Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chicago Yarn Crawl

As some may recall, a few weeks ago I was in Chicago for work. I extended my business trip into a personal trip for the weekend. The picture below was posted on my return to prove that it was a very successful personal 'business' trip:

Well, a few days ago a member of the Windy City Fiber Folks group on Ravelry requested that I unveil my finds and share them with the world! Since my 'Yarn Crawl' routing was based on the recommendations offered to me from the lovely Chicagoans in said group, the least I can do is honor their requests :)

1. The first stop of our Chicago Yarn Crawl was at Loopy Yarns. It seemed to be the place everyone suggested visiting. It is in a great location, and very easy to get to. There is parking right behind the building, which was nice for us since we were driving. The place is a great one-stop shop, it has it all. Yarn is arranged by weight, making it very easy to find what you need. There is also a whole room filled with books (a better variety from what you will find at the big box stores).

I ended up leaving with a Knit Kit (which I have been looking for), a new measuring tape (it was cute... you can never have enough!) and two skeins of Malabrigo lace weight. Since I signed up to be on their contact list, I also received a Loopy Yarns canvas tote bag- a knitter can never have too many project bags! What can I say? Great variety, great service- great yarn shop!

2. Next up we headed to My Sister's Knits in Beverly Hills. Nestled in a very quaint downtown area, this shop is very easy to get to from the city. A shop's slogan has never rang so true: "Come for Yarn, Leave with a Friend". After sitting and talking to Carol (the owner) for...oh, 2 hours (?!) I was confident that I was indeed leaving with a new friend. The shop is so cozy- a place that is great to sit, knit, and chat. Although it is not the largest yarn shop, the variety of yarns is wonderful, and Carol has superb taste when it comes to quality yarns. Everywhere I looked in her shop I saw something I loved. This was also one of the few shops which carries Madelinetosh. Also, she is now stocking my French Press Felted Slipper Pattern. If you are looking for a place to grab it, My Sister's Knits is the venue.

After this stop my bag was filled with a skein of Jitterbug (which was new to me but I am now in love with!) and 4 skeins of Malabrigo lace weight (surprisingly enough, I found more colors of Malabrigo here than at Loopy Yarns, and the prices were a bit more affordable). UPDATE: Carol just contacted me to let me know they have an upcoming French Press Felted Slipper Class. Find out more here!

3. The next day we started at Knitche in Downer's Grove. This was a perfect starting point as they have an in-shop cafe. I was able to grab a cappuccino and scone while browsing their selection. The store is beautiful- the owner has a wonderful design sense. I left with a back issue of Interweave Knits (I love finding discounted back issues of magazines in yarn shops) and my first pair of Addi Needles for my Girasole blanket.

4. Next on the list was String Theory Yarn Co in Glen Ellyn. This was another warm, cozy and very inviting shop in a charming downtown area. Although by this point I resolved that I didn't have to buy yarn at every store I visited, there was much that I would have liked to have left with. It was enough fun just to browse through the selection of Buffalo Gold. This gorgeous yarn is something I would love to knit with, I just need to find a project that's worthy of it!

Also, if you are looking for a French Press Felted Slippers Class in the Chicago area, look no further! You can find details on their classes page.

5. We then headed to Geneva to visit Wool and Company, where Joe decided he wanted a set of Addi 0000 double pointed needles. He says he is going to make a hat... we'll see! This store is large but divided up nice so that it is still intimate and inviting. There was a large group of ladies that were knitting in the center of the store, perhaps a Friday meet-up group? Either way, they seemed to be having a ball!

Joe was not alone in purchasing goods here; I grabbed one skein of Trabojos Del Peru by Plymouth Yarns.

6. From Geneva we decided to make the trek out to Marengo to visit The Fold. It was quite a drive, but I was prepared (with car knitting of course). I had read such wonderful reviews that I didn't want to miss out. This shop was so much fun to visit. It truly was a treat to inspect the many bags of fibers for spinning. Even if you are not looking to spin for yourself, this is a great place to become familiar with different fibers- an educational experience. And because they are spinners here, the yarn selection is quality.

I did walk away with a couple skeins of yarn that were entirely new to me. My Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select and Gypsy Girl Creations Casual Day lace weight were both toted away in my new 'Fold' canvas Bag.

7. Our last stop was at Nina in Chicago's Wicker Park. Talk about a swanky and stylish yarn shop! A wonderful selection of yarn presented in an upscale boutique atmosphere. Again, I happened to leave with (more!?) Malabrigo- 2 skeins of worsted, 1 skein of lace weight. I unfortunately did not get the chance to meet Nina because she was out of town. I have heard nothing but nice things about her and was hoping for the opportunity.

So there you have it, folks- the recap of our little yarn jaunt around Chicago. This city has so much to offer a knitter. If you live in, or are ever visiting the area, I hope this list provides you with a little insight.


  1. Oh my goodness - I grew up around the corner from 99th and Walden Parkway where you found My Sister's Knits! What a blast from the past! I am so excited to know the shop is there - I hope I get to stop in the next time I'm on the South Side :)

    Thanks so much for your awesome blog!

    Stacy Smith

  2. I am SO JEALOUS of all your beautiful yarn! We have no yarn shops in my town...but I'll tuck these names away in case I'm ever in Chicago!

  3. Thanks for checking us out - any chance that you could add a link in your reference to us ... we're at Thanks, Neil

  4. Wow! I want to travel with you. Your purchases and yarn shop finds were awesome!!

  5. Neil,

    Oops! Sorry about that, it should be good now!

  6. A very successful "business" trip indeed. ;)

  7. Mmmm...lots of malabrigo. A girl after my own heart!

  8. Oh man, I totally forgot about those Addi oooo's. Valentine's Day right around the corner- you might get that hat.

  9. Wow! I do hope you in the Mal Junkies group. A girl after my own mal-lovin' heart.

  10. Wow - gorgeous stuff! Your yarn crawl sounds like so much fun.

  11. Wow, you weren't kidding around! Beautiful yarn, and a great "travelogue"!

  12. Cool, I think Loopy Yarns is right by my campus :)

  13. I bought myself a Knit kit for Christmas and love it! I'm planning on taking it on my trip to Florida--its awesome, everything in one place. I bought mine on Sounds like you had a wonderful trip--I think all your readers are jealous!

  14. Every single time I read your blog....I think I am a knitter and want to buy yarn....makes me laugh....smiles.

  15. Ellen~
    Now it will be a goal of mine to turn you into a knitter!

    It was more Malabrigo than I have ever seen! I have been meaning to join the group...

  16. Fun! You missed checking out Woolly Lamb Yarn Studio, in Chicago in Norwood Park. Bridgette the owner is a doll -- or fiend, as she got me totally hooked on knitting!!