But I did get up in time to play with my new camera at the market. (I heart macro mode!) Here are a few of my favorites from that morning...

Chicago- Sunflower Group

Chicago- Peony

Chicago- Tricolor Tomatoes

Chicago- Herbs

This market is actually the Green City Market that was featured on Top Chef. My sister works at a bakery booth with the most delicious shortbread EVER. If you're in town, stop by and say hi.

Chicago- Abby at Market

Here she is so you recognize her. What a cutie!!! I couldn't get one of her smiling but trust me, she smiles a lot!

Chicago- Cookies and Merenges

This is what she sells. PLUS, killer quiche and lovely tarts. Delish!

I took a break from photos to sit and knit on the Tesserae socks.

Green City Market

Not a bad view for a little sock knitting. There were lots of puppies. And every kid was wearing their crocs. Pretty cute place to hang out on a Saturday morning. It was so relaxing that I managed to snap 1 of my pony ebony dpn's. I soldiered on with a set of 4. But when the second one snapped I was forced to abandon my knitting for the moment. (Good thing I emailed Franklin about yarn shops in Chicago! That'll be in a later post.)

After the market, my sister walks downtown to Union Station to catch a train to the suburbs for dinner service at Vie. Seriously, she works hard! I joined her for a nice walk through the city. I LOVE Chicago architecture.

Chicago- Library and Park

The Library on State.

Chicago- Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Chicago- Union Station Grand Hall

Union Station- Where they filmed that famous scene in The Untouchables. Gorgeous. Makes me think of a time when train travel was the norm.

Once I dropped Abby off at the train, I set out for the yarn shops and to generally wander around the city. More on that soon.

For now, enjoy what arrived from The Loopy Ewe before I took off. Don't look at me like that! I had a $25 credit.

Yarn Pirate- Anemone

Yarn Pirate merino tencel- Anemone

Fiesta Boomerang- Rhubarb

Fiesta Boomerang- Rhubarb

Dream in Color Smooshy- Black Parade

Dream in Color Smooshy- Black Parade

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

So nice to sleep in my own bed after dinner at one of my favorite restaurants after my husband picked me up from the airport!

There's lots to tell and lots to show. But I have to figure out how to download pictures from my new camera first! Also, I needed to ship a couple of boxes here to avoid the airline charges.

So in the meantime... Go here and donate. Not only for a great cause but some kick ass prizes!

More to come... LOTS more...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Radio Silence

I'm off today for a week in Chicago/Michigan to see my family. Brian and the cats are staying behind to guard the stash. I probably won't be posting or commenting much because I think my dad still has dial up.

See you in a week or so!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Match for the Ages

I'm sitting her watching the finals of Wimbledon. (Federer vs. Nadal) I figured this match would be over before I even got up this morning. Good thing I didn't set the alarm for 6 am to see the start!

Since the frogging of the CPH, I decided to cast on another cardigan. The February Lady Sweater is coming along nicely. I divided the yoke for the sleeves this morning. That whole process could have taken much less time if I could count!

February Sweater- Collar Done

At the moment it's really a big brown blob. (and not all that photogenic!)

I'm also pretty excited to show you this picture.

Garden- It's Growing!

My "garden" is actually growing!!!

Garden- Thriving Mint

Spearmint- which is apparently impossible to kill.

Garden- Basil

Basil- I see pesto in our future!

Garden- Herbal Jungle

The herbal jungle- Sage, oregano, and peppermint. It's not the prettiest box but the herbs are delicious.

Because it's a long weekend and things are growing so well, I went to the nursery yesterday to pick up some new kids.

Garden- New Guys

Meet Thyme and Rosemary. They've already survived a near drowning when I forgot to open up drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. So I hope they'll continue to show such fortitude.

Garden- Lavender

Lavender- Maybe it'll grow to be as lovely as this.

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend. Now that the match is over, I'm going to get my butt in gear and make my office habitable again!