October’s Yarn

This is month 2 of the yarn of the month club I talked about last month.  We got the e-mail letting us know the yarn was ready for pick up.  There was also an invite to a sit and knit social for yarn club members.  This was another incentive for me to join – the promise of social meet ups in the various neighborhoods which are providing the color inspiration.  But, let’s start with this month’s yarn.  The neighborhood is Tremont and this is what we got.

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Tremont is just west of downtown and close to the steel mills that used to be the main industry here in Cleveland.  The entire neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  There are a number of very old churches in the area.  It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Cleveland.  I think the colors used this month reflect that age and grittiness of the area.  In recent years it has undergone a transformation and is now full of art galleries, trendy restaurants and independent shops.  Some people would say it’s the “hipster” section of Cleveland.  Probably the most famous thing in Tremont is the Christmas Story house, the outside of the house was used in the movie A Christmas Story and is now a museum.  For me, Tremont is that neighborhood I can never find.  I almost always have to use my GPS to get there and/or get home.  Don’t ask me why, I just am at a loss when I have to there.  Over the summer we had knit night down there – we started at one of the hip restaurants and then went to the large public park which is at the center of the neighborhood where we watched a free dance performance.  It was one of those nights where it kind of felt like we lived in a real city.

And now, today was the social sit and knit for club members.  It was being held outside and so we were lucky and the weather more than cooperated – it was a perfect fall day.  It was held as the Seltzer Sculpture Garden which is located in the Edgewater neighborhood that inspired last month’s colors.  I have driven down this street hundreds of times and never knew the park existed.  I had always seen this large globe and just thought the people that lived in that house had interesting taste in yard decorations.

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Turns out I’m not the only one who thought this was private.  I posted a picture on Facebook and had several comments from people who live in the area and did not know it was a public park.  The story is that the people who live in the house next to the park are artists so they purchased the two lots adjacent to their property and set up this sculpture park.  They have set up a fund to endow the park after they are gone and now I’m telling everyone about this!  What a hidden gem here in our city!  I can’t wait to take my knitting group back to sit and knit.

As it worked out, I’m the only club member who showed up.  It was still great, I got to spend the afternoon with the owner of my LYS and the woman who came up the color palettes for the club. I did not work on any projects with my club yarn (way to go me – did not cast on a new project 🙂 ) but did continue to work on Campfire cowl I wrote about last week.  I hope more people will come to the next event because they really missed out.  And, I can’t wait to see what next month brings!!

Here are a few more pictures from the park today – enjoy!

My First Yarn Club

I’ve never joined a yarn club.  I know there are a number of different clubs out there, especially with the indie dyers I love, and I’m always tempted but I never want to commit to having to buy pre-selected yarn each month when something else might pop up that I want more (my friends will tell you this is just another sign of my deeper commitment issues, but whatever!).  This month I finally broke down and joined a yarn club.  I’m pleased to say I can drop out at anytime so it’s perfect for my commitment issues and I had no reason not to join.

So, what finally made be break down and do it?  Well, I think it was the perfect combination of theme, yarn, oh and that out…  The yarn club is being run by my awesome LYS, River Colors Studio.  The yarn is being dyed by Stephanie at Space Cadet Yarns and the theme is our revitalized city, Cleveland.  Here’s how it is working.  One of the girls who works at the shop is studying textile design.  She is using various neighborhoods and areas of Cleveland as inspiration for a color palette.  That palette is being sent to Space Cadet and she is dying the yarn.  Space Cadet had a great trunk show at the store and everyone loved her yarn so we’re excited to get these specially dyed colors based on the all places we enjoy.

This month was the first month and we got to pick up our yarn.  I could hardly work all day knowing that I was going to stop on my way home!  I was even more excited when I got a box, complete with bow on it to tear open like Christmas morning to see what was inside.  And, here’s what I found:

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This month the colors were inspired by the Edgewater and Shoreway communities and is lovely pink, purple, blue superwash merino.  And, there was even a special treat from a local chocolate shop, Sweet Designs (it was delicious!).

