Tag Archives: Chix With Stix

2009 Knitting Resolutions…Thinking about knitting and yarn

Since I got married earlier this year, my 2008 knitting resolutions were relatively succient and wedding related. I knitted the Essential Tank Top and started the Lily of the Valley Shawl (which now languishes as a UFO). As for the Silk Ribbed Corset, I decided to frog it after several attempts (and bought a beautiful Jenny Packham wedding dress.) That said, I knit the shawl for my wedding and a few other  tops for the honeymoon. I even have some wonderful pieces that I knit during our beach honeymoon in the Cook Islands. 

2008 was a year of serious stash enhancement mainly thanks to my husband who believes that I should never leave an important yarn establishment with regrets! The biggest contributions cme from the Joan Vass Sales (the knitwear designer decided to retire and sold her amazing yarn collection at $20.00 for box of 10 balls), the Maryland Sheep & Wool Fetival and the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival. Additionally, I visited some new wool purveyors during several trips with my friend Amanda including Tess Yarns in Portand and Loop and Rosie’s Yarns in Philadelphia.  The hubster and I made yarn stops at Chix With Stix, Webs and Purl By the Sea  as well. 

My 2009 knitting resolutions include the following:

1] Cables, cables and more cables. 2009 will be the year that I overcome my cable phobia. I have been avoiding cables since cabled projects caused me to abandon knitting twice in the past. (Of course, it’s possible that I may have moved onto other things without the cables.) I commit to knitting a sweater using cables most likely Elsebeth Lavold’s Hild.

 

2] Expand my lace knitting skills including a wonderful Estonia Lace Shawl for me. Having watched my mother wrap herself in the Triinu Shawl, I want one of my own. My knitting friend Georgia and I are starting a KAL for a pattern that I found online. For anyone interested in joining us, please drop me a line.

 

3] Finish my wedding related knitting. Instead of presents for those who helped with my wedding, I gave balls of wool. I still have one project in process and one to be started. Additionally, I plan to make a variation on a Jean Moss pattern for my husband as a belated wedding present.

 

4] Finally make the After Dark Robe and coordinated After Dark Nightie from Mason Dixon Knits in grey/white linen purchased at the Joan Vass sale.

 

5] Reduce my yarn stash by working with the wonderful fibers that I have acquired. Since I won’t be planning a wedding this year, I should be able to accomplish this. Of course, it will mean curtailing my stash enhancing activities!

 

6] Enhance my Ravelry profile and participation. Despite having been a member of Ravelry for over 1 ½ years, I mainly use it as a source of inspiration and better understanding of potential projects.

 

7] Visit new knitting establishments as well as the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival and the New York Sheep & Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival). Of course, this will involve some level of stash enhancement.

 

I hope that by limiting my knitting resolutions I will be able to succeed at accomplishing them. Of course, keeping this blog up-to-date is the unstated goal as well.

Best wishes for 2009!

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How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

On the way home from our honeymoon, we stopped in Chicago to visit friends and relatives who couldn’t make our wedding. As part of our stay with friends in Oak Park, we stopped by Chix With Stix, a delightful store in Forest Park.

 

My husband and my friend’s son made themselves at home on the sofa by the window. The store’s tiny Chihuahua peered over their shoulders while they played a game on my husband’s phone.  The two of them had taken bets on how long my five minutes would actually be. (I clocked in at just under twenty minutes.)  

Chix With Stix Summer Window

Chix With Stix Summer Window

  
Chix With Stix Canine Masot At Work

Chix With Stix Canine Masot At Work

Feeling the pressure to decide quickly, I couldn’t make up my mind so that I left empty handed. I regret that I didn’t buy their adorable birthday cake stitch markers.

2007 – The Year in Yarn

Looking back, 2007 was a year where my knitting made significant progress. When I consider the projects that I completed this year, I wonder where I found the time to make them all! By category, here are my 2007 finished objects:

SWEATERS

  • Black and Red with Fair Isle Crewneck Sweater – Made from Karabella cashmere and silk blend. I created the pattern myself to use the leftover 4 1/2 balls of black that I had from another sweater. Since the yarn was purchased at the Lion and Lamb’s going out of business sale, I couldn’t return them!
  • Hairy White Sweater – Made  in an acryllic blend from Anny Blatt. I discovered that once knitted up my skin didn’t react well well to the material, so I gave it to my sister who is more resilent to fiber content.
  • Red Debbie Bliss Alpaca and Silk Sweater – Made in Debbie Bliss Alpaca and Silk  purchased at The Point. This cherry colored sweater is soft and warm.  I gave it to my mother for her birthday.
  • Rust Silk Sweater – Made in 100% silk purchased at Silk City Fibers. It was a birthday present for my boyfriend.
  • Yellow Silk and Grey Rayon Sweater in Wide Bamboo Stitch. Made in silk blend purchased at Silk City Fibers. I adapted a Sally Melville pattern from The Purl Stitch.
  • Pink and Lavendar Summer Sweater. Made from Misti Alpaca pima cotton and silk purhcased at the Knit Cafe in Los Angeles. I started out to make a sleeveless top and decided that the swatch was warm and soft. When I called to order additional pink yarn, there was no more. As a result, the sweater combines the two colors.
  • Laced-Front Sweater. Made from Brooks Farm Harmony purchased at Rhinebeck in 2006. This was a pattern from Knitted Lingerie.
  • Cross Your Heart Sweater. Made from 100% fingering weight alpaca purchased at Rhinebeck in 2006. This sweater was adapted from a Rowan pattern.
  • Origami Cardi. Made from 1oo% wool purchased at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2007. This pattern appeared in Interweave Magazine in Summer 2007. It is probably my favorite project this year!
  • Fishtail Lace Sweater. Made from 80% merino/20% cashmere blend purchased at The Point. This was a store pattern that I adapted and added long sleeves.

