Sunday was my day off from the yarn store I work at, so did I sit idle on my couch? Hells to the NO! I "conned" my best friend and knitting buddy Lisa into driving around for the 3rd annual Chicago Yarn Crawl. Did you know that the Chicago land area has 27 shops that participate in this event? I didn't think so. There is no hope of me getting to all 27, since some are my way beyond my car-less scope of travel and some have hours that don't match up with the days I can be crawling. In one glorious Sunday Lisa, Ginevra and I managed to hit up 5 stores in 4 suburbs and 1 Chicago neighborhood.
Hours for most stores on Sunday were 12 pm to 4 pm so we headed out around noon west of the city to Glen Ellyn's String Theory first. Two city girls driving in the suburbs and navigating the freeway system (tolls cost $1.50?) is dangerously funny. After by-passing route 1 on the google maps we managed to find route 3 (unfortunately taking us on Ronald Reagan highway) and made it to the cute downtown of Glen Ellyn by a quarter to one. String Theory has a great selection and a cute space with a lovely window display. They were teaching a class when we arrived but we didn't get in their way and we weren't in ours. I promptly found their selection of Shepherd's Wool from Stonehedge Fiber Mill and sat down trying to make a decision. Ginevra found Indigo Dragonfly and tried desperately to get me to buy some by popping out of it. They did not have the color I am obsessing over (Captain Tightpants anyone?) so I stuck with the original idea of Shepherd's Wool in a bright cheerful green that will turn into a Millwater someday.
Then we struck out for Des Plaines, a northwest suburb I recognize from taking the metra trains. Mosaic Yarn Studio wins the prize for most unique space. It's in a building with an insurance company and at first we couldn't figure out where it was and then were the door was. Yarn fumes affect the brain sometimes. Mosaic is chock full of all sorts of yarn! The shelves were full to bursting with colors of all kinds. They have a whole three rooms of space, plenty to traverse. Lisa bought her first Knitter's Pride Nova needle set and I picked up a skein of Koigu (for monsters) and some stitch holders since I am always losing mine. Mosaic also wins the award for cutest bag... a bright green reusable tote that commemorates Yarn Crawl 2012
Angling a little farther north and a little to the east we hit Three Bags Full in Northbrook. The last time I was here years ago, at their old space, a cramped little cottage house. The new space has much more room and plenty of gorgeous yarn to fill it. Swan's Island, The Fibre Company, Isager, and Madelinetosh to name just a few. Plus lovely hand turned yarn bowls and sheep mugs. I wish this store was closer to me! I would probably spend a good portion of my time knitting at Lynette's big table in the sunny window. Though every store was giving away a shop pattern, I saw a rusched cowl made from Road to China Light and couldn't resist. Lisa picked up the color I couldn't decide on since I was buying the she was deciding between. We will knit the same cowl and then if we want to trade, we can! Hurray for knitting buddies with the same taste.
A quick dash to Evanston because it was 4 o'clock when we left Three Bags Full and there were only a handful of stores staying open until 5. Montoya Fiber Studio was on our loop back in to the city and we met the owner and I think her husband. They win for best window display. A Bert and Ernie in knit Rastafarian outfits... holding a sign that said welcome yarn crawlers. They nearly eclipsed Ginevra for camera time. Oh and dinosaurs with knitted accessories including a triceratops with horn warmers and knitting needle carrier. I mean, come on! Montoya carries a lot of Manos del Uruguay, and I mean a lot! Also, the owner dyes her own yarn as well. I found some good monster yarns that I have never used before and Lisa picked up Shepherd's Wool in a golden orange for a giant cowl.
Back in the car by 4:24 and hurrying our way down Ridge to get to Windy Knitty before they closed for the day. Both of us have been there several times and but it didn't stop me from finding two skeins of Malabrigo finito I could not live without. I almost bought yarn for the shop pattern since I've never used Fleur De Fiber before but in all honesty I would not knit the cowl that was the shop yarn crawl pattern. So the finito will become something else from my ever growing list of things I want to make.
I normally keep to the rule of not going in shops right before they close but Lisa convinced me to hang it up and really Windy Knitty was quite busy so I didn't feel so bad. The guy who checked me out has his own online comic about monsters who knit complete with knitting patterns, Skein n' Bones. I didn't have a chance to check it out as Lisa and I were too busy devouring homemade peach & pesto pizza, comparing notes and yarn, and of course knitting!