Monday May 23, 2011
Last week was an exceptionally busy and exciting week of crochet inspiration, activity and exploration! The Chicagoland area is becomming a Crochet mecca! Not only do we have the Premiere Chapter of the Crochet Guild of America, the Northern IL Chapter, but we also have its Founder too-Moi! Then there's the Double Stitch twins, Erika and Monika, who are taking the crochet world by storm with their fashion-forward and funky designs and they have also been recently named as spokespersons for Coats & Clark/Red Heart yarns.
I wrote about them in Interweave Crochet magazine, "Double the Fun." (Fall 2006)
There are inumerable yarn shops in the area and Loopy Yarns in printers Row is one that I have never visited, although I wrote about them once for an article about Chicagoland yarn stores,"Miles of Loops in the Chicago Loop" in Interweave Crochet magazine (Winter 2009). Monika and Erika were "Celebrating Crochet" last week at Loopy Yarns,
so it was a no-brainer for me. I like to support their efforts and I could also see Loopy Yarns.It seems the twins are still talking about me and giving me credit for their getting their first book deal from Lark Publications as a result of my article about them. I was greeted by Nancy Thomas, former editor of Vogue Knitting and current Creative Director at Coats. She invited me to participate in the video being taped about the twins' career. This will be included as a CD in their next book, along with some how-to crochet demonstrations.
It is a very large and fabulously crochet-friendly yarn store in Printers' Row, housed in an old train station. Not only is it a delightful area to browse, but the allure of 1,000s of balls of yarn and hundreds of fiber books is a great addtion to an attractive Chicago neighborhood in the heart of downton.
At my LYS this week, I had one beginner and one intermediate crochet student which I grouped together. The lines between skill levels begin to blure sometimes once the basic three stitiches are learned. They were both very enthusiastic and also exicted at some valuable little tips I was sharing with them. They were throwing out ideas of things they want to continue to learn. I think this is the beginning of a long and productive learning experience for us all. That is a teacher's dream come true!
My week culminated with an artsy/fibery weekend. I felt we had an opportunity for our chapter to spread the owrd about Carol Hummel's crochet art. Since she was here this weekend for the opening of Nature Unframed at the Morton Arboretum which includes her crochet-covered tree, "Lichen It" I volunteered to plan an artist talk at the Rolling Meadows Library.
The intimate crowd in attendance this late-May weekend, was very enthusiastic and definitely happy they attended. Carol did a superb job of presenting a retrospective of her intriguing installation art and brought us up to the present,
her amazing tree in the arboretum!
The on-going "thread" of her work made complete sense to me: Don't let your disfunctional family get you down; instead use that dysfunction to create art and tell your story!
The culmination of my week was a phtoshoot with youngeer daughter, Bethany. It was a gorgeous day with just enough cloudcover to act like a lens filter. We always have fun when we take photos and her new neighborhood offers many interesting architectural back drops. I was going for the "gritty-city" look!