Slowing down to appreciate. . .
Today we spent the morning in the garden with our garden expert, Leda. She comes by twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, to help us assess where we're at. I always feel a bit overwhelmed by how much work there is to do in the spring, but the garden is sooo worth it. I can't wait to start growing food again. The rest of the day was spent cleaning up the basement. Not the greatest day off, but tonight we aren't doing a thing.
The last few weeks have been pretty jam packed. First, as many of you know by now, Martha Stewart came to film in the Studio. That was a LOT of work, but it was a big deal for the company, so we were all happy to put in the extra work. Shortly after the filming I headed to my old home town of Chicago for the Yarn Market News Conference. The night before I left I blocked my Nob Hill, in hopes of finishing it to wear the day of the yarn crawl. It's made with my own handspun doubled with Fisherman's Wool in the two new tweed colors
I went a day early so I could hang out with my Mom. We went to the shopping mall we used to go to, had a nice dinner & then watched the Daily Show (I have no cable, so that's a treat.) By then end of the evening I had done one of the sleeves, so I was getting closer to wearing it in 48 hours.
Sunday I had the first part of the day before the conference registration. After a fantastic all you can eat brunch with my Brother, Sister in law & Mom, my Mom and headed downtown for a little sight seeing. We started by visiting on of my favorite places, the Cultural Center. I've always loved this place, and now one of the main rooms has been restored to it's original glory.
We happened to stumble upon a rehearsal for Night on Bald Mountain. It sounded great in this grand room
Next stop, Millennium Park, to see the Bean (all right, it's actually called Cloud Gate, but everyone calls it the Bean). This part of the visit wasn't technically a part of my walk down memory lane, because it was all built after I moved in 2001. David and I came back a few years ago and we really loved the Bean. It happened to be a rare, clear, warm, blue sky day in March in Chicago. The Bean looked as cheerful as I remembered.
When walking past a construction site I saw this classic Chicago site. . . an easy way to erase a crooked Governor (something Illinois has a bit of experience with)
We walked down by the lake to see the ducks floating on the little ice bergs, and to see the lake breaking it's ice cover
Since I couldn't see my favorite Chicago site, Buckingham Fountain, (it was under construction, and surrounded by a large fence), we got to see the Art Institute. It's a great museum with one of the finest Impressionism collections in the world. Right outside the Impressionism wing is a collection of architectural details collected from all over Chicago.
Some of my old friends
By 4:00 pm it was time to say goodbye to my Mom and head to the conference. Here's my traditional shot out my window. I have no idea why a bunch of brides were walking down Michigan ave, but I got a pretty good, zoomy shot of them.
The conference was very good. We were in meetings all day, but I took a shot of what tables at a biz conference filled with knitters looks like. We all had our knitting out at every break.
My favorite part of the conference was meeting the two coolest women ever. There's Sarah & Nichole from "Knot Another Hat", in Hood River, Oregon. I glommed onto them in the first night's cocktail party & then we hung out the whole conference after that. If the shop is even half as cool as they are, it's a run don't walk situation for those on the west coast.
After a second day of meeting it was time for the yarn crawl. A bus took a bunch of crazed knitters to 6 shops. Here's Nichole wearing her purchases.
And Sarah & Nichole posing with their bootie
One of the coolest shops we went to was Soutache.
It's a store with only trim, ribbons, feathers, and BUTTONS. . . . tons of them. So cool
Another unique quality of a knitter's biz conference . . .sitting in a bar unraveling the yarn from the giant styrofoam ball props.
Jessica & Karen proudly showing off our work
By the way, I did finish the Nob Hill sweater.
The Sunday afer I got home I had a blocking class to teach, so I had a lot of swatches to block for class.
On Monday the Martha Stewart yan show aired, but we were all working at the Studio . . . so I had the whole Studio gang over my house to watch the show. Can you find the only person in the photo who doesn't work at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio? I'll give you a hint . . . she's not knitting.
Since I'm almost done with Yoke Pullover from Vogue, I decided to start swatching for another Vogue sweater, the Flame Stitch Cardigan. The pattern calls for knitting the flame stitch separately and the ribbing separately and then create a complex crochet pattern at the bottom of the flame stitch and then sew them together . . . pass. I swatched it by starting with the rib and then going into the flame stitch. Looks fine with me.