OTHER CLOTHING ITEMS

  • After Dark Nightie. Made from Lang’s 100% Egyptian cotton in periwinkle blue purchased at the Joan Vass Sample Sale in 2006. I used the Mason Dixon Knitting book which inspired me to knit more lingerie. I have worn this nightie as a dress!
  • Dad’s Vest. Made from Noro blend bought at Webs. Since my dad claims that he has too many sweaters, I made him a vest based on his measurements without a pattern.
  • Red and Orange Ribbon Tank. Made from Seville ribbon purchased on sale at The Point. This project was a pain since the ribbon was so shiny that it kept twisting (required a rubber band on the ball to keep it in place!). Due to the lack of red, I added orange stripes.
  • Yellow  Cotton Tank. Made from 100% cotton purchased at Silk City Fibers. I used a reverse wide rib based on the threaded twist to the cotton. I was proud of the lines of the top despite the relatively simple item.
  • Shaped Lace Tee Shirt. Made from Lamb’s Pride Cotton Fleece purchased at Purl By the Sea. I used Knitted Lingerie’s pattern. It is a dusty rose.
  • Verona Socks. Made from Lion’s Brand (don’t cringe!) sock yarn.  These socks were started en route from Venice to Verona. I even knitted them waiting for the opera to start in Verona! Of course, they took me a year to finish!

Additionally, I made several scarves and triangular wraps for friends and family.

Further I extended my acquaintance with several yarn selling establishments. Among them were:

  • Yarn Seller – Good resource with near/in York, ME.
  • Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival – Always an incredible yarn experience. While trying on the pocketbook, it’s great for your stash especially given the smaller local farms.
  • Knit Cafe – A mecca on Melrose in West Hollywood, CA.
  • Colorful Stitch – A two story yarn emporium in Lennox, MA which has swatches of the various yarns and unusual samples.
  • Webs – Well worth the trip! The back room/warehouse is a treasure trove of yarns at great prices.
  • Purl By the Sea – At the end of the world, at least from a NYer’s perspective. A wonderful assortment of brands, colors, price points as well as tools.
  • ArtFibers – A pink second floor enclave in San Francisco’s financial district. It allows you to test their various materials. It only sells their brands in colors to make your mouth water.
  • Chix With Stix – A large airy store in Forest Park, IL. It has two knitting tables and a wonderful sofa for significant others.
  • Loopy – Nestled in Chicago’s Loop this knitting treasure has a wonderful, helpful staff who don’t believe that you have to follow patterns religously! It carries a lot of small producers and a wide range of fibers.

Noteably, I wasn’t able to attend Rhinebeck this year. That said, my stash has grown very nicely.

P.S. Pictures of recent accomplishments will appear later.

Origami Cardi Causes Yarn Adventure in Forest Park

When I remeasured the Origami Cardi on a flat surface the next day, I discovered that despite my math it measured about four inches too long. This could account for the fact that it was taking forever to knit one row and using lots of yarn.

Back to the pattern and calculator, I realized that the pattern decreased two stitches for every bump in the pattern. My initial swatch showed a relatively smooth transition from stocking knit to the pattern. This was motivation for a short trip to the local yarn store for additional needles so I could leave the knitting untouched while I tested other swatches and possibly a new project!

We were visiting friends in Oak Park which had this wonderful store, the Tangled Web, which unfortunately has gone out of business.

Not to worry, there is an inviting knitting haven one town over in Forest Park called Chix With Stix.  It has a large table and comfy sofa in front where friends can patiently wait.  The store is light and airy. It carries a range of yarns to fit most budgets.

I was impressed with its Breast Cancer Awareness window where pink yarn and knit items were attractively draped. 

Chix With Stix- Forest Park, IL

 Here’s a shot of the Breast Cancer Awareness Window dressed in pink yarns.

Inside Chix With Stix

 

Here’s a shot of their work table which is inviting.

Chix With Stix -Another interior view

This is a view of the wonderfully yarn stacked shelves! 

While my desire for a new project or more yarn to coordinate with the Origami Cardi yarn,  While socks aren’t my favorite projects, I was willing to start a pair for my boyfriend if I could find a nice wool that would knit on something larger than #0 and didn’t cost over $40 for socks!  This was our second visit to Chix With Stix where the staff was helpful without being intimidating.  

Although I didn’t find yarn for another project, I was lucky to find that they had Crystal Palace Bamboo circular needles on sale at 50% off. These needles are heavenly to use. I bought #3 and #4 which at least allowed me to swatch the Origami Cardi without ripping my other work!

Cash In Hand - Crystal Palace Bamboo Circular Needles Purchased

Here’s a shot of the friendly Saturday manager taking my cash for my new bamboo needles.

 While my purchases were limited to needles, the manager was helpful when I asked for recommendations for stores in downtown Chicago.

Chix With Stix is even inviting for friends wh are not enticed by their great selection and welcoming knitting environment! 

Comfy Partner Sofa at Chix With Stix

Every knitting store has an SOS (aka – significant other’s seating). The sofa at Chix With Stix is particularly inviting. 

The great part about visiting Chix With Stix is that there is a fantastic ice cream place with homemade ice cream next door. I had a scoop of apple brown betty complete with the crumbly nuggets in it.