Wednesday, June 22, 2011

All Around Chicago

Hi Knitters,
I want to give a brief recap of my tour stop in Chicago last Friday. I was lucky enough to have my husband come with me for the day which made it even more fun. He was so helpful and it was good to have him around. He took lots of photos in the studio for the WGN Midday Fix segment. If you missed my live TV segment here is the link to watch it online:

We didn't have too much time to spare when we arrived. I was whisked in to set up and get a microphone on. The producer kept insisting that I knit something. I told him that I hadn't planned on knitting during the segment but he wouldn't let up on the idea. I had to pull the needles out of a sock I had with me by chance. I found a tiny ball of Spud & Chloë Fine in my bag by chance as well. I quickly cast on about 15 stitches and started doing some garter stitch rows.

During the short teasers for the segment he wanted me to knit something, too. Above you can see me knitting on the tiny swatch I started only a minute or two before he started filming the teaser. I did knit during the two teasers but I didn't knit anything during the actual segment.
It's kind of fun to get a behind the scenes look at a TV studio. It always looks so different when you are watching on TV.
My husband enjoyed seeing the whole thing in progress.
It went fine and fast. We were over and done at WGN by noon.
Our next event wasn't until 5pm so we took advantage of the few free hours we had. The WGN studio is very close to Wrigley Field where the Cubs play. A game happened to be starting around the same time we were there. We drove through the crowds of fans flocking into the game. It wasn't fun driving through but the people watching was great.
We headed to Navy Pier which is a tourist-y type spot in downtown Chicago. It was a beautiful day.
It was pretty crowded. We had a nice lunch at an outdoor cafe overlooking the lake. Then we just took to walking around the city.
We spent a bit of time walking up and down Michigan Avenue, one of my favorite Chicago streets. It was beautiful with all of the flowers and store windows. We had a good time and even picked up a Father's Day gift for my husband's father. That worked out well.

Then we were off again to Nina: a well-knit shop for a book signing and meet and greet event.
Click here for Nina's website!

Nina, the owner of this unique knit shop, really knows how to put on an event. She carries all of the Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud & Chloë line, which are her shop's best sellers. This is the perfect place to order from if you don't have a local shop carrying these yarn lines. Nina's doesn't have an online shop but you can call and place an order directly anytime!

Phone number for Nina: a well-knit shop: 773.486.8996

Nina had asked me to bring some of the projects from Itty-Bitty Toys, Itty-Bitty Nursery and Itty-Bitty Hats, as well as the Spud & Chloë at the Farm trunk show, which was the star of the event. It was fun to revisit some of those older projects from previous books.
The shop is sleek and modern and very well-organized.
We set up the farm front and center. They all looked so cute waiting to greet their guests.
Nina had snacks and refreshments. It was lovely.
The staff set up projects throughout the shop. They are incredibly friendly and enthusiastic.
The shop had Spud & Chloë and Blue Sky projects worked up and on display. The vest above is the Spud & Chloë Camp Hoodie I designed. I love the colors they used in this version.
There were lots of knitters who brought their toys to show me during the event. This is Maggie and she happily shared her Spud and Brown Cow. They turned out great! I love her Spud because she made the twisted loops extra long and it felt so wonderful to hold. That wooly coat had a life of its own.

This is baby Ian and his mom. She came to my last signing event at Nina's where she was pregnant with Ian. I remembered her and it was good to see her and the baby again. She made the Giraffe from Itty-Bitty Toys out of Spud & Chloë Sweater. The Sweater yarn has the perfect colors for this project. Ian kept chewing on the giraffe's ear which was funny.

This is plynn (rav id) or better known as Pat. Plynn is one of my buddies on Ravelry. She made a road trip to Nina's with her friend Pam. It was good to meet them both. Pam runs a knitting charity organization called, Halos of Hope. It is a non-profit organization. It started small and has grown into a full-time job for Pam. I loved hearing about her charity work which focuses on providing knit hats and other items to cancer patients all over the country. The focus is also on individuals, groups and hospitals that don't normally get a lot of attention, more off the beaten path. That is a good thing.

The event was well attended with knitters of all sorts, grandmas, young moms, kids, babies, newlyweds who knit toys for their ring bearers and flower girls (I met two young women who did this for their weddings). I signed lots of books and armloads of yarn was sold. It got so busy that I didn't get a chance to take any photos for the main part of the event.

The mom and son above in the photo came in right at the end and shared their knit piglet from Spud & Chloë at the Farm. That was fun to see. I think I met at least four Giraffes from Itty-Bitty Toys. That seems to be one of the main hits of that book.
Again, the staff at Nina's is top-notch. Nina, the owner is on the far right, and Sam Boice is next to her on the left. Sam knit the larger Giraffe I am holding out of Malabrigo and it turned out really big in size due to the heavier yarn she used. It is adorable. She stuffed it with her grandpa's t-shirt and cut a small heart out of the shirt and appliqued it to the backside of her giraffe. It is a wonderful way to remember her grandpa through her knitting. I love her ideas and her giraffe.

Sam is also starting her own yarn dying company called, The Wool Dispensary. Sam, who I met last time I was at Nina's, is a super fun and talented knitter. I think her new company will be a hit. I am going to keep my eye on this one.

Anyway, thanks to Nina: a well-knit shop for hosting and staying open late on a Friday night. I had a great time and you are always so welcoming. Your knitters and community obviously love your shop and your talented and helpful staff.

I'll be back in a couple of days with a book giveaway that you won't want to miss.
best, susie