Stitches Roundup - Yee Haw.


Where was I?

No - really. Where was I? Or, to be more correct, where have I been?

To start with, a Stitches review: Stitches was... pretty fun. In many ways it made me look forward to Maryland Sheep & Wool more than anything else. I didn't go as crazy as I expected to go in the market (which was a Very Good Thing Indeed), but on day one I did get to purchase:

- Yarn for my Arianne cardi in a lovely grey-blue (at Webs - okay, I get the Webs thing now, at least a little. It's their new "Valley Yarns" house brand - inexpensive & nice. I was unable to keep myself from swatching and casting on on Saturday)
- Buttons for same (that didn't break the bank - there are some hella expensive buttons at Stitches)
- A knitting bag that doesn't make me want to curse (a messenger bag from Namaste - in cranberry)
- Some Black Bunny laceweight from Carol who was manning the Rosie's booth with humor and aplomb. The laceweight that spoke to me was in a color I jokingly said could be called "Jill" - sort of light beiges and peaches which could be used by a small critter as camouflage when standing in front of me, as I am very light beige and peach (somebody give this girl some color - STAT!).

Classes on Friday were, on the whole, good. My first class' teacher (who shall not be named for reasons which will become evident soon) was quite good in the delivery of information. I learned the basics of the subject. This is a very good thing, as said subject contained quite a bit of math and could have been confusing to my sometimes soft and tender head. However, she was most definitely (and consistently and moreover constantly) flogging her books with a sort of camp archness that was intended to be funny and cute, but was irritating after the third repetition and downright enervating by the fortieth. I had actually intended to buy her latest book, but now... not so much.

My second class' teacher's name I can broadcast to the hills, for I have nothing but great things to say about her. Fiona Ellis is a delight - she taught a class in unlocking design creativity using images, sketches on graph paper, and then "sketches" on the needles. Interesting and very freeing. Lauren and I took this one together and found it fascinating how different people took their design cues in such varied and interesting directions. Fiona was a supportive and charismatic teacher - she has clear (and, to my eye, appealing) design choices in her own work, but she managed to use careful inquiry to ensure that her design aesthetic was kept out of the equation when she helped a student get past a creative obstacle.

On Sunday? Well, on Sunday I was a dumbass. For some reason, I had it in my head that my class was in the afternoon. It wasn't. Ergo, I'm a dumbass. I did go back to the market and pick up a batt of Grafton Fibers corriedale in a shade family that is reminiscent of an orange creamsicle or a delicate sunset and spent some time with the formidable Galina of Skaska Designs and dipped more than a toe into this whole lace thing, so not a complete loss.

A few words about Lauren - what a great partner in crime for an expedition like this. Her sense of humor is droll, her patience is strong in the face of me wandering off, and best of all - she gets sensory overload at about the same time I do. She was a strong and steady help when I was doing my usual, "Oh my god - it's a whole sweater. Is this a good enough color for a whole sweater?" conundrum at the Webs booth, and she was appreciative rather than annoyed when I pointed out Canadian yarn everywhere in an attempt to aid her search for Sea Silk (hey - I can spot the Fleece Artist logo at 20 paces. It's a skill, I guess). She also took me to a local Mexican watering hole for delicious margaritas and food where we were met by her husband Matt, who finally assuaged my curiosity about the whole Burning Man thing (they went this year).

And no, sadly, we were not able to locate Sea Silk in all of Stitches. It is, apparently, the current Cabbage Patch doll of the yarn world.

Up next: Across the Pond in a Silver Tube -- or -- Why I Went to London and Back in 48 Hours. Also (possibly) photos.

Posted: Friday - November 10, 2006 at 07:58 AM         | |