Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stitches West 2013 Review

Previous reviews: 20072008200920102011, 2012, Market Preview

This year I was scheduled to work at booth on Saturday. With more free time and a vendor badge, I was free to roam around. After Thursday evening's Market Preview, I was back on Friday to go through the market in more details and talk to the vendors I don't usually see, like Ellen's 1/2 Pint. Saturday was work day, and Sunday was when the wallet opened and bags filled up. Thankfully this year's academy award show bumped into Stitches, and I gave myself a dead stop at 2pm on Sunday so I could head home for some TV time, otherwise the bank account would have to suffer a little more.

I have a few rules for myself when it comes to Stitches yarn acquisition:

1. I work at a yarn shop and get a hefty discount, so anything I can acquire through the shop is out of the question. This rules out a lot of the yarn in the market.
2. I should not buy anything from the same vendor that I had previously acquired something which is still marinating in my stash. You'd be surprised how many booths this applies to. I'm very good at stashing.
3. I should not acquire yarn that's horrifically expensive or over priced because they'd just sit in my stash forever. There is part of me that carries on the too-good-to-use gene. I will save the fancy yarn for those who deserve.
4. I should definitely not buy the same yarn twice! This is a rule because I bought two bags of the same yarn from WEBS in two different years. Same yarn, same colorway. Now that I carry my entire stash in Ravelry database on my phone, there is really no excuse.

I wanted to find some gorgeous hand dyed fingering weight regular wool for shawls and tops. One would think with all the indie dyers on the floor this should be easy, even with all the above rules. Everyone seemed to have received a command I missed, all fingering weight wools were superwash -- they were all sold as sock yarn after all. I did find alpaca, silk, cashmere, in great colors and all soft and lovely, but they didn't have same solid hand as a good wool. In the end I had to give up the non-superwash requirement and I did find some lovely colors in sock yarns. Still, I was slightly baffled and disappointed. I hope this trend will pass soon and the regular wool comes back.

Now some pictures, not in any particular order.

49er stadium down the street from Convention Center where Stitches is held
The cutest booth
My friend Audry's Celestarium was on display in Blue Moon Fiber booth
Pure qiviut on sale, regular price $98, show price $83
Too many choices
The loot
These came home with me (bottom picture left to right):

- six skeins of Canopy Fingering in brown with slight green mixed in
- Lisa Souza Sock Merino in Little Devil (red and black), date stamp 2-13-13 (this yarn reminds me of Bucky who once was forced to wear a devil costume)
- Dizzy Blonde sock yarn in Marie (Antoinette - Let’s eat cake) Buttercream (yellow and white), with a tiny key stitch marker on the label
- Neighborhood Fiber Rustic Fingering in Rock Creek Park (green)
- five balls Lopi lace weight in purple
- glass buttons from Jodie McDougall Studios

Till next year.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stitches West 2013 Market Preview

The annual knitters' feast is upon us! Thursday night is Market Preview, so I previewed what I'm going to buy, and took some pictures to share with my fiber artist friends.

Purlescence Yarns always have interesting sights

Tower of knitting baskets

Knitted sign
Beautiful colors at Ellen's 1/2 Pint
Super cute and sexy knitwear from White Lies Designs
Crochet vest, I can't figure out the stitch pattern, it's not granny squares
Village Spinning from Solvang has huge selection of Japanese knitting books
Webs has the best deal on Silk Garden
They cut up a whole ball of quiviet, again! (ok, I know it's a blend, still.)
I wore my England Spoke which got lot of compliments, or at least it's a good conversation piece. I ran into quite a few people I know, and our knitting group will have dinner together on Saturday night. The fun is just starting!

Happy Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog, and leave me a comment! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Indigo Progress, Baby Turns 14!

Indigo, shop sample for Green Planet Yarn, is slowly but surely marching on. I'm done with the body and half of one sleeve (short sleeve). Hope there is enough yarn left to make both sleeves the same length! Knitting broken rib in such a dark color at night is a bit demanding. I'll be glad when it's done.

Aren't they both good lookin'
My little boy, the human child in the picture, turns 14 on Friday! Soon enough he will be starting high school. I can't believe I'm that old, sigh.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

New Project: Indigo 靛青

Project: Indigo for Green Planet
Pattern: Indigo by Mishellee Zaharis
Yarn: Rosy Green Wool, Cheeky Merino Joy, Sport Weight
Yardage: 700 yards
Needles: Size 7 & 8
Cast on: January 27, 2013
Notes: This is a store sample for Green Planet Yarn because the store will start carrying this new yarn. The yarn is super soft, like butta! 

The Rosy Green Wool yarns are certified organic according to GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standard. On their website, they describe their practice: "all chemicals and substances used during the production must not pollute the environment, in particular heavy metals and chlorine have to be avoided for dyeing, bleaching, and for making the wool machine washable". 

I don't really understand what's involved in the dyeing, bleaching, and making the wool superwash process, and how they do it their way to avoid polluting the environment. So I asked the question on Ravelry, someone from the company replied and said: "We buy our wool tops from a GOTS certified supplier who has a invited a new superwash process but as it is not patented yet he won’t tell us to much about it other than that it is chlorine free. As all GOTS producers he also has to account for all steps to his certifier and has to comply with all the requirements of the standard." That doesn't help, does it? 

Any wise fiber people want to chime in?

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment!