Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Yarn Harlot Day..."

is much more fun when the Harlot is actually here," said my friend Theresa.

And she was so right! Unlike the first time around, the weather cooperated, although the skies got a little angry at times; no one to my knowledge smashed their rental car on the way to the Hilton; no one spent the evening with a certain Mr. Jameson in the hotel bar; and, all of the lights on Cicero seemed to be working.

Stephanie came to the Shop to knit with us which was a wonderful treat:

That's Diane Marie sitting next to her in the beautiful shawl.

These two terrific women have been celebrities here at Nana's forever. Mae, on the left appeared on the Harlot's blog and is now nationally, maybe even internationally famous! Ah, we knew her when.

As always, the Harlot was funny, charming, and insightful and so much has been written about her and our fabulous event, I know not what I can add!

However, not everyone knows Team Nana! Without their help, I'm not sure what would have happened. If you saw me on Friday, you saw a crazed woman. The day was so extraordinary, it was surreal. Team Nana kept me grounded and focused and I want to thank them all for their support.

Meet Theresa and Catherine.

Theresa, on the left, managed the book signing line and ensured that everyone had an opportunity to spend a little time with the Harlot. She stood for so long, she got a blister!

Catherine, on the right, made sure the Shop was Harlot ready and stayed late to tidy up. Thanks so much, Theresa and Catherine!

Aleta and Becca were our official greeters! Becca is mother to baby Miriam who also did a heck of a job greeting knitters!

And, the amazing Aleta in the blue top below, filled a role I didn't even know we needed! She took all of the pictures of knitters with the Harlot. Camera after camera, she made sure everyone who wanted a picture of themselves with the Harlot had one. Aleta, you must have been exhausted!

Beth was the official Harlot photographer and she took over 200 pictures! Thank you Beth and I hope your vacation is going great.

If you bought the Harlot's book at the Hilton, you met these two financial wizards, Eileen and Tammi:

Aren't they terrific?

Did you see those beautiful sock sacks? My friend Georgann made each and every one of them. Talk about talented. Georgann does it all and does it all beautifully.

Here are Georgann's sacks. We gave one to the Harlot and she loved it!

Here's my long suffering Sister Kay. Kay made sure everyone's name was spelled correctly for the book signing. She helped in the Shop, tidied up with Catherine and made sure my sanity stayed intact. Poor thing looks pooped, doesn't she?

And what Nana's event would be complete without this little urchin?

That's everything she's ever knit that she's wearing. Quite a fashion statement, isn't it?

Here's more members of Team Nana!

In the inimitable words of Hillary Clinton, "it takes a village." It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to raise a yarn shop. I am eternally grateful to all of the wonderful people I have met. It has been a privilege indeed. Thank you all.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Julianna - Welcome to Illinois!

She walked into the Shop around 5:30 on Friday. She looked a little breathless, but was wearing a huge smile,

"I made it," she said, "and I didn't even get lost."

"That's great," I said, "Where where you coming from?"

"I just moved to Norwood Park from Florida today! Yours is the first knitting shop I've visited in Illinois."

"Wow!" I said, "All the way from Norwood Park and we're first on your list? That's very flattering."

We chatted while Julianna perused the Shop. She had come from the Tampa area to Chicago for a new job and naturally all of her yarn was still packed. She bought some Malabrigo and some needles and came up to the cash register to pay.

When she gave me her EMail address for our mailing list, I recognized it right away. "You're coming to see the Harlot, aren't you?"

"Yes," she said, "and I can't wait."

"Well, if you haven't started your job, come by early next Friday. We're having a party and you never know who might show up."

"I'll check my calendar," she said. "I knew I was meant to see the Harlot when I saw that her visit coincided with my arrival in Illinois!"

"Uh oh," I said, "You're here for the Harlot, aren't you. You're a week early! She won't be here until next Friday, the 20th!"

"I thought the Shop looked a little quiet to be Harlot Day."

Julianna took the news in stride even though she had come such a long, long way. Florida to Norwood Park to Oak Lawn, all in one day!

Julianna, I hope you had a safe trek back to the northwest side and we can't wait to see you again next week! We're thrilled you're here and welcome to Illinois!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Back at Last!

I've been terribly remiss in posting to this little blog lately, but we've been busy!

We've been organizing and planning the Yarn Harlot's visit on Friday, June 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Oak Lawn Hilton. If you had tickets for the previously scheduled, but cancelled event, be sure to request your tickets again by Friday, June 6! EMail your request to:

After Friday, we'll be filling new requests for tickets. If you requested tickets and haven't received your confirmation EMail yet, please let me know as there could have been a problem with your EMail address and it may have bounced back to me.

