Category Archives: Events

Stitches Midwest 2017

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I know what you’re thinking – Courtney, you didn’t go to Stitches Midwest this year, how do you have goodies from Stitches.  Well, my wonderful friend Erika (and her sister) offered to do a little personal shopping for me. I’ve linked to each vendor, just in case you’d like to check them out.

Some Non-Yarn Goodies

From Erin Lane Bags – one of her new Sheeple prints, Larry.  I’m also planning to get the Dr. Who prints/

From KnitBaahPurl – a shirt that says “I’m Only Fluffy on the Outside”

The YARN! Sorry I didn’t take the yarn out of the bags for the pictures.

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From Dragonfly Fibers – A gradient set of DK weight Traveller (100% superwash merino) in the colorway Starry Night.  The set consists of six 2-ounce skeins for a total of 840 yards.

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From A Hundred Ravens – A set of Yarn Poppers, which are small mini-skeins of coordinating colors on the Aesir (DK weight merino) base.  There’s a total of 75 grams in the one set.

 

 

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Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2017

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and a little shopping.  I was slowed down, just a bit, by my broken foot and made an effort to keep it elevated as much as possible.

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I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic (and returning!) students.   Unfortunately, I was so focused on the classes I didn’t take any pictures. So here’s a sheep from the day.

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On Friday I taught Beaded Wire Bracelet and DIY Stitchmarkers and on Saturday I taught Cables 101.  One of my Cables class students from April took the Beaded Wire Bracelet class and I got to see two cabled handbands (a pattern exclusive to the Cables 101 class) she made. Saturday morning I got to Franklin early so I picked up my mini-rug hooking kit and sat at the edge of a friend’s booth working on that.

Of course, I did a little shopping. Yarny goodness:

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  • (Upper left) This actually just came – I loved the colorway but requested it on a different base (superwash merino rather than a merino bamboo mix) and they dyed it up this week.  It is a “shawl ball” from Brenda and Heather Yarns (aka BAH Yarns), a local dyer. This is 645 yards of fingering weight in a single gradient colorway called Sunset. 
  • (Upper right) Yet another large gradient, this time Arial Evolution (100% merino) from Twisted Fiber Art.  This is a new to me dyer so I’m excited to start on this soon.  Colorway is Downten.
  • (Lower left) This was a dyer I specifically wanted to buy something from this year as I’ve never tried her yarns.  This is sportweight 100% merino (superwash) in the Plum Drum Weekend colorway from Oink Pigments.  It’s actually not the softest merino but it feels like a very sturdy merino that won’t fuzz or felt so I’m planning to use it for socks.
  • (Lower right) Another yarn from Brenda and Heather Yarns but this is a self striping DK yarn.  I love self-striping for socks but given I’m a crazy slow sock knitter, DK weight yarn is perfect for me.  Colorway is Sunshine on a Cloudy Day (or as I call it, Grellow).

 

 

 

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Lest You Think I Disappeared. . .

I fully realize I’ve been as quiet as a church mouse this month. It has been an absolutely crazy and insane month of weird happenings. So, I’m going to give you an update on the two big things and then some smaller updates on miscellaneous things. 


At the beginning of May my cat stopped eating (which was very scary for my food motivated cat). Initial diagnosis was a UTI but when she didn’t start eating within a couple days of treatment I took her back to the vet for additional testing. The vet gave me a diagnosis for lymphoma. At that point the biggest concern was getting her eating again because if I couldn’t within a couple days, I would need to consider letting her go. I tried a last ditch effort of an anti-nausea medication injection and that seemed to jump start the appetite. After another week of trying random soft foods, then hand feeding kibble, she finally started eating on her on. Due to the lymphoma we’re just in a waiting game but she seems happy and active and lovey. 


On the first day I got her to eat on her own, I went and broke my foot. The true story is I tripped in a ditch by a work colleague has a much better version, that being I fought off pirate ninjas with knitting needles and a skein of yarn, while saving a truckload of kittens. Totally beleiveable, right? Anyways, I’m in an aircast for 6 weeks and hoping the bone starts to heal on its own. While I can get around pretty well, stairs are still problematic and I’m trying to stay off my feet as much as possible because walking in the cast is discombobulating my back. So appreciative of my wonderful friends who have been helping out. Also, ordering groceries online is now a thing, which makes me feel like a lazy bum but so be it. 


My last fiber festival classes of the season are this upcoming weekend at the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, Indiana. More details on the Classes page but I’m teaching a fun variety of classes. Cables 101 will teach you how to knit cables, read cables from a chart and how to fix mis-crossed cables. Beaded Wire Bracelet is a fun in-class project to knit a beaded bracelet from wire. Lastly, DIY stitch markers will teach you to make three different types of stitch markers and you take home as many as you can make. 


All of my plants for the year, save for a few a friend brought over last night, are in their pots and growing. I have some fruit (strawberries), veggies (carrots, peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens), herbs (too many to list), and some flower/healing plants (chamomile, lavender, echinacea). Winston loves the fresh kale! 

