Impromptu Stitch & Bitch Session

Last week when we were knee deep in snow and just before we experienced record low temperatures, our college friends got together to watch football, eat delicious chili and snacks, and catch up at Jeremy and Jill’s place.

Jill suggested crafting while we were there, so I picked a hat pattern online for beginners and started crocheting.

I’ve been crocheting on and off for about five years, after Jill taught me. You can say Jill channels my creative, crafty side, but, unfortunately for her, it usually means a lot of her guidance. I have to say, she’s an excellent teacher! Always patient, that’s for sure. (Remember our jewelry-making class?)

I’ve made basic scarves and infinity scarves, but never a hat! I’m left-handed and often have a hard time understanding the crochet directions, but Jill coached me through while she worked on intricate stockings she’s making for her and her husband. Meanwhile, our friends Jess and Gina experimented with new crochet techniques for their scarves. They were very encouraging with my hat, too!

After one crochet hiccup, the main part of the hat was complete! We added ear flaps, long crocheted strings to secure the hat with a tie, and added a Pom Pom to the top.

I’m pretty proud of this hat, and it was so fun to gossip with the girls while we crafted. We used to have “stitch-and-bitch” nights years ago. I think it’s time for a comeback!

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Week #37 – Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago

My Ciocia (“aunt” in Polish) Andrea has worked at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since I can remember, for many years as the Dean of the Fashion Department. So when she offered to show me around the museum’s new fashion exhibit, I couldn’t say no!

The exhibit pairs Impressionist paintings with dresses and accessories from the time period in a way that is both reflective and inspiring.

We couldn’t take photos, so I’ll tell you a little bit about what I saw and learned:

  • Each room has a theme. My favorite was the park room, with faux grass, park benches, and outdoor sounds. Not to mention beautiful garments.
  • Just like today, women dressed to stand out. The elite would go to milliners and have their clothes custom made to mimic the latest fashions from Paris.
  • When you look at the exquisite detailing of the dresses, notice the petite size and construction. The dresses don’t allow women to raise their arms above their shoulders…because they didn’t have to. Also, notice how the dress shape accentuates a tiny waist.
  • There’s something for men too! One room dedicated to the sophisticated suits and military wear.

That’s all for now because I want you to experience it for yourself!

Please, don’t miss this exhibit, open until September 29. I went over my lunch hour and felt rushed, so give yourself a bit of time. Enjoy!

(Thanks, Chuch!)

Art Institute of Chicago Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity Exhibit
111 South Michigan Avenue
The Loop

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