We're filling requests for new tickets from our waiting list in the order in which they were received. EMail tickets for the new requests will start going out on Tuesday, June 10 and all confirmations will go out on Tuesdays thereafter until June 17.

We're having a big Harlot party at the Shop all day on Friday, June 20 so be sure to stop by. We'll have a special Harlot sale and who knows what else! The Shop will be open until 6:00 p.m. and then we're all off to see the Harlot!

If anyone is taking the train, don't forget that the Shop is directly across the street and we'll make sure you get to the Hilton on time. There will be lots of folks going over to the Hilton from the Shop and we'll provide rides to whomever needs one. Let me know if you need a ride back from the Hilton to the train and I'm sure we can accomodate you.

The Great American Aran Afghan

I'm very proud to report that we are on our 13th square of this beautiful afghan. That means we only have 6 left to go! These classes are ongoing and it's not too late to get in on the fun. Check out the details here. To see pictures of the squares, go here. Better yet, stop by the Shop and see them!

I tried my hand this month at designing a square and here's what it looks like:

I used Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns and I chose the outer cable pattern called raveled braid as an ode to two very special knitters, Kris and Theresa, who are knitting the very beautiful, very tedious Fulmar sweater by the elusive knitting rock star, Alice Starmore. The raveled braid is just one of the many cables used in this classic Starmore design.

Check out Theresa's Fulmar here and Kris's Fulmar by clicking here. Do you see the raveled braid? Do you see how much smaller it looks on size 2 needles? That's right, a sweater on size 0 and 2 needles! How's that for tenacity? The inner cable panel is called Spearhead and Chain.

Designing this square and writing the pattern was fun enough that I think I'll do it again.

So what else have we been doing? Well, we're about to start the "insanely gorgeous" Lizard Ridge afghan designed by Laura Aylor. This little beauty uses the long color runs of Noro's Kureyon to perfection. For detailed information on the class, click here.

I've got one square completed and I think it's pretty darn cool.

I've been trucking along on the Medallion Top by Gayle Bunn. This gorgeous tunic is in the Spring/Summer 2008 issue of Vogue (a great issue by the way) and is being knit in Cascade's Pima Tencel. This magnificent tencel/cotton blend is so soft you want to sleep in it. The colors are pretty darn great too. I've finished the back and have started the sleeves...

Here's a close up of the pattern:

So I'm moving right along on the Medallion Tunic thinking, "Oooh, I might have this done in time to wear to the Hilton on the 20th," when in walks Shayne, Crocheter and Instructor Extraordinairess, carrying these little pieces of wonder:

What is this you ask? It's one part of one of the most gorgeous sweaters I've ever seen that Shayne and I have been planning for a class. It's a sweater called Gullris by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton for Araucania.

We're going to teach this class as a team; Shayne will teach the crochet pieces and I will teach the knitting.

Needless to say, I put down everything else I was working on to begin the knitting part of the sweater and here's where we are:

This is the back and since I've taken this picture, Shayne has finished all six flowers (two for the back, one each for the fronts and one for each sleeve) and I've finished the back to the neckline.

What's the yarn, you ask? Why, it's Cascade Venezia Worsted. I told someone the other day that if I were stranded on an island and could only bring one yarn with me, Venezia would be it. It's a merino/silk blend that has the most unbelievable hand, drape, and stitch definition I've ever seen. If you haven't knit with this yarn, you are missing something magically delicious.

The class starts on Thursday, August 7 and you can see all of the details here. Since I can't keep a secret, the class is already just about full so call now to register. Shout out to Shayne - you are amazing!

Wanna see what it looks like completed? Here you go:

Do you want fries with that?

In July, our very own published celebrity, Beth Doherty, will be teaching an Amigurumi workshop. She is going to teach crocheters of all skill levels how to make the Cheesburger with the Works from her new book, Amigurumi, Super Happy Crochet Cute.

We're extremely lucky to have the opportunity for Beth to teach this workshop so do not miss it! And once again, I'm a blabber mouth so this class is almost full too!

Movie Madness

We had our very first Movie Madness winner. Shayne was the first to guess that our quirky movie of the month was Harold and Maude. We watched the movie last Friday and had a ball. Shopdaughter will be putting up the new display for the June movie this weekend. Be the first to guess June's movie depicted in the Shop display case and get 15% off your total purchase for the day!

See, I told you we've been busy!