Posts Tagged ‘chicago’

Midwest Travels with Son and Sock

February 26, 2017

Michael and I spent a busy few days in the Midwest last week, visiting a college for Admitted Students Day, driving about 600 miles, and exploring the Windy City during a freakishly warm spell. The sock joined us for the journey and, like our waist lines, got bigger.

We arrived in Chicago by way of New York (more on that weekend visit in a future post) and drove southeast through wind turbine-covered farmland in Indiana to the college town of Miami, OH. Dinner at a local sports bar made for a great evening of pro hockey, the NBA All-Star Blow-out Game, and people-watching. Michael wondered if the lively table near us were faculty. He was puzzled when I somewhat cynically told him that they were too young and too funny to be college professors. “Old?!” Ah to be 18 again…

oxfordoh-sportsbar

My plan to explore the campus during my morning run was stymied by the thick fog that had developed overnight. Beautiful and somewhat mysterious…

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The sock made its first appearance during one of the presentations, hanging out in the back row.

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I’m not coordinated enough to knit while walking on a campus tour, and deciding to be as non-embarrassing a parent as I could, chose to keep the sock in my bag for the rest of the day.

The next day, we retraced our steps to Chicago – the turbines not such a novelty the second time around. After checking in to our hotel, we walked to nearby Millennium Park, a civic treasure. Thanks to the warm weather, hundreds of people were out and about, enjoying the sunshine, skating at a public outdoor rink, and marveling the “Cloud Gate”sculpture, aka “The Bean.”

chicago-bean

I confess the view from underneath the structure made me feel a bit queasy when I looked up and turned to see the various angles and perspectives.

inside-chicago-bean

Watching people interact with the sculpture was an unending source of amusement. Little kids were the most fun to watch, but I didn’t want to alarm parents by photographing them.

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Fog rolled in overnight, this time from Lake Michigan, hanging low over the city before burning off by our mid-morning hop-on/hop-off bus tour.

chicago-fog

We stumbled upon the Chicago Cultural Center, a totally unexpected surprise. Housed in the former public library, the building is exquisite — as late 19th century public libraries often are — with inspiring quotations, soaring ceilings and domes, stained glass, and broad marble staircases. Dozens of people were seated as a pianist warmed up for a free lunchtime concert.

In a large gallery space, we wandered through a stunning exhibition of muralist Eugene “Eda” Wade’s doors for Malcolm X College, a collection of 16 sets of your standard issue school hallway double doors that are considered a monument to the Black Arts movement in Chicago.

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wade-murals

Another hop-off location of our day was Navy Pier where we rode the giant ferris wheel, formally called Centennial Wheel. The views of the city and lake were breathtaking — not so surprising since we were 200 feet above ground. I was too busy looking to take photos on our three-times-around journey, but Michael graciously shared some screen shots of his Snapchat video. I like the reflections in this one.

chicago-wheel

We spent the evening at the famed Second City comedy club, laughing (occasionally snorting, I admit) until tears ran down our cheeks at the six professionals who did sketch and improv comedy for 2.5 hours. Deferring again to my parental role, I did not knit during the show.

My run along the lake the next morning was crisp and fog-free.

chicago-sunrise

By the time we landed in Boston, the sock was ready for the toe to be seamed. I decided to wait until home for that final step — the Kitchener stitch requires my full concentration!

knit-socks-plane

What’s up in your world these days?

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Knitting Reacquaintance

August 5, 2011

“I’d like to take some time during our visit to get reacquainted with knitting,” my dear cousin Meg wrote in advance of our getaway weekend in Chicago. Her words were music to my ears because there’s nothing a knitter enjoys more (this knitter, at least) than sharing the joy of knitting with others.

I know, I know. It’s not all joy, especially when you discover a dropped stitch 5 rows down or realize that your attempt to “join without twisting” was unsuccessful. But it’s mostly fun and oh so satisfying, especially when you can say “I made this.”

Meg decided on a baby hat, a good choice for a first project since it meets criteria #1 on my list of good first projects : you can finish it. She chose a wee tomato hat — red with a leafy green crown & little stem.

She lives in Toronto, so I sent her to the good folks at Lettuce Knit , which happens to be right in her neighborhood. I know they’re good folks because the Yarn Harlot regularly sings their praises and, well, she wouldn’t lie about a thing like that.

Over the course of our 2.5 days together, she cast on, knit a swatch (important to establish good habits early), figured out her gauge (same as the pattern so no recaculating needed — huzzah!), cast on the hat, divided into 4 double-pointed needles, joined without twisting (no mean feat that), and was well on her way to the 25th round when we had to part.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a single photo of these wonderful accomplishments. But I’ll see her very soon and perhaps will have one then.

This shot of Meg (with me in the background) at the amazing Cloud Wave sculpture (aka “The Bean”) in Chicago’s Millennium Park will have to do:

Cousin Meg reflected in Cloud Wave metallic sculpture

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