Stitches West 2010

I had a great time at Stitches West! I went with my mom on Thursday afternoon and we stayed on until Sunday afternoon, taking four classes in all and hitting the marketplace (and spending way too much $$) every single day. It was awesome! πŸ˜€

The first day I had a great class with one of my sock design idols, Cookie A, who is just as wonderful in person as her designs are to knit. The class was about traveling stitches and I’m pretty sure that I now want to start my own sock design… let’s see if/when I accomplish this. Of course, I will keep you all posted if I do!

After the class, we headed over to the Student Market Day Preview and waited in a big line to get in!

Stitches West 2010

I was all psyched to take pictures that day but I was told that there is no photography allowed??? What the hell? I was pretty pissed off, to tell the truth, but then I saw people taking pictures on Friday and decided to throw all caution to the wind and take pictures on Saturday and Sunday. Not sure if the no-pictures-allowed thing was only on Thursday for preview night, but if it’s for the whole time I think that’s pretty ridiculous, especially as there are no warnings or signs about this anywhere either at the show or online! But I digress, I was talking about preview night on Thursday! I actually headed straight for WEBS as I had heard a rumor that they’d have my newest love Madelinetosh Pashmina (rav link), but alas, the rumor was untrue and I was left with no yummy Pashmina to buy. 😦 Instead, I set my sights on some amazing Vintage in Moss as I had never tried the base before, and some gorgeous Lace in Turquoise, which is beautiful in person but I had never even paid attention to it when seeing it in pictures before!

Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage

Madelinetosh Tosh Lace

Are those yummy or what? After that, I can’t believe that I actually showed some restraint, but I did, and I didn’t buy anything else! Instead, I just wandered around the marketplace with my mom taking in all the booths and doing the rounds. It was a nice day to get acquainted with the marketplace before it exploded into life the following day.

The marketplace had plenty of vendors to see and things to touch, but I must admit that after Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool this wasn’t nearly as impressive in terms of size and variety. However, that does not mean that it wasn’t awesome! It just seemed to me that Stitches is more concentrated on classes rather than the vendors whereas in Rhinebeck it was a bit of the opposite. And that’s not at all a bad thing, it’s just a different approach and I absolutely 100% enjoyed the classes and learning a bunch of new techniques, as well as going into the market for a bit of shopping, so I was very happy with my experience. If your main goal is shopping, though, I’d much more highly recommend Rhinebeck for completely and totally blowing a budget! πŸ˜‰

On Friday morning I had my second class, The Joy of Finishing with Christine Bylsma. I am a horrible seamer and couldn’t seam straight for the life of me, but after this class I am proud to say that I actually had an invisible seam to work with! Woohoo! Very happy with the class and the teacher, who was really great as well.

Afterward I did some more shopping and met up with some friends from Ravelry! Kristen from Knitting Kninja Designs and Sarah and Misha (limejuicy and MishaMonet on Rav) were so much fun to talk to and shop with! I had a great time meeting everyone and am so glad we took some time to do that. I don’t have any pictures of us meeting up as I still thought that no cameras were allowed. I’m a bit sad about that, but at least I got to meet all of them! πŸ˜€ While I was hanging out with Sarah and her friends (also on Rav!) and Kristen I heard my name being spoken over the announcements and if you can believe it, I actually won one of the door prizes! I couldn’t at all believe it, it was just incredible that I won anything at all with all the hundreds of people there! I got this Bump City Bag Kit:

Bump City Bag Kit - Door Prize

I’m really not sure that I’ll make the pattern with this yarn and the yarn is for sure nothing I’d wear, so it will have to be made into a bag… I’m thinking definitely some sort of market bag. In either case, it will for certain be used, so yay for free yarn! πŸ™‚

On Saturday my mom and I spent all day in class. It was also taught by Christine Bylsma from The Joy of Finishing and by the end of it we had the majority of a teddy bear vest done! It is an adorable vest but the class was very advanced, requiring a bunch of different skills. I learned a lot of new things like how to crochet a chain to look like knitting on top of your garment and, you might want to sit down for this, how to steek! That’s right, I actually got to cut through a knitted piece and I even survived to tell the tale! I only had my iPhone on me so no great pictures, but I couldn’t start cutting without documenting it for the blog, so here are the crappy pictures that I have of this incredible event! πŸ˜‰

Here is the tube that we will cut to make it into a vest:


And the steek that I am about to cut being pointed out. Notice that it has been reinforced at the edges by a crochet chain, so no need for a sewing machine – which is an important technique for me to learn as I don’t own a sewing machine!


Make sure you’re ready for the next picture, as it may make you a little woozy… the scissors are touching the yarn!


And the first snip! Ack!


Tada! All done! And nobody died, LOL!


I have to say that I totally enjoyed cutting through my knitting. I thought I would hate it, but I somehow found it so liberating!


The vest all cut up and ready for the finishing:


I didn’t finish it yet, but hope to have it done very soon! I will make sure to share with you all when it’s done as well as when I can actually buy a teddy bear to fit the vest. I think it will make for a very dapper teddy. πŸ˜‰

We didn’t get to the market until later that day but we spent some time at WEBS where I got some Rowan Soft Bamboo in a bag at a great discount (more than 60% off!) to make some summery tops for me. It is just beautiful shiny stuff, and I’m really glad that I was able to get some. My mom also was very generous and gave me these gorgeous stitch markers from Knitifacts as a gift! I think they look like Christmas ornaments, don’t you?

Stitchmarkers from Knitifabrics

On Sunday we spent more time shopping and walking around before our last class for the convention. This is also the day I got the most pictures of the market (some of these were taken on Saturday afternoon):

Stitches West 2010

Stitches West 2010

Stitches West 2010

Stitches West 2010

Stitches West 2010

I think these dolls are so cute!

Stitches West 2010

This is the Becoming Art booth where I met Lisa, who is so sweet, and spent the longest time there on Friday debating on which yarns to buy!

Stitches West 2010

I wound up taking home both a Twilight and a New Moon Light in the soft Cielo Fingering base:

Becoming Art Cielo Fingering

Becoming Art Cielo Fingering

My favorite booth to look at and touch (though I didn’t buy anything – very expensive!) was A Verb for Keeping Warm. Check out these gorgeous fiber trees:

Stitches West 2010

Stitches West 2010

The Leilani booth had baskets filled with yarns made of different fibers like banana (a very heavy fiber, btw)!

Stitches West 2010

And the Slipped Stitch Studios booth where I spent a lot of my time. πŸ™‚

Stitches West 2010

From there I got a sweater-size project bag with a Day of the Dead theme:

Slipped Stitch Studios bags

Look, it has pockets inside!

Slipped Stitch Studios bags

And an adorable project bag with cute chickens and chicks:

Slipped Stitch Studios bags

Yes, that’s a chicken knitting a sock! I love it!

Slipped Stitch Studios bags

I also spent some time at Wabi Sabi Yarns meeting Lisa, who is just so nice and great to chat up with!

Stitches West 2010

I got a skein of Bliss for a hat:

Wabi Sabi Yarns Bliss Worsted

And one of Glow for a pair of socks:

Wabi Sabi Yarns Glow Sock

And what could perhaps have been one of the best part of Stitches West? When Misha told me that there was indeed Madelinetosh Pashmina but it was at the Imagiknit booth instead! By the time I got there most of the colors were gone, but I still got some gorgeous colors! I’m thinking of putting two together for a two-color shawl:

Madelinetosh Tosh Pashmina

Madelinetosh Tosh Pashmina

Madelinetosh Tosh Pashmina

The Imagiknit booth also had an amazing amount of Malabrigo… have you ever seen this much in person before?

Stitches West 2010

The last class we took was on Estonian color work stitches, which was hard but taught me some amazing stitches as well – I can’t wait to incorporate them into some socks or gloves or hats! They are just beautiful stitches and totally worth the difficult time I had learning them! After that we were done (and I do mean done – mentally and physically) and headed back to my mom’s house. It was a wonderful weekend and although I increased my stash considerably, I showed great restraint compared to what I got at Rhinebeck before! But just look at all of the gorgeous that I get to knit with:

Stash acquired at Stitches West 2010

Stash acquired at Stitches West 2010

Some of the yarns in there that I didn’t mention above include Little Red Bicycle and Miss Babs, both very beautiful yarns and one in sweater quantities. I’m very excited to start on projects for all of these yarns! I’m not sure if I will be back to Stitches next year (or later this year in the East Coast), but if I do make it out to it, I know that a good time will be guaranteed. πŸ˜€


20 responses to “Stitches West 2010

  1. MishaMonet 03.01.2010 at 5:17 pm

    Look! I’m leaving a comment on your blog! Wowza. πŸ™‚

    I had so much fun with you too. And I’m glad you got pictures, because my camera stayed buried deep in my purse the whole time. I was far too overwhelmed by yarn fumes to think clearly.

