Two ladies and a whole lotta wool
Not that long ago I went on a little North American jaunt – this included a trip to Canada, a wedding in Cincinnati, this lovely yarn store in Nashville and also a few days in Chicago. I’ve been to Chicago twice before, on both occasions I went for the Chicago Blues Festival, which is awesome and well-worth checking out should you ever be on the East Coast at the time of the festival.
As we didn’t have four days of blues in Grant Park to fill our time, we were able to explore a lot more. A LOT of this exploring involved food (I also run a food blog and eating is up there with crafting for me) and trips to galleries and late-night blues clubs. To my absolute delight, the Museum of Contemporary Art was showing a Daniel Clowes exhibition, as well as this I got to eat some ridiculous food and also party until 4am in blues clubs.
Along with all this fun (I really do love Chicago) I was able to squeeze in a day of craft hunting. Most of this took place in the Wicker Park area, near where we were renting an awesome Air B’n’B apartment. Here are a few photos of that, which in itself had quite a crafty vibe – there was even Washi tape in place as ornaments:
There were three crafty stops on my crafting day, first up was Nina yarn shop:
I picked up some lovely things from Nina, including a cute pattern for fingerless mitts that I’m going to try and knit up with my Clay Purl wool and a really nice screen-printed project bag.
I was planning on going to the Renegade Craft Shop, but the ladies in Nina told me it wasn’t open any more. However, I continued on along the same street and stumbled upon this Watch Repair Shop come jewellery shop come training centre for jewellery makers. The website doesn’t actually explain everything that’s going on there, we were wooed in by the watch repair and lovely jewellery displayed in the windows, but there was an entire workshop out the back.
The lady running the shop kindly showed us around and explained that you can join as a member and have access to the tools and training to make jewellery:
I bought a sliver ring from a local jewellery designer and if I’d have been in Chicago longer I’d have tried to take one of their courses.
Then there was beadniks, which is apparently a franchise so you might find in other North American cities. It was chock-full of beads and jewellery making equipment. I found it a little on the expensive side, but worth a visit just for the sheer range of beads:
So that’s my crafty walking tour of just a few shops in the Wicker Park area. I know there are loads more places in Chicago, this just scratches the surface. If you’re going these places are well worth a visit. If you know of any other places I’ve missed do let me know in the comments.