Friday, June 5, 2009

Shop Reviews (2 of 2)

The second part of our shopping trip took us to:

47 West Polk Street (@ Dearborn Station), Chicago IL 60605

This shop was full of yarn yet roomy enough to walk around. I think they had every shade of Cascade 220 (a very popular yarn I haven't worked with personally) and lots of other varieties. The prices looked good and I got a little of the clearance yarn they had in the basement.

The staff were very helpful even though the shop was quite busy. And one of them was a hip young man. Listening to them direct people to the right yarn and help one woman who was knitting in the shop, plus their competence at the till, was a pleasure to see in sales help.

I was very interested to see that the woman knitting in the shop was quite visually impaired. Whenever she got stuck counting stitches or rows, she'd wait for an employee to have a couple minutes to help her out. I've always wondered what would happen to my knitting if I lost my sight (having good sight in only one eye makes you think along these lines). I think what I knit would really change, but I think that would be one hobby I would continue as much as I could. It was encouraging to see this lady getting along so well (from what I could tell).

One particular wool at the shop caught my eye. Cascade's Eco Alpaca is 100% undyed alpaca in a nice thick worsted weight. At $11 for a 100 gr/220 yd skein, I think it's a great price. I'm considering it for the next sweater for my hubby. It's well worth clicking on the link to see all the luscious browns and greys. And I just LOVE that they are just the color of the animal. (No dye lots--instead you'd have the animal name! hee hee)

One other find was the comic book, Handknit Heroes. I was so amused I had to pick it up. (As a bonus, one of the main characters also plays hockey!)

Store Hours
Monday-Thursday: 11-7
Friday: 11-9
Saturday: 10-6
Sunday: 12-5

1934 South Wabash (@ Cullerton), Chicago IL 60616

One final stop in the day was to Knitwerks. The shop was a lot smaller than our previous stop but had a variety of very nice yarns. I'm going to assume it was the owner who was in the store when we were there.

She was very friendly and knowledgeable; helpful without that annoying pushiness. It didn't hurt that she had a sample of the very project that someone shopping with me was thinking of doing. Being able to see the sample really helped her to make a choice about her yarn and how much of it she would need.

There were a lot of samples hanging in the store relative to the amount of yarn being sold. (And I'm saying that as a good thing.) As we were there, she was working on a lovely lace pattern...and what do you know, two of us bought a lace scarf pattern from the same designer she was working from. Isn't it funny how that seems to happen. (Samples help, that's all I'm saying.)

I really liked the display of yarns at the shop, but will say that the shelves were quite dusty. (Dusty like my house when I'd rather be knitting.) But my house is my house, and a shop...well, a shop should be dusted just a little more. Dust just isn't too inviting to touch. Otherwise, the cases were interesting and well organized.

Shop Hours
Tuesday: 12-6
Wednesday-Friday: 12-8
Saturday: 10-6
Sunday: 12-5
Monday: Closed

What a day it was. I felt like we crammed a lot in, but not too much. We did have a nice break for lunch at a excellent little Mexican place near Lorna's Laces. (On W Montrose at Honore.) It was a lot of fun to go out on the town with a bunch of people who share a strong interest in wool and knitting. I traveled with two other woman, but after the Lorna's tour we kept bumping into the other groups at the yarn shops. It made for a nice community feel to the day.

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