Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’


Saturday, June 21st, 2008
Share Button
1. While at TNNA, I had the distinct pleasure to completely embarrass myself upon being introduced to Franklin. I think I actually jumped up and down and there’s no question my voice increased in pitch to something equivalent to pre-teen girl at the American Idols on Tour Concert. It was quite a thrill and I’m hoping to have a big party for him at WEBS when his new book debuts this fall 🙂


2. While in Chicago, Steve and I got to go to Wrigley Field to see a Cubs game. It was very exciting – we are both (all if you include J1 and J2) big sports fans, so any trip to one of this country’s iconic sports venues is always a treat. Unfortunately, in my effort to better manage my photos, I seemed to have deleted the shots I took. Bummer.


3. Speaking of iconic sports venues, I’ve been asked by several folks what I did for Steve’s 40th birthday besides (a) take him to a yarn show (b) dinner and (c) get him to the Hyatt for free beer and dry ice from SPM? Well, to say the least he is not an easy one to surprise, impress or buy for. I was DETERMINED to wow him. And I did 🙂 With the help of his parents, I was able to book a trip to next year’s Master’s Tournament in Augusta. For any of you who golf or know a golfer, Augusta National is legendary and very difficult to access. It will be a great trip.


4. Knitting. So a funny thing happened on our Excellent Adventure, Part 1 – I did not take a single knitting or crochet project with me. The reaction to knitters at the show was pretty interesting. Most were immediately concerned “What do you mean you don’t have a project with you?” “Did you forget it?” “Was it confiscated at airport security?” “Did you lose it?”. Most then immediately started rummaging through their knitting bag, pulling out random projects to give to me. Everyone was HIGHLY stressed that I did not have yarn and needles in my possession. I appreciated the concern and the offers, but declined the projects politely. When asked what was wrong, I have to say, I didn’t really have a good answer. It’s not that I was feeling lazy or anything. I’ve been dragging yarn home at the normal pace as new, interesting things have been coming in, but for some reason, I guess I just haven’t been very inspired. I walked around the store for a good 20 minutes before heading ot the airport, fondling yarn, looking at patterns, etc., and just couldn’t make up my mind – nothing was REALLY speaking to me.


Now, I’m not exactly known to be a high-producing knitter. I start a lot of projects and finishing, well, finishing things is not my forte. Maybe that’s the problem. I have so many projects in process, it’s kind of ridiculous. I thought about pulling them all out and organizing them – forcing myself to finish one before starting something new or brining home more yarn, but then I decided that would just be an exercise in futility. Why create a situation in which I’m going to feel badly for all that I haven’t accomplished?


So, I spent 10 days away without any knitting. I did procure some yarn at the show, which I’ve previously documented. I have to say, I think it was the best thing I could have done for myself. This past week, I’ve been feeling so much more motivated. I’ve got 2+ projects in the works now and I’m psyched about them!


First, our next KAL on Ready, Set, Knit will be this:


It’s a new design done out of our Valley Yarns Northampton called the Staghorn Cabled Tunic. Isn’t it adorable? It looks good on so many body shapes and the design itself is ingenious in it’s simplicity, as well as it’s style. I’ve already swatched and I’m ready to cast on and get going. I’m sure Pixie is already 1/2 way done with the project, but that’ s okay. (Note to Pixie – I really don’t want to know how far along you are, okay?).


Next up, we have a brand new yarn that is about to debut and I’m working on a shawl design for it. More about “Hadley” in a future post 🙂


Lastly, Gail, the Kangaroo Dyer has done it once again. There is rarely a yarn that comes into the store that doesn’t some how make its way to her dye studio. The new Sterling Silk and Silver is her lastest endeavor. She showed me a hank just before I left and it took my breath away, even in the midsts of my funk. I finally broke down and emailed her that I HAD to have a skein. She brought me three and here is the one I chose:


It’s unbelievalbly gorgeous. I have the one skein and will do a very simple scarf for myself and I will love it and wear it and be happy and sparkle-y. Thanks Gail!


So, have any of you run into a similar situation, where your knitting or crochet just isn’t doing it for you? Have you ever taken a vacation from your projects? I’d love to hear your experiences.



