Personal thoughts on knitting, crochet, and other aspects of my life...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Stitches East - The Events

In addition to my well-spent (no pun intended) time at the market, I also attended the Opening Day Presentation and Luncheon (Thursday), the Fashion Show (Friday night), the Student Banquet (Saturday night), and took 5 classes. It all was heavenly.

The Opening Presentation was a talk and slide show from Kaffe Fassett. Seeing him in person was definitely a highlight for me. He is so talented and still so handsome.

The XRX Fashion Show was fabulous. The different types of garments were grouped into categories from "Accessories" to "A Night On The Town". There were 98 items professionally modeled...amazing! Also, XRX raffled off tons of gifts...nope, I didn't win any of them.

The Student Banquet was just as spectacular with the students modeling their own creations. Rick Mondragon, the editor of Knitter's Magazine, emceed both fashion shows and is quite hilarious.

In addition to the numerous things you could win in the raffle, each table was given a huge basket of goodies. There was a gift in the basket for each person at the table. I received a ball of Jade Sapphire Exotic Fibres Lacey Lamb with a pattern to make a shawl. It is incredibly soft and gorgeous yarn.

My classes were just as wonderful as the other events. I had two different classes with Debbie New. She is the author of Unexpected Knitting and, if you've seen this book, you know that she is totally an "out of the box" thinker. In the first class with Debbie called "Tantalizing Techniques" she took techniques that we are already familiar with such as the 3-Needle Bind Off and Suspended Bind Off, and took these a step further offering different variations on the traditional techniques. She gave us variations to try for some unusual increases, grafting stitches, and her own sock pattern creation called "The Better Mousetrap Sock."

The other class I took with Debbie was based on the Cellular Automation chapter of her book. This class was basically about doing color or textured knitting without following a pattern chart; but, instead knitting self-generating patterns by following a self-imposed rule. It was very interesting and opened my mind up to ideas and options that I had never considered.

The Maggie Jackson class had us knitting a fun, funky scarf using Maggie's private stock of Irish linen yarn. The best part of this class, besides the Irish linen yarn, was Maggie herself. It took a little time before I could understand her due to her heavy Irish brogue; but, she is quite an interesting woman. She has moved from Ireland and currently lives in Spain, in a cave...yes, a cave. Talking with her was very entertaining.

I learned several old Estonian "Long-Eye" stitch patterns during my class with Merike Saarniit. This was the only class that I felt unsure about when I registered because I was unfamiliar with the instructor; however, I was pleasantly surprised. We worked several swatches of very interesting and beautiful stitches basically by manipulating elongated stitches.

My final class of Stitches East was on Sunday afternoon in the "Knitting as Meditation" class with Fiona Ellis. This was the best class I could have taken to end my Stitches experience on a positive note as this class both relaxed and inspired me at the same time. The class covered all aspects of a yoga class from the initial "centering" of oneself to the twists and balancing postures to the ending relaxation...only it was all done by knitting.

To sum up my Stitches East 2006 experience, all I can say is "WOW!"

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stitches East - The Loot

Somewhat overdue,'s the damage done at the Stitches market.

First, the yarn...clockwise, I bought cashmere, silk, bamboo, wool/alpaca, hemp, various lace weight, and lots of sock weight merino.

Next, the non-yarn goodies. From back to front, left to right, there are stitch markers, goat milk soap, earrings, glass circular needles, and miscellaneous paper products (notecards, refrigerator pads, and post-its).

Also, I bought the book Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. XRX, the publisher of the book and organizer of Stitches, debuted the book with a fashion show and talk by the author. I have to say that it is a beautiful book with gorgeous photographs. However, seeing the garments modeled up close made all the difference because you cannot get the full beauty of the pieces from the pictures in the book. And, of course, I had my copy signed by Jane.

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And finally, what I did not pay for yet is priceless are the other autographs that I got. I lugged these 3 books with me from home to Stitches. I actually had to fly with a 2nd suitcase because, with these 3 books, my suitcase would have weighed over 50 lbs. (It worked out well, though, since that 2nd suitcase carried a lot of my loot home.) And, it was all worth it to get Maggie Jackson, Debbie New, and a living legend himself-Kaffe Fassett-to sign my books.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I Am ...

What Kind of Yarn are You?

Baby Alpaca
You are beautiful and soft, if sometimes a little difficult.
Nothing but the best for you, etc.
Quality, but out of the league for the rabble.

Take this quiz!

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Stitches East was absolutely fantastic!!

I didn't sleep much for 4 nights; but, I enjoyed every moment. I originally thought that if I went this year and attended every class I wanted, and every evening event, and bought what I wanted from the market, that I would be satiated and not care if I attended next year. Not so...I am already thinking about next year.

More later when I can photograph my treasures and have more time to share.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's Here!!!!!!

Eeeeek! That is me squealing with delight!! If you have been reading, you know why. You are is time to go to Stitches. Eeeeeek! I'm squealing again.

I'll see you when I get back...

If I waited to post until after midnight...0 Days Until Stitches