Sunday, April 22, 2012

Eventful Weekend: This one's a long-player

Robin-sized bite
Now that I actually give myself the weekends off, I manage to pack a ton into those two days - so if you're hungry, you better go make a sandwich before reading any further.  This will take a while.

Witness this weekend:  Friday night Tyler and I went to see our friend's band (Soft Speaker) play at Subterranean. Getting home from this show was much less traumatic than last week's Red Line/Blue Line debaucle, being that venue is much easier for us to get to, and they played first, so after sticking around to see what White Hills was about (answer: borrrrring), we headed home and were back on the couch by midnight.

Bird's eye view (one half of show floor)
Saturday was a big day.  It started off innocently enough - I made pancakes and Tyler and I shared a french press of coffee (for those of you who know me, I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but it was delicious!).  Robin decided to help himself to a pancake - or rather, he tried, but I caught him in the act and Tyler's pancake just had this cat-sized half-bite on the side closest to the chair (yes, he was sitting at the kitchen table as though the plate of food was put out for him!).  After breakfast, we divvied up:  Tyler went out in search of fresh vinyl for Record Store Day, and my buddy Lauren and I headed up north for the Wisconsin Spring Spin-In.  En route, I managed to get through the gusset shaping on my Trilobite socks, so already the day was off to a good start!

I've never attended any of the Wisconsin Spin-Ins, but Lauren used to go back in the day.  The Spin In had a good range of vendors, plus lots of cute animals - which means I'm a happy camper.  Though I do love attending shows such as Stitches (and I'm very much looking forward to Chicago's first Vogue Knitting Live! this fall), I appreciated the fact that this show was much smaller.  I'm not sure that it was necessarily less overwhelming, however, because each vendor was so unique that I probably spent more time browsing than I do at Stitches.

When you walked in, two very relaxed alpaca greeted you:

Trying out Spinolution Wheels
As you might have expected, many booths had beautiful raw fleece from alpaca, angora and the like.  Many also had batts and roving, which were usually specific breeds of sheep or blends of mohair, BFL, silk, or angora.  There were lots of hard-to-resist hand-dyed rovings, batts and skeins of yarn, but after the yarny blowout I've had these past few months, I'm trying to institute a yarn diet 'til Stitches.  This diet also applies to fiber, because while it's been a while since I purchased any, I have an overflowing bin to spin through.

There was a booth with some really beautiful baskets, though I didn't purchase one (that might be a regret later on!).  We spent some time in the Spry Whimsy Fiber Arts booth, where they let us try out the Spinolution wheels.  They're clever little wheels that you treadle with a side-to-side motion - very smooth and easy to set up, but I'm so used to treadling the "normal" way that I couldn't quite get the hang of it.  I ended up purchasing some needle felting supplies while we were there.

Another booth we spent a lot of time in was the Little Gidding Farm Suris.  These two ladies had beautiful skeins of hand-dyed yarn and very fairly-priced, ultra-soft Suri Alpaca fiber that Lauren ended up purchasing.  They let us try out their Hansen Mini Spinner, which was compact and easy to use - and if I hadn't just bought a new laptop, I probably would have walked home with one of these babies. Bonus - it has a car charger.  Now that's genius.

Pile o' bunny
Sugar River Fiber had a great selection of needles and notions, some pretty skeins of Harrisville yarn, which is a yarn I really like and somehow have never knit with.  I probably should have picked up a few skeins, but instead I ended up chatting with one of the owners, Mark, about upcoming fiber shows in Chicago.  Hopefully he'll make it down to the Windy City this fall and you can see for yourself!

These two angora bunnies are apparently besties - that's how they typically like to relax, said Mary & Kate at the Happy Hoppers booth.  They're german angoras, and the one on the top of the bunny-pile only has three legs, endearing him all the more to me (I have a soft spot in my heart for the three-legged animal).  These were just a few of the adorable puffball bunnies I saw at the show, and I'm quite surprised I didn't bring one home with me.  Maybe next time!
Beer & a pin cushion

My other two purchases were at booths I forgot to grab info/business cards from, so I have no idea what mystery vendors I purchased these from, but three finger puppets (not pictured - maybe later!) and an adorable felted pincushion made their way home with me.  So did a few six-packs of New Glarus beer!  Prized highly within the confines of Chicagoland, this tasty beer cannot be bought in any local store that I've found.  The few times we've made it up to Wisconsin, we've made a point to bring some home, as many Chicagoans do.

On the way back to Chicago we also stopped at the Cheese Castle!

I came home to a house full of new vinyl and the two skeins of Lhasa Wilderness I bought via Craftsy earlier this week:

Tyler and I had a beer and traded stories from our day, I took a much-needed nap, and then we headed out to see Cave at the Empty Bottle.  That ended up being a mistake - it was oversold and beyond crowded, and we ended up leaving after the second band because I not only got elbowed several times by a tall, drunk neanderthal (not jostled, mind you - that I can tolerate that if the music is good enough), a drunk lady stepped on my toe with all of her weight while wearing heels.  My toe is fine this morning and I'll survive, but it hurt for the next several hours, and we both mutually decided that this wasn't the way we wanted to see one of our favorite bands.  We headed home and had a New Glarus Golden Bock, watched an episode of Seinfeld ("Serenity Now" - entirely appropriate given the circumstances), and I finished my Trilobite socks. Much better than having a bunch of PBR-drinking hipsters invading my space and inflicting minor personal harm on me!


  1. Three legged bunny?!?!?!?! Cheese Castle?!? Jealous (eleventy billion)!

  2. Yes should have picked up some Harrisville yarn. It was awesome meeting you and hope to see you again. And we really do need to keep in touch!

    I gave you a little love here

    1. Oh yes....yarny regrets. I should really know better at this point!

      It was great meeting you this weekend. I'll definitely stay in touch (and I added your blog to my reader, thanks for sharing)!