More in June on Hoosier Hills, what’s on the needles and recent spinning.  I’m gearing up to participate in Tour de Fleece but I’ll, obviously, be spinning on my e-spinner rather than my double treadle Sonata. 

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The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2017

First fiber festival of the year is in the books, as well as a three new classes!

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I taught three classes, all new.  Of the three, I think the knitted wire bracelet with beads was my favorite.  Both students finished their bracelets in class.

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I also taught a class on making stitch markers and another on beginner cables. It is so fun to teach something that results in an items the students can take home.  The same classes will be offered June 2 and 3 at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.  Class fee is $40 if you sign up by May 15th and you can see class descriptions here.

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After the classes on Friday I went to dinner with some friends where hijinx ensued.  One friend had dropped a skein while winding it (sans skeinwinder) and a mess bloomed.  While we waited for our meal we tried to help her untangle across the table.  No beverages were harmed in the process.

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Since I taught all day Friday and then Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon was my first chance to *really* get shopping.  Made some purchases from some long-time favorites, and some new.

The Yarn and Fiber:

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Working left to right (then the bottom)

  • The green yarn is 8oz of DK weight alpaca/merino/silk from Briar Rose Fibers
  • The blue/purple fiber batt from Stillwater Farm is a blend of merino, english angora and firestar
  • The rainbow yarn is the colorway Mr. Roy G. Biv on the Twist and Shout Base (DK weight) from BaH Yarns
  • The red yarn is the colorway Heart’s Blood on the Slightly Silky (merino/silk fingering weight) from Copper Centaur Studios
  • The fiber at the bottom is 100% nylon from Hello Purl

Notions and Accessories:

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  • The canvas and fiber is a mini rug hooking kit from Breezy Manor (aka Donna Jo Copeland aka where I got Winston).  I’ve always been intrigued but a large project is a little overwhelming.  So I got the little kit.  It will have a bunny on it and Donna Jo gave me some white fiber so I can make a white bunny like Winston.
  • The two “pouches” in the upper left of the photo are yarn keepers.  You put your yarn ball in (the bottom opens up square) and close the snap.  I’m hoping it’ll protect my yarn when it invariably hits the floor.  These two are from The Felted Garden (on Etsy as thefeltedgarden).
  • The soap is from Simple Soapworks and I buy some every year.  I love the oatmeal in the soap because it really does exfoliate.  This year I got two scents – lavender rosemary and oatmeal.
  • The pouch in the lower left is a yarn keep from a different booth.  I like this one a lot because the fabric is heavier and it has a d ring on the side.  It has strings to cinch close but I might replace those with the little plastic stoppers you squeeze.  These are made by DC Bags and she will be be opening a shop May 1 on Etsy.  She also has a lot of nice wedge project bags.
  • The white stick on the left side it a goat milk lotion bar in the lavender scent.  The maker is Gentle Meadow Goat Farm but it was sold by Midwest Fiber.  They had a lot of nice alpaca yarns and fibers as well.
  • The tubes on the top are handmade lip balms from Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium.  I got chocolate cherry and strawberry vanilla although there were many more options.  This vendor also has a podcast which I’m going to give a try very soon.
  • The odd looking contraption on the right is a ball holder.  You put the base of the V up the center off your yarn cake and the ring on your wrist/forearm so you can carry your yarn.  Usually I can clip a project bag to a belt loop but that doesn’t work for my skirt.  Hopefully this will! I bought it from Mother of Purl, although the website listed is www.barnhart-studios.com.
  • Last but not listed I found a stemless wine glass from knitbaahpurl, sold via a different vendor’s booth.  I got the one that says “Three Sheeps to the Wind” (which I have on a t-shirt already) and may order another that says “Sheep Faced.”

That’s all folks!

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2017 Classes – The Fiber Event

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Its that time of year again!  Registration is open for The Fiber Event and I will be teaching three new classes.  I’m so excited for this opportunity.  In addition, I will be teaching these classes at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, Indiana, and hopefully that registration will be open in a few weeks.

The Fiber Event is April 14 and 15 in Greencastle, Indiana, which is about an hour west of Indianapolis.  A ton of vendors and a lot of great classes.  Registration fee is $40 for each three-hour class and now you can sign up on their website here.  You will see that there are a fixed number of spots available for each class so sign up now if you’re interested!

The Fiber Event Schedule

Friday, April 14, 9:00am-12:00pm – Beaded Wire Bracelet

Friday, April 14, 1:00pm-4:00pm – Stitch Markers

Saturday, April 15, 9:00am-12:00pm – Knitting Cables 101

If you can’t make it to the class or would like a specialized focus please see my page here for private lessons.

 

Classes:

Beaded Wire Bracelet

Beaded Wire Bracelet - Two Strand

Create a custom bracelet from wire and beads that you, and your friends, will love. See different styles and options, then jump right into your own bracelet. You will leave the class with a completed bracelet and the tools and skills to create more!

Bring to class: Your creativity!

Materials fee is $13, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers wire, metal needles, beads, jump rings, clasps and handout.

