Sunday, March 25, 2007

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin' town!

Not that I would really know! I just got back from our OAKE conference in Chicago this morning. I love it when people ask how the city was. Who knows? They put these conferences in cities with a lot to do and see then they don't give us time to do either! We bugged out of some sessions just to eat real food and one thing I do know is that Chicago is a place with a lot of restaurants! We stayed at the Palmer House Hilton which was a stunning hotel. The "El" ran right outside the door and of course I staked out the Starbucks in the area. I was a little disappointed with this conference. Typically I leave these things really psyched up over all that I learned, but I must admit to being ambivalent about many of the sessions I attended. The children's choirs were spectacular which was a major highlight, but they sure looked different than the groups of kids that I work with. The guest choirs were all from the midwest and they were totally lacking in diversity. It looked so strange to me with my students being of so many nationalities. The Chicago Children's choir looked like the kids at my school. I guess this sort of opened my eyes to why middle America thinks the way it does--at least politically. I think this is one of the reasons I'm so much more comfortable in cities--I like the diversity. I find it incredibly enriching.

So to temper some of my ambivalence, I decided to go to a yarn store. PHD Knitter had told me about Loopy Yarns and I discovered that it was about 5 blocks from the hotel so I went to check it out. It was a lovely little shop with some very nice yarns. I stumbled across the most unusual scarf pattern which I bought.

One of the employees was making this up in mohair. I looked at the sport and fingering weight yarns but didn't see anything right off the bat. While looking for something else, however, I stumbled across this yarn that is 70% merino and 30% cashmere! It feels like absolute heaven. It is a dusty turquoise color and I bought a bag of strung beads that are iridescent black with bronze, green and gold that will look fabulous!

The other yarn that I got was merino sock yarn. This was a large skein which is hand dyed and an unusual mustard color. I believe the brand is Fleece Artist.

There was some other yarn that I was dying to get. It is a new yarn by Hand Maiden which is call Great Big Sea. It is a worsted weight with a nice twist and the content is 50% silk, 30% merino and 20% Sea Cell. The color was a subtly variegated orange color called Pumpkin. I kept thinking about the Sahara pattern by Stitch Diva. The Sexy Knitters Club is doing a KAL with this pattern. I had looked at the Tilli Tomas yarn recommended on the pattern, but I didn't love it. I LOVE this Great Big Sea stuff! The quandry is what to do with the beaded neck, sleeve and hem bands. I just found that Berroco has has a sequins yarn which is just a carrier thread with scattered sequins which I could use with this yarn on the neck or I could add some beads which is most likely what I would do. I didn't buy the yarn because I didn't have my pattern and I needed the details. I went back to the hotel and looked for the pattern info online which I found. I thought I would sneak off to the store again on Saturday but decided against it. Well, I couldn't stand it so I just called the store and they have 4 skeins left which is what I need. I guess it is meant to be. They are putting it in the mail tomorrow! The KAL starts on April 1 so I may get an early start after I finish that blasted Pop Up Paw!

The other purchase at Loopy Yarns was that of two pairs of children's needles. I love short needles! They actually had quite a selection of 7 - 8 inch birch needles but I got the kids' ones in sizes 5 and 6.

I guess you've figured out what attracted me to them!

I finished my first dishcloth on the plane! This is the mid month KAL from the Monthly Dishcloth Yahoo group.

This is knit in Tatamy Tweed worsted which is a blend of 40% cotton and 60% acrylic. It was nice yarn to knit with. I started a new, lacy one in Cotton Classic by Tahki. I really like that yarn.

No post is complete without kitty photos. The night before I left, Harley pulled my bath towel down and made a nest!

It's back to the old grind tomorrow. Tuesday is a professional day, so I get to be a grownup again and go out to lunch! WoW! That's twice in one week only to be followed by spring break next week! Goodie!


  1. Great scarf! And I love to color of tha yarn you picked!! Guess we skipped a break out session to visit a yarn shop. Somehow, I didn't think you could pass that up :)

  2. Love the scarf and the dishcloth! I'm glad that you found Loopy Yarns and that they had some great yarns there! I'm headed up there on Sunday and I can't wait. Are you going to be at the meetup on Wed?