Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Field Trip: Chicago

I was invited along to Chicago today by a friend, and was happy to be off. It was a beautiful day for driving, and--lucky me--she was doing all the driving!

The primary destination was Andersonville in Chicago, a neighbourhood which was historically populated by Swedish immigrants.

First stop was a stop in at Knitting Workshop. She hadn't been there since they moved and was curious. I had visited the shop on my last trip to Chicago (last May) and found it much the same this time as before. We did not stay long and didn't buy anything.

But, since Soutache (the embellishment store) was right down the street, I pulled her over there for a look-see. That store was also much the same as before--delightful. I don't know if it was the same woman waiting on us, but if possible she was even more cheerful than last time.

No more purse handles for me to look at, but so many lovely trims. Ribbons, buttons, feathers, satin, bows, lace, and so wonderfully laid out too. I found something I could pretend I "needed":
Some ribbon and puffed applique pieces for a purse that's knitted but still needs to be sewn together. I'm hoping to get to that in the next month or so...only thing left is to nail down the lining fabric and then put it all together.

And this time I was not able to resist some feathers:
I haven't worn them; I almost can't imagine wearing them, but they are so dang pretty! This is just a little feather medallion which needs a little pin on the back and a bead or two in the center. I like the thought of it on a lapel of a coat. I'll have to be careful, however, because the feathers really can't get much wear. (Watch out for seatbelts, for instance.)

From there we made it to the Swedish American Museum. (After one quick stop at Nuts on Clark for some very good caramel popcorn!) We saw an exhibit of paintings by Anders Hultman. This postcard shows the one anomalous painting...the rest were of his impressions of Sweden.
What this painting does have in common with the rest is a very bright and beautiful colour pallet and a primitive (and self taught) style of painting.

The exhibits in the upper floor of the museum told the story of Swedish immigration to the United States. I spotted only one or two hand knits:
Did the gloves survive because they were too well liked to use, or because they weren't liked at all??

For those of you with children to entertain, the third floor houses the Children's Museum. It looked like the kids were having a lot of fun dressing up in period costumes (to fit over their own clothing), working the paddles on the Viking ship, and working together in the garden gathering the produce. That was the best little activity area--they literally had a garden made of fabric set up. You could "pick" the cucumbers, corn, squash, etc, gather them in baskets, and bring them into the log cabin. A few kids were just having a ball together.

After the museum and some food at Taste of Lebenon (on Foster just off Clark--very good!) we wandered into Andersonville Galleria, a collection of vendors in art and indy products. One warning, you could spend a lot of time (and money) in this place! There was a lot of variety, but I found most of the products well-done, fairly priced and just plain nice to look at. I can't wait to have walls I can decorate with art.

One [little] thing I did let myself buy was this coaster set:
I spent a lot of time looking at all the elephant products (notebooks in many sizes, stationery) by Koru Street before I noticed all the paper is made from elephant poo! Well, how could I resist that?! Ha ha. But really I do have a thing for elephants (but not its poo, per se), so I treated myself. I will now look forward to when I have furniture that actually needs protecting...

We did try to make one more stop at Knit 1, but they are closed for renovations and restocking until May 1. Next time, I guess.

And did I do any knitting while not having to do any of the driving? Well, yes I did. I got some nice little swatches done up for a sale coming up at Red Purl (more info at a later date). You can see them to the left.

I finished the heel of my hat heel sock so that I was ready for the second class this Friday.

And I worked further on my purple mohair T. I finished the front and got the sleeves started yesterday. I'm doing them two-at-a-time on straight needles. On the way home today, I got the initial increases done and have only about half an inch to go until I start the cap decreases and shaping. (They're short sleeves--I'm not really that fast!)

All in all, a truly lovely day! Things done. Things seen. Things to inspire more things.

And all in good company.

1 comment:

  1. Ryan and I have no furniture that we would need to protect, but I have a thing for coasters. I love the coasters! Someone should make round sugar cookies with those elephants on them. they are so sweet. and poo. I love the poo. Good choice.


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