 

Make Your Own Stitch Markers

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Explore ways to make your own custom stitch markers for knitting or crochet. We will make three different types of stitch markers using flexible beading wire, headpins and a variety of beads. You will leave the class with at least a dozen stitch markers and the skills to create many more!

Bring to class: Your creativity!

Materials fee is $10, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers flexible wire, headpins, eyepins, jump rings, beads, crimps, round nose pliers and handouts.

Knitting Cables 101

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Learn to knit cables like a pro! We will cover yarn and needle selection, cabling to the front and back, and reading charts. Put your new knowledge to practice in class to master techniques, learn how to fix cabling mistakes and start a cabled headband.

Bring to class: Worsted weight yarn and appropriately sized needles (approximately US 6-8)

Materials fee of $5 covers pattern, cable needle, stitch markers and handouts.

 

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Knitting Pipeline Retreat 2017 – The Goodies

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As I promised last week, here are the goodies from the Knitting Pipeline retreat! I have included  links to the vendors (ok, I’m enabling you) so you can check them out. Now to try to go through these in a semi organized fashion.

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Oh, bags.  People keep telling me I have a bag problem.  I can’t help it!

Upper left – teal and white circles – I bought the bag at a LYS booth (it was a retreat sponsor) but the bag was actually made by Trappings and Trinkets (available on Etsy). I actually squeeled when I unzipped the bag because the interior fabric was so cute (teal, pink and white kitties).  If you want a peak, take a look at my instagram feed!

Upper right – arctic animals on a gray background – this bag is from Fat Squirrel Fibers.  She actually made a bag specifically for the retreat but I loved the animals on this one even more (see the little narwhal?).  The bags are nicely made and she picks out fabrics that are fun but not necessarily loud and crazy.

Lower right – these two little notion pouches are from RainStorm Studios.  I toss them in my project bags that don’t have pockets.  I really like the one on the right because it has a circle base but opens up wide enough you can include a pair of small scissors in there.  Very functional for me.

Lower left – this is the gauge ruler from Ann Budd knits. KnitCircus carries them and they’re all of $5. You line up the stitch symbols on the ruler with your stitches such that the with of your stitches matches the symbols.  Whichever set of symbols it lines up with tells you your gauge (not the most elegant description).

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Oh, the yarn! If you saw my post about found patterns you know I went into the vendor market with some projects in mind.  So I can happily say I did buy most yarn with a project in mind.

Upper left green and purple skeins – The slightly variegated green skein is Strong Stock (80/20 merino/nylon) from Another Crafty Girl in the colorway Numerical Vampire.  The purple next to it is Tenacious Sock (75/15/10 merino/nylon/tencel) from Dyeabolical Yarns in the colorway Ever After. I plan to use these in a two-color shawl together.

Upper center gold and black skeins – Both of these are from Sun Valley Fibers in the merino/cashmere/nylon fingering base.  The two colors are called Golden Harvest and Onyx.  I also plan to use these in a two-color shawl (see a trend yet?).

Upper center gray variegated skeins – These are from Yarn Geek Fibers in her Rocketeer (merino/cashmere/nylon) base in the To Boldly Go colorway.  Yes, a Star Trek reference.  This yarn is super soft and squishy.  So squishy I can’t describe. This doesn’t have a project planned for it – maybe a cowl? a shawl? There’s a lot of yardage (962 yards of fingering) so maybe a shawl? Still can’t decide.

Top right dark green skeins – These are included in our Knitting Pipeline bag from Quince and Co.  100 grams (total) of fingering weight wool.  I think these are going to be boot toppers.

Lower left red and black skeins – Both of these are from Leading Men Fiber Arts in the Box Office base (100% worsted weight merino).  The colors are called Poison Apple and Darkest Hour.  These are going to be a Themisto Hat and there might be enough left over for wristers or boot toppers.

Bottom left green skein – Also from Leading Men Fiber Arts – this is the Diva base, 150 grams of 80/20 merino/silk.  The colorway is Envy.  Definitely going to be a lace shawl.  I love the extra yardage – its great for shawls!

Lower right – black and blue skeins – All three of these are Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet (90/10 merino/nylon), which is squishy soft.  One of the blacks and the blue are going together for something brioche.  I got the second black to have as an extra because I frequently pair colorful yarns with black.

That’s a wrap!

 

 

 

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Knitting Pipeline Retreat 2017 – The Weekend

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I’m back from the Knitting Pipeline retreat in central Illinois and have so many fun things to share with you.  As usual, there will be one blog post about the retreat and another about the goodies I picked up.  I went with my friend Patty and we made a four-day weekend out of it.  Yeah, we don’t pack light.

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The retreat actually started Friday afternoon but there were some optional activities before.  We drove over Thursday morning and had lunch before taking a class Thursday afternoon, which was held at a local yarn shop in Morton, IL.  The class was Beginning Brioche with Amy Detjen (you can see her patterns here). Now I’ve tried to knit brioche before via a book and YouTube but it just didn’t click.  This class made it click.  To learn Brioche we started knