I'm not sure how the season changed so fast but it is most definitely summer in Chicago now. We've had a few of those unbearable hot and humid and stinky city days (TM), undergrads have left for the summer, and barbecues are fired up. Being a person who likes a quiet neighborhood and outdoor activities, but loathes heat and humidity (I get CRANKEE), I have a real love/hate relationship with this time of year.
But so far this summer there have been two events of great note: my bff's wedding and the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Festival. Both included copious tears of joy.
The time around the wedding was busy busy busy for me, but I finally managed to finish a couple of handmade gifts for the occasion. We gave them these items in addition to donating to two charities they had selected, making the whole gift experience as commerce-free as possible.
This potholder is from a pattern in this fabulous book, which contains a ton of lovely ideas that will also give you 18 different varieties of claw hand from crocheting with tiny hooks. In this case the claw hand was worth it.
In addition to the potholder, I managed to successfully execute my first (completed) embroidery project!
The pattern is from Sublime Stitching.
As for the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Festival, there was .... some yarn buying. I don't buy yarn very often because I have approximately a truckload of it stashed away in our tiny apartment. But still, encountering all those indie dyers and being able to grope yarns I'd never before seen in person took me to a very wanty place. I'm pleased with my haul, but I don't think I should be doing a lot of spending on yarn in the near future.
The gray is from MacKintosh Yarns (sport weight merino-cashmere-nylon - I've already started a small project with this one and I'm physically incapable of putting it down!); the mustard/gold is from Sun Valley Fibers; the yellow is Hands + Notions; and the red is Swans Island, which was on sale at The Fold booth. They're all sock yarns and I am thoroughly in love with every last one of them. With the exception of the Swans Island I think they're all destined to become socks. The Swans Island is 100% merino though, which is lovely and all, but given my history of felting lots and lots of nylon-free sock yarns, I think this yarn may need to be some kind of small accessory.
Other fair highlights included the whiteboard where visitors could share their ravelry usernames:
...the pierogis, blintzes, and potato pancakes:
...and of course the company! I made the trip out there with a few of my Hyde Park knitters (sadly I took pictures only of yarn, none of people!) and lots of laughter, groping of yarn, and petting of angora bunnies was had by all. In absence of pictures of our smiling faces, I'll leave you with this snap I took of the "decor" in the unmanned ticket booth outside the fairgrounds.