A summary of my recent trip to Chicago:
'BlogHer conference registration: $205
Beer at airport: $6
Train into city: $2
Bed at hostel: $33
First trip to fabric store: $44
Second trip to fabric store: $52
An itty bitty fabric store just off Michigan Avenue was having a moving sale. Nearly all fabrics were $5 per yard (but the seersucker and cotton check above were $2.50). The walls were stacked floor to ceiling with rolls of fabric on tubes, cast offs from some factory as far as I could tell. The guy behind the counter reminded me of a friendly sort of soup nazi (from Seinfeld). Fabric had to be placed just so and you'd better know how many yards you want BEFORE you get to the cutting table.
When I walked in, I was overwhelmed and didn't see any cottons (my usual weakness). I was walking out disappointed when I noticed a section of wool knits way up high by the door. Can you see the texture? They're really nice. In my first trip I bought the green to make a sweater for Biscuit and I bought several yards in neutral browns/tans with no real plan in mind.
As soon as I got out the door I had the sudden inspiration that I wanted to make scarves in charcoal and black. I also realized I forgot to get the linen and seersucker I had picked out. As soon as I got done with my work conference I raced back to the store where, in addition to a charcoal knit and a woven, I also found that cream colored silk and several more wools. I also met the most lovely young woman who was a wedding dress seamstress and was a store regular. We ended up going out to dinner and chatting about sewing over sandwiches. I love that kind of random encounter.
So I didn't fit in the architectural boat tour or any Chicago style pizza but I had a great time in Chicago. I'll have to go back for the tourist attractions.