Friday, February 25, 2011

Stitches West 2011 Review

First of all, a rare snow scene, only on top of the mountains, but it's real snow! (Ok, come back when you are done laughing.)

Previous years' Stitches reviews: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.

This year I spent every minute in the market, no classes, no other events, just the market; and every minute the market was open, I was there! 

Thursday night's preview was fun, but way too short. On Friday and Saturday I worked with Judy in the Black Abbey Water Yarns booth, fending off the crowds, and shopping with my yarn credit, to my heart's content. When there was a bit down time on Saturday afternoon, I tried on a few samples, and really liked couple of them. Working in a booth meant I could play with the yarn (think about all the different colors went through my hands), read the patterns, and get to know every button intimately.  It was sooo much fun dragging the bags home on Saturday evening! Another benefit for working in the booth,  by the time I was done with practically two whole days of shopping, I got some of my shopping bugs out of the system, I was a less dangerous shopper on the rest of the market.

On Saturday, I wore my Pagode, and this lady walked into the booth in the same sweater, just a different colorway. Of course we had to take a picture together. 

The rest of the pictures are all taken on Sunday, not in any particular order.

Green Mountain Spinnery from Vermont is trying out Stitches West for the first time. I hope they liked it and come back next year. Their yarns and patterns are lovely. Very nice display in the booth too.

Spinning wheels at Carolina Homespun's booth.

Some have their priorities set.

Sanguine Gryphon from Maryland is also a first timer, and had the most unique booth arrangement.

I even joined a Ravelry meet up for a few minutes and sneaked in a picture with Jesse. Her baby is due on June 4, maybe he'll be late and land on my birthday (12th).

Remember the pictures I posted last week, the booth with all those colorful sweaters? They have Kauni, the fine wool from Denmark with super long and unique color changes. One of these had to come home with me, if not one of the $350 kits.

This is the year I really fell in love with buttons. This booth had some antique ivory and bone buttons from China, very tempting.

These are so pretty, like candies.

Annual obligatory picture of WEBS taking their booth apart. In less than 15 minutes they boxed up almost all the yarn, these are work horses.

The loot:

Do these remind you of certain someone who's rather fond of footwear?

The buttons I brought home, more on order from Black Water Abbey Yarns.

The yarns (clockwise from top left corner):
- Kauni in red and black, 150g ball
- Cashmerino, 93% merino, 7% cashmere, in Irrestringibile (it must mean lime green in some language), 10 in the box
- Textiles A Mano Wuxi, 50% silk, 50% wool, in a different shade of lime green
- Black Water Abbey Yarns sports weight in Moss, 4 skeins for Sprossling
- Colinette DK, two skeins laying across, in dark purple
- Black Water Abbey Yarns sports weight in Wood Violet, 6 skeins for Squirrel Monkey
- Black Water Abbey Yarns worsted weight in Wine, 7 skeins for Marilyn, a Beth Brown-Reinsel design, named after Marilyn King, the owner of Black Water Abbey Yarns

Till next year.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stitches West 2011 Market Preview

Previous years' entries: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.

Thursday night is student market preview. Since I signed up to work for Black Water Abbey Yarns booth this year, I have a vendor badge and can come and go all weekend. I stopped by the booth to meet Judy, but the rest of the time she allowed me to roam around.

Last year's "the beautiful booth" Isager is back, make a mental note to visit them again.

I don't remember the name of this booth, but most definitely will be visiting them again.

Ali MacGraw will be there on Saturday.

And then there are people don't even bother the show up.

And some unwilling shopper.

I wore my Spencer Day and ran into Melissa Leapman. She recognized it instantly and really liked seeing her creation on me.

Full report next week.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Handsome Puppy

It's been a busy week and I'm recovering from a nasty flu that Henry brought home, so I'm going to be lazy and make this one post serve both Dogs on Thursday and Fiber Arts Friday. Rascal and his sweater are cute enough to hold people's attention for two days.

Project: Rascal's I'm-a-handsome-puppy Cable Sweater
Pattern: Very loosely based on a basic dog sweater pattern found online many years ago when I made Trinket's T-shirt (sweater for Trinket post surgery), but I changed the shaping and added the cables. The neck is knitted in the round, body is knitted in two pieces, until they are long enough to cover the dog. (And on Rascal, the back takes a looooong time!)
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool
Needle: US size 8
Cost: less than $5
Notes: Rascal is a trooper for clothing-tolerance, so mom hopes there will be many cute outfits to come.

Friday, February 04, 2011

New Project Plan -- Parker Cardigan

I'm joining a Fiber Arts Friday blog on Wisdom Begins In Wonder to give myself more excuse/motivation to blog about my knitting.

Since I finished Spencer Day (sweater) and Que Sera Sera (sock yarn shawl) in December I've been working on a few small projects, hats, doggie sweaters, etc. About time to plan for the next big thing.

I bought this yarn in July 2008 when a bunch of knitting friends went on a yarn crawl in the north bay. Sadly the store Marin Fiber Arts is now out of business. In real life the yarn is a lot more purple than it shows in the picture. I have over 1500 yards here, plenty enough for a cute top, and I'm considering Parker Cardigan from IK Spring 2009. Swatching starts tonight!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Rascal's Army of Lawyers

Rascal is a sweet little dog and he needs humans to stick up for him. We are constantly hearing conversations like this:

Mom: "Oh no, Rascal had an accident!"
Dad: "Darn, I should have taken him out sooner."

Henry:"Rascal stole my shoe."
Mom:"You should put them away in the closet."

Rascal whines in the car. After much consideration, Henry drew the conclusion that for the little pup car rides meant his family surrendering him to strangers, of course he's not pleased with it.

Apparently this doesn't stop in our house. The other day I posted this video in the Chihuahua group on Ravelry. More than one person agreed that Rascal was framed, someone put the shoe in his bed. True story was I was sitting at the table and the Rascal stole the shoe. I should have kept the shoe on my foot, I know.