I'm back! I'm posting this from the deck of my new, huge apartment in Iowa City. Here's what the view looks like:
Leafy, no? It's a long way from the South Side of Chicago.
(The other side of my apartment looks out onto a trailer park, but it's a leafy trailer park. Here's the view from my kitchen window:
I've got zero complaints about the trailer park. As far as I can tell, this is a really nice, quiet neighborhood. And quiet is a good thing in IC, which is filled with drunken, carousing students who are best avoided if you are over the age of approximately 22.)
One very positive thing to be said about Iowa City is that there is good shopping. It's not awesome in the way that Chicago is awesome: you can find pretty much anything you want in Chicago. There are definitely things that you can't find in Iowa City. But, in part because most franchises are banned downtown, there are lots of neat little shops here. For instance, there are two LYSs within bike riding distance. (There's another one, a farm that sells fiber and yarn, that's about 15 miles away, but I think that's out of my bike range at the moment.) I work a few blocks from Home Ec Workshop, a very cute store staffed by very nice people. They have a little coffee shop and awesome yarn, and I could definitely see myself becoming a loyal customer.
Today's big shopping success, though, was not at a LYS. It was at Artifacts, a store downtown that's packed with all manner of second hand and vintage crap. I love this kind of store, even if it does trigger my allergies. They have a little craft section, but there wasn't much there. They do have a huge selection of patterns for crocheted doilies, if you're in IC and are into that kind of thing, but they did not have the $7 copy of Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting that I fantasize I'm going to stumble upon someday in a second hand store. What they did have was these suckers:
Those, as you may or may not be able to tell, are glove blockers. Here's what they look like out of the box:
They're not intended to be used by knitters: they're "glove dryers" to use after you wash commercially-produced gloves. I can't see any reason that I can't use them to block hand-knit mittens and gloves, though, which is pretty cool. A few months ago I made mitten blockers out of a plastic placemat, but these guys look handier, in that they have fingers and those little hanger things on the end. I am (finally!) almost done with my mom's scarf, and after that I think I will start a pair of stranded gloves just to get a chance to try them out.
In other Iowa City-related news, here is a picture of my new, enormous living room:
(Most of you are thinking "what is she talking about? Her apartment isn't enormous! Her street isn't that leafy!" To which I can only say that I have until recently been a grad student in a big city. My apartment is enormous and my street is leafy by my standards.)
I'm looking for something to hang over the T.V. I'm thinking maybe a poster for an interesting museum exhibit. Anyone know of anything cool-looking that is available over the internet?