Kathy & Steve’s Excellent Adventure Part 1

Thursday, June 19th, 2008
Share Button
Many of you have probably read on other blogs all about TNNA – our semi-annual industry tradeshow, where shop owners can take classes and meet with all of the yarn & accessory companies under one roof. I love TNNA, in fact, I love tradeshows in general. I know, I’m weird.


Now, in true blogger fashion, I brought along my camera. But alas, I have failed you all. I really didn’t take any pictures. I’m not sure why this is, although I’m sure it is related to the reason I did not bring a single project with me. I know – you are all gasping and starting to sweat. Many of my fellow shop owners did the same as they fumbled through their knitting bags, pulling out projects to give to me. I gracefully declined. More on this topic later.


Two of the most fabulous summaries of the show that was can be found on Stephanie’s blog and on Franklin’s blog.


We celebrated Steve’s 40th birthday on Friday evening with our friends from Fiesta yarns, Jeannie and Brad, who happened to be celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary! We had a grand time. Steve’s special day was on Saturday and after a long day at the show, attending a reception thrown by the folks at Interweave to celebrate Knitting Daily TV and then dinner, we reconvened at the Hyatt where there were simply an amazing array of knitterati gathered. Again, cameraless, but again SPM’s blog provides a much better summary than I could have written anyway.


Steve was pretty pumped that Steph bought him a birthday beer – if only we could have been in Toronto this past weekend to return the favor. For me, I got to see some old friends and make new ones. I got to meet Abby – who I knew of, but had never met. She was walking around, talking and spinning on her drop spindle all at the same time. We were talking about yarn (surprise) and somehow the conversation turned to cashmere and sparkle. Steve mentioned that this is the “perfect” Kathy yarn – as I love cashmere and nearly all things sparkly. Abby’s eyes bug out of her head and she gets all excited and runs off to get something out of her bag. She explains that before coming to the show, she worked up some beautiful cashmere-blend fiber and added a bit of angelina to it. After the fact she thought she had ruined perfectly good cashmere by adding the glitz – she wondered who in the world would want cashmere batts with sparkle? She packed it and figured maybe it would find a home. And it did:

The picture doesn’t do it justice. I was floored that she gave me this. I hugged it and cuddled it for the rest of the evening. I bragged about it to everyone who happened by our group. “Look, it’s cashmere-y and sparkle-y and Abby made it and she gave it to me, ME!!”


On the way back to the hotel that night, I was still on cloud 9 with my little bundle of fiber, babbling to Steve about it. Then, he burst my bubble. How? He reminded me I don’t know how to spin. Minor detail, my dear, minor detail.


The rest of the show was great. I scored a copy of Nancy Thomas’ new book Tweed:

We have it in the store as well, it’s got some great patterns and a wonderful history of of the origins of tweed.


One of our priorities at the show was catching up with Tobias and Antonio from Malabrigo. As many of you know, there was a fire at their mill at the beginning of the month, just before the show. Everyone was alright, but it looks like everything was a complete loss. They emphasized that they will be dyeing yarn again soon and the most important thing is that nobody was hurt. Tobias always comes to the show with something new to share with us and despite the fire, he was able to bring along this:

It’s Malabrigo Sock Yarn. Given the circumstances, we probably won’t see it in the store for quite awhile, but that’s okay – we can be patient!


Instead of heading for home after TNNA, we went onto Chicago for another conference. This one was non-yarn related, but still very good in it’s own right. Our timing was perfect. The conference ended and we stayed two additional days to celebrate this:


This is my nephew Daniel, my sister’s only son. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and will be entering their PhD program this fall. Way to go Daniel!


After graduation, Steve and I headed to the airport to finally come home. We had been gone for a long time and were really missing the boys. Unfortunately, United Airlines had other plans for us. Our flight was cancelled. After a small meltdown, we gathered ourselves, weighed our options and decided to try again the next morning. We headed over to Rosemont and our hotel room. Does Rosemont ring a bell to anyone? It should. How about this:

Guesses anyone?


It was a terrific trip, but it’s really good to be home.