I have not decided what to do with it yet, I may collect them all and see what I have.  I do know that I want to take some of each month and put it into a project that will incorporate all of the Cleveland yarn and be my Cleveland piece.  Still working through those details in my head but I’ve got a whole year to think about.  The information we received about the club told us all the yarn will be of fingering weight but the bases may vary throughout the yarn so that should be interesting as well.

The Edgewater and Shoreway communities sit on Lake Erie’s shores.  There is quite a bit of beach and park land and it is the best place to catch the beautiful Lake Erie sunsets (and I guess sunrises but I’m never up that early…)  The blues, pinks and purples in this yarn really remind me of time spent at the lake.  I can’t wait to see where next month’s inspiration takes us and how that plays out in color!

The Duck

This weekend I found myself headed into downtown Pittsburgh for the second time in six weeks to see an art installation.  My college roommate lives outside of the city and I was headed to spend the weekend with her and her family.  The original plan was to watch my godson play football but a torn ACL in the first game dashed that plan.  We found ourselves with no plans for Saturday and the ability to spend all day together, no kids and no other commitments which has not happened in a long, long time.  With that said we had to find something fun to do!

The conversation went something like this:

Candace: We could go see the duck.

Me: What??

Candace: There is a giant rubber duck floating in the river downtown as an art installation.  (At this point she googles it on her phone to show me)

Me: (After looking at the pictures) That is crazy, I’ve never seen anything like that!

And so, it was added to our agenda.  We started by doing a drive by of the Abby Lee Dance Center because being the reality tv junkie that I am I thought it would be fun to go see the studio in person.  I was amazed to find it looked exactly the same in person as it did on tv.  There was a cop car leaving as we pulled in so they must patrol regularly to keep crazies like me from stalking the studio.  Anyway, it was a Saturday afternoon and the parking lot was full.  There was a giant Cadillac very close to the back door so I’m going to go ahead and believe Abby Lee was actually there but who knows?  I got out of the car and snapped a quick back before we made our get away before the cops came back.

Next we went to a shoe store for a little retail therapy.  Only my college roommate’s mom would have her own shoe salesman but that’s another post for another blog.

And then it was time for the Duck.  First, I have to say (and this hard for a true blue Cleveland fan) that downtown Pittsburgh kicks Cleveland’s behind.  There had been a Penguins game that was letting out and there was going to be a Pitt game that night and, of course, there was the Duck.  There was more traffic down there on a Saturday afternoon then on any given work day in downtown Cleveland.  The other thing Pittsburgh does way better than Cleveland is to take advantage of the water and they only have rivers, we have a whole darn lake.  And, I know we like our arts in Cleveland but this is the second public art exhibition in 2 months that has brought people, not only from Pittsburgh but from out of town, to the downtown.

We made our way very slowly to the general area where one could park to go see the Duck.  Now, we could see it as we were driving around because the Duck is 4 stories tall but we needed to go check it out on person.  We lucked out and found a parking spot, put on the raincoats and headed to the Pointe where the Duck was floating.

I will admit a 4 stories floating rubber duck is a sight to see but the most interesting thing were the crowds of people.  It was the Duck’s last day, apparently it is being taken down during the Steelers game today and is headed for an undisclosed location to be cleaned and I guess reappear somewhere else (hint, hint, it would look great in North Coast Harbor!!)  The souvenir stand was practically sold out and you could barely get close enough to get a picture.  People were climbing over embankments to get closer.  It was a crazy scene.  We each snapped a few shots and my roommate got all crazy and we took a selfie.  We are way too old for selfies as I don’t think either of us is looking at the camera and it’s way off centered but hey we like it!

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And here is the duck in all its glory!

We were going to be super cool and eat at a local place downtown but there was not one restaurant that we could get into before 10pm so we headed back to the burbs for dinner.

Cleveland could take a couple of notes from what Pittsburgh what is doing with the downtown space and let’s get some public art installations around town!