Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stitches West 2013 Review

Previous reviews: 20072008200920102011, 2012, Market Preview

This year I was scheduled to work at HandKnitting.com 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.

7 comments:

Kathryn Ray said...

Stitches sounds like fun... and I feel a little better about the little thing I'm working on for you. ;-)

You made some very nice yarn choices.

Audry said...

You know... you can get Canopy at work. It can be special ordered.

The stash acquisitions look great! And thanks for the shout out.

Cathy said...

I want to work in a yarn shop!! I've been following your Stitches pics with huge envy, your stash acquisition criteria is sound and I can definitely relate to "too good to use" - a legacy of our upbringing I'm afraid ;) what are your plans for the yummy goodies?

Carol said...

The picture of Audrey's shawl is gorgeous! What an incredible project. Looks like you picked up some nice yarns.

Voie de Vie said...

OhMyBob, the first skein that caught my eye was that amazing green one from Neighborhood Fiber. I've got a project coming out later in the year using her yarn in the Shaw colorway - just fantastic color. Phew!!!!

WonderWhyGal said...

I always LOVE to see the goodies you come home with...and what you will eventually make with them.

I am having a hard time finding yarns that aren't superwash too in fingering weight. It is frustrating. I don't like the feel of it when knitting and...I can't always knit with Alpaca.

Pumpkin said...

I absolutely love the list of rules! Go you for sticking with them too, and bringing back some truly unique yarns. I am really looking forward to seeing what you decided to do with the brown yarn.