Madison ---> Hartford

toomuchexcitement Last weekend I visited the Knitting Tree in Madison. It was a fun, busy afternoon although maybe just a little too much excitement for the toys! Possibly for me too, since this was the only photo I took all afternoon. Luckily other people, including the designer of some of the most adorable knits ever, were better bloggers.

cute bikes in madison

I loved Madison and my hosts Andrea and Jason made sure I had a great time. We rode cute vintage bikes, although the pedal brakes took a little crashing to get used to!

biking in madison

Madison is such a bike friendly place, wide flat streets, lots of bike paths and friendly drivers who don't try and crowd you. Not like Edinburgh with it's mysteriously ending bike lanes and hilly terrain.

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We ate messy but delicious ice cream and knit at the most beautiful student union location I've ever seen.

knitting at the union in madison

Saw the Capitol at night from a distance,

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and during the day up close.

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We also shopped on State Street, where we met a knitter and wannabe sweater designer in a cafe - this is my kind of place, and then biked to the charming Lakeside Fibers.

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Love that yarn wheel and there's an attached cafe at the back overlooking the lake.

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I left Madison last Tuesday and made a brief visit to Hartford Wisconsin, a little town between Madison and Milwaukee with a great yarn store - Main Street Yarn Shop. This is a pretty new store with a big space full of well choosen natural fibres and an owner who goes out of her way to stock patterns by indie designers - love that! They also seem to do a great job of reaching out to the community with lots of groups, including a young knitters club - a few kids bought my book and yarn to make projects from it, isn't that awesome?

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My visit to Hartford also led to meeting Melissa, author of this adorable picture book with a knitting theme. She wrote it for her daughter and it features the owner of the yarn store as a skilled knitting spider and although Melissa was charmingly humble she really has no need to be.

Chicago

Season of the shawlette