My Yarn Crawl

Chicago Yarn Crawl 2016 - Tote

The first day of the yarn crawl was awesome and a little disappointing at the same time.  The goal was to hit the downtown Chicago shops with some of my knitting friends.  If there was time left we’d also get to the shops in the northern suburbs.  I liked seeing all the different downtown shops but I quickly noticed that the downtown area doesn’t have much real estate.  The shops were smaller and that led to smaller selections of yarn.  Since I wanted sweater, or at least tank top, quantities I was frustrated at the end of the day.  I did have fun getting some buttons at these shops.

Chicago Yarn Crawl 2016 - Round 1

Luckily on Sunday I hit a couple of the western suburb shops and these were larger with more selections.  I absolutely loved Fiberista Club in Oak Park!  Almost, if not all, yarn selections had sweater quantities.  There was no falling in love and then not finding enough skeins for my project.  The layout was welcoming and the sample pieces out were ones that I personally liked more than other shops I visited.  I know baby projects are very popular; they’re just not what I look for other than special occasions.  I’d rather see sample projects I’d make for myself.

Chicago Yarn Crawl 2016 - Round 2

During the week I went back out to finish up the western suburbs.  I’d already gotten most of what I wanted but I did need a few more needle sizes and of course I found more yarn.  I’d already visited most of these shops last year and didn’t spend as long here.

By the end of the week I’d visited 17  out of the 21 shops!  Not quite all that I’d wanted, but Sister-Arts Studio was just too hard to get to with the construction and over crowded street parking.   Once I missed that first shop I wasn’t as inspired to try and get them all!

My new list of favorite shops is:

  1. Fiberista Club in Oak Park – my favorite selection and setup, very helpful it choosing the right yarn for your project.  This will likely become my luxury LYS with its focus on unique and hand dyed fibers.
  2. Knitche in Downers Grove – probably the shop I’d consider my LYS even if it’s not closest to me.  I like their setup, staff, and selection of Quince & Co yarn.
  3. Yarnify! in Chicago – they had an amazing selection that I didn’t appreciate until I visited more downtown shops.  I was a little turned off that they wanted to charge for their pin if you didn’t make a purchase.  Hopefully that didn’t continue once yarn crawlers let them know that other shops weren’t doing that.

 

Arkadiko Socks – WIP

Arkadiko WIP

I didn’t want to finish another pair of socks without a work in progress post, so here are my Arkadiko socks barely started!  This is the fourth sock pattern I’m doing from the 2013 Rockin’ Sock Club.  I don’t think I had to worry about missing a WIP on these socks.  They’re taking forever.

The drop stitch pattern is not meant for two at a time because the stitches shift every 5th round.  That means you have to find a way to swap stitches between the front and back needles.  I had to start these several times just to get two repeats done!  Let’s hope I get better at this pattern or it may be awhile before I get to that fifth sock pattern.  Either that or I’ll have to give up doing two at a time and live with two socks that don’t quite match each other. Wish me luck!

2016 Chicago Yarn Crawl Starting

The 2016 Chicago yarn crawl is starting this weekend!  It runs from 7/30 – 8/7.  Last year I hit 10 local yarn stores, I think I’m going to try for them all this year.  This weekend I’m starting off with my knitting group to hit region 1 and maybe region 3 if we have enough time.  Those are the hardest for me to get to so this should give me a good shot at getting them all!

The sad news is that two out of my three favorite local yarn shops aren’t on the list this year.  Gentler times re-combined into one storefront and closed down the store in downtown Naperville and Wool & Company in St Charles is doing some mysterious re-opening of their store in October.  It’s sad to see what happens in just one year to these local shops. If you live in the area go enjoy the yarn crawl this year and support your local yarn shop!

 

Hue Shift Afghan – Finally Done!!

Hue Shift FO Small

  • Yarn: Knit Picks Brava Sport
    • Color A: Sky (114 grams = 1.14 skeins)
    • Color B: White (114 grams = 1.14 skeins)
    • Color C: Dove Heather (114 grams = 1.14 skeins)
    • Color D: Cobblestone Heather (118 grams = 1.18 skeins)
    • Color E: Black (114 grams = 1.14 skeins)
    • Color F: Umber Heather (116 grams = 1.16 skeins)
    • Color G: Sienna (108 grams = 1.08 skeins)
    • Color H: Camel Heather (114 grams = 1.14 skeins)
    • Color I: Cream (114 grams = 1.14 skeins)
    • Color J: Tranquil (117 grams = 1.17 skeins)
    • Color K: Solstice Heather (200 grams = 2 skeins)
  • Yarn Weight: Sport
  • Needles: US Size 5 ( 3.75 mm) circular
  • Pattern:  Hue Shift Afghan – Decor Colorway
  • Time Spent: 140 – 150 hours
  • Dates: 3/28/2015 – 7/26/2016

It’s done!  My first “real” sized blanket and I finished it.  The mitered squares are done, the border is done, all the ends are weaved in, and pictures have been taken.  I’m done.  It may have taken over a year and around 150 hours of work, but I’m done.  Plus, I accomplished my original goal to regain some knitting ground!  I’ve regained most, if not all, of the skill I had before my knitting break.

I’ll be honest, this blanket has a lot of character.  By which I mean flaws, mistakes, or intended uniqueness.  Whatever you’d like to call them.  My gauge is all over the place on different parts of this blanket.  I ran out of yarn and have a few mismatching dye lots in there.  Two sides of the border are one dye lot and the other two are another, and yes you can tell!  One entire quarter I cast on with the wrong set of colors so that quarters didn’t line up with the rest as they should.  This was my first time doing mattress stitch and some places are a bit questionable.  But you know what, I like my blankets with character!

Crest Socks – FO!

Crest Sock FO 1

  • Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight – Fleur de Couleur (May 2013)
  • Yarn Weight: Fingering
  • Needles: US Size 2 (2.5 mm) circular
  • Pattern:  Crest
  • Size: Women’s Small
  • Time Spent: 16 hours
  • Dates: 5/28/2016 – 6/24/2016

I’m so behind on posts that I never even got to share a WIP for these socks!  These are the third pattern for Rockin Sock Club 2013.  Half way done!

This time I did have little holes where I joined the heel flap back to the leg but I think I know what I did.  I actually picked up one too many stitches down by the leg, I always assumed these gaps were if you picked up one too few stitches.  I’ll try this out on my next pair to see if that’s true!

These were knit two at a time so no size discrepancies here.  They fit well but I thought the toe at the ribbing was too much for me.  I’ll probably continue in pattern for a bit longer before switching to the toe ribbing if I knit these again.