My new favorite knitting gadget

I went to 3 different yarn stores yesterday.  

The first was Nina in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.  It is a really beautifully laid out shop, inspires creativity.  They even have all of the ball bands facing back, so all you see are rows of color.  Everything is clean and minimal.  I found my new favorite knitting tool there.  It is a set of magnets covered with ribbon.  You put it on both sides of a sheet (I used my pattern in a protective vinyl sheet cover), and move it along as you work on the pattern.  Very easy to keep your place, and much easier to use than the magnetic board that I bought years ago with separate magnet strips.  These are also cool colors and styles.  The are called Pattern Tamers:

dscn1148

The website is http://www.patterntamers.com.  I would definitely recommend this product.  While the store was very cute, and the woman working there very sweet, they did not have much in the way of yarn that I would be looking for.  The girl who was there even asked what I was working on with real interest, although she had never heard of Vivian Hoxbro, and seemed to not understand my description of my Viking Boat sweater.  

My next stop was Knitting Workshop in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood.  I had been to this store once since they relocated, and once at their earlier location.  This is actually the legacy store of The Weaving Workshop which used to be located underneath an el platform on my way home from work when I lived in Chicago 20 years ago.  In those days there were maybe 3 yarn stores in all of Chicago, so the choice was limited.  My knitting at that time mainly revolved around knitting for the kids when I had a chance.  The Knitting Workshop is having a sale on all yarn until Saturday (35% off).  While I need nothing, and had given myself the 2009 yarn diet, I went to look anyways.  I ended up getting some Baby Dale yarn that I could use for mittens, and a baby sweater.  I have kind of rationalized that sock yarn and baby yarn doesn’t count in my yarn diet.  Mainly I want to use up the sweater amount of yarns that I have on hand.  That said, I did play with trying to get enough yarn to make up an Alice Starmore sweater.  I have never knit one of her sweaters, and thought is would be fun.  The shop was a mess due to the sale, and there was not enough of the 15 different colors that I would have needed anyways.  I will save that for 2010.  Here, at least I can get my Baby Dale, and some types of yarn for stranded knitting, truly my favorite.  I do wish that there was more room to spread out and lay out the yarns, and a few less choices.  Seems to be too much for the store.

My last stop was at Chix with Stix in Forest Park.  I had monies left over on a gift certificate from my birthday, and wanted to use it up before I lost the paper.  I ended up getting some beautiful Malabrigo sock yarn in shades of red, orange and yellow.  This I am saving for myself.  The yarn itself is so beautiful that I will have to pick a fairly simple pattern to work with.  

dscn1154 Chix with Stix has minimal yarns that I would use, and I seem to stop in there when I just need something little.  They have finally started carrying some lace yarns, and started with socks about a year ago.  Nothing in the way of yarn for stranded knitting though.  Still looking for the storefront that carries Dale Heilo.

After I got home, I put the pattern tamers to work, and started working on the front of the Forget Me Not sweater.  It is coming along nicely, and I am remembering why I fell in love with the pattern and yarn.  I will say that I do NOT like do the Fair Isle on the purl rows, although I am getting better at it.  This is going to be a stunning sweater.  

dscn11491