Danni and Charlie do craft

Two ladies and a whole lotta wool

A crafter in Chicago – exploring crafts in Chicago in a day

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.

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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:

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There were three crafty stops on my crafting day, first up was Nina yarn shop:

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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:

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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:

IMG_2297So 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.

Charlie

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About thisischarlie

I'm Charlie Parker, one half of the craft duo Danni and Charlie do craft. I love crafting in all its guises, from baking to knitting to growing vegetables (which most definitely IS a craft). I am all about local - local wool, local shops, local communities. I am a novice drawer and doodler, my plan is to be better and do my own illustration zine and then hit the road with my wool and bearded Canadian. These are my dreams. Thank you for visiting my blogs.

2 comments on “A crafter in Chicago – exploring crafts in Chicago in a day

  1. lottieknits
    15/11/2013

    Wow, it all looks fab, beautiful displays in the yarn shop and I really wish I could go to that jewellery making workshop and learn how to use all those tools to make lovely pieces like the ones in the shop. I’ve done a bit of jewellery making in the past, but that takes it to the next level! I’m a sucker for a bead shop too, I can spend hours in one of those places.

  2. cjpinlondon
    21/11/2013

    @Lottie – thanks for your comment! The jewellery/metal work place was really amazing, I’d love to learn there – it was a great initiative as well. I did even buy from a jeweller who used the work space and sold their products there. Nina yarn store was great too – if I lived in Chicago I’m sure I’d be spending a large portion of my earnings there 🙂

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