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Chicago Notebook September 29, 2011

Chic Knits Chicago Notebook

Chic Knits Chicago NotebookLast Sunday was a great day to meander around the Miracle Mile in the misty rain. Even though it was drizzling, it was slighty balmy out and very, very pleasant.

It seemed like the most natural thing to do after a wonderful brunch (poached eggs with wild mushrooms & shredded radish).

Those of you who have visited Chicago have probably been where I was walking along – it’s right around the old Water Tower on Michigan & Chicago Aves.

The park there is my bus stop but I changed me mind and just kept walking, merging into the steady stream of walkers going south, just pulled along by their motion.

Just like them, I fancied a stroll on the boulevard because there’s lots to see for the funny company (things to see, and things to do, stories, songs, toys; all sorts of things of interest, and fun for girls and boys!)

All of us walkers probably had something in common: the visitors want out of their hotel room and the citizens just might be escaping the confines of an apartment. City people are like that. Even in the internet age, they want to get out and walk.

And even though it’s 2011, they might just see something old and new at the same time.

Just a few yards from that Water Tower corner is a veritable industry on parade: the recently opened AllSaints Spitalfields “shop” – a flagship to be sure.

From Boutiqueville.com: “…Ruggedly good-looking, stylish men and women greet customers at the entrance…And the entire store is so thoroughly decorated and atmospheric that you just don’t know where to look.cinematic spotlights filling the ceilings, and the entire store has a rough, worn-in, distressed feel…hardware and structures grace the floor and many of the whitewashed brick walls, which rise up forty-two feet before hitting the ceiling. The majority of the store’s fixtures are salvaged, and any that aren’t are handmade in the UK…”

But what made it so very interesting to me are its many windows facing the street.

Large (and we are talking maximus size!) windows

Chic Knits Chicago NotebookChic Knits Chicago Notebook

and storefront size windows

Chic Knits Chicago Notebook

all filled with something not commonly seen in Chicago, certainly not something seen on the Miracle Mile: Sewing Machines…

Chic Knits Chicago Notebook

No higgledy-piggledy hodgepodge of random sewing machines this, they are old, old sewing machines — all in magnificent condition, inviting you in to browse.

These early 20th Century marvels have something you rarely see on contemporary mass-manufactured goods: Pomp & Circumstance! Their outer casings are decorated with flourishes and golden whimsy.

Chic Knits Chicago Notebook

The base plates of the machines have wonderful motifs so that if set up in the main room of your cramped apartment, they are more ornamental than factory.

Chic Knits Chicago Notebook

Chic Knits Chicago Notebook

Chic Knits Chicago Notebook

Unbelievably mesmerizing – the collection goes on and on — over 800 machines are waiting for your inspection…


I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now September 27, 2011

It’s been raining here, on and off, for several days now and I’d like to just thank my neighbors!

Walking back from the bus stop, I see that many of the houses on my street now have pots of mums outside, on their stoops or steps or sills.

I actually started giggling when I saw these: one little pot, full of thumb-sized blooms standing guard in front of a 4-story building.

And it was just enough.

Chic Knits Derica Kane

There’s something about the creamy grey sky that welcomes the almost shocking yellow flowers.

They have a varieagated center that shows chartruese and yellow and tips of brown.

A little further down the misted street, on the corner, was a basket, waiting.

It too was full of mums.

But they were more richly orange, more tinged with bronze, more ruffled and layered, and the colors were those that suddenly made so much sense.

It is autumn and as the skies darken and loom, nature balances the scale with lights of these other kind.

On a bright summer day they would almost be neutral; on a misty sunless afternoon, they are beyond compare.

This gentle goodwill speeds me on my way.

Chic Knits Derica Kane

Chic Knits Derica KaneChic Knits Derica KaneI can’t remember ever knitting buttonbands or finding buttons so fast.

On this rainy day, there’s now a light on in my house, even though it pales in comparison with the natural light above.

Can’t wait to model it outdoors –

Pattern: Chic Knits Derica Kane
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: MadelineTosh TOSH DK
Color: Candlewick

…click on pix for larger pix


Monday Morning Mirth September 25, 2011

Monday Morning Mirth

Loving the Spring stylings from Fashion week 2012: CHAPS! for everyone!
Hollywood designer Jeremy Scott presents a feast of post-modern western wear.

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