    I love the Pashmina you got. And I’m very excited about the Becoming Arts sock yarn that I got. Thanks for taking me over to her booth.

    And next time you’re in the Bay Area, we’ll have to go to Imagiknit. You think their booth at Stitches had a lot of Malabrigo? I’d say that’s less than 1/4 of what they have at the store.

  2. Gerry 03.01.2010 at 5:51 pm

    I must admit my tummy did feel a little fluttery when your scissors went for the knit.
    How interesting that one can crochet rather than sew before steeking.

    I have never steeked. But just may attempt steeking a swatch.

    Thanks for the wonderful tour for those of us who couldn’t make it out West.


  3. Christine 03.02.2010 at 7:40 am

    Wow! Thanks for the great stories and photos. Made me feel I was right there with you! Congrats on steeking!

  4. Yarndancer 03.02.2010 at 10:10 am

    Oh my! I get overwhelmed just in my LYS! Who knows what kind of nervous wreck I’d be at Stitches?! And I definitely wouldn’t be able to be so restrained as you! (I love the moss yarn BTW!!!) I’m so jealous, the pics of the event look fantastic. Though perhaps it’s just as well I’m on a whole different continent πŸ™‚

  5. Pati 03.02.2010 at 2:32 pm

    I had the shakes looking at the steeking pictures!!! Argh! Only recently I was reading The Knitter’s Almanac when she tells you how to do it (with a sewing machine, though) and it was like reading a horror book! Now I have the picture version of it! Haha! Well done, though! Very impressive!
    Give your mum a kiss from us!

  6. junepot 03.02.2010 at 7:29 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. I am so jealous, I am as green as your Madelinetosh Pashmina – It all looks awesome, and now that you know how to steek do you see any more pieced flat sweaters in your future?? lol!

  7. Susan 03.02.2010 at 9:52 pm

    Isn’t steeking fun! I avoided it for years and now I want to steek everything. I was at Stitches East and they had the same no camera thing, very strange. And I loved the classes, too. But you’re right, it’s not the same as Rhinebeck, a totally different experience. Looks like you had a great time.

  8. Laura Lundy 03.03.2010 at 1:42 am

    It was so great to meet you! I hope i get in to Rhinebeck this year- maybe i will see you again! πŸ™‚

  9. Lisa 03.03.2010 at 2:51 am

    Yay! This is the only pic of my booth (I’ve seen) thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ You have a fab haul!

  10. Julia 03.03.2010 at 7:39 am

    Looks like you had an amazing time. I love all the yarn that you bought. I think it’s awesome that you went with your mom, I wish my mom was a knitter!

    So impressed with you steeking. I’ve never tried it. The crochet chain technique is amazing!

  11. dana 03.03.2010 at 3:47 pm

    i arrived here from the spring fling thread, and what do i read? you were at stitches west! i could have met you live and in person before april!

  12. Linda 03.04.2010 at 1:22 pm

    What a wonderful event, thank you for showing us! The yarns are beautiful.

  13. Cynthia 03.04.2010 at 3:05 pm

    I love this blog post! The pictures are absolutely fabulous, gotta go off and buy yarn now.

  14. Kathy 03.05.2010 at 8:09 pm

    Love your report from Stitches West! And oooh, AVFKW and Becoming Yarn look like they were amazing booths. Well actually, it all looks amazing—Beautiful pictures! Beautiful yarn!
    So great that you got to hang with your mom, too.
    Looking forward to seeing a PhotoKnitDog sock design πŸ˜‰

  15. knittingprettyindc 03.06.2010 at 1:57 pm

    What a fantastic haul! I am sooooo jealous.

  16. Tasha 03.09.2010 at 2:57 pm

    So happy to see a write up of Stitches West. I can’t hear enough about it, I swear! And I have a cat named Chicken – I SO need a chicken knitting bag. Great photos – I’m glad you threw caution to the wind & whipped the camera out.

  17. Sri 03.09.2010 at 4:17 pm

    The pictures of the steek made me anxious. Time to go get a glass of wine….
    And I love, love Slipped Stitch Studios bags! Great photos!

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  20. kiwiyarns 02.26.2012 at 7:29 pm

    I’ve been checking out Stitches West posts, and I just had to say that I love the yarn you got! Ooooh!!! So yummy! We don’t have anything like a Stitches West here, so I’m getting vicarious enjoyment from seeing your photos. Thanks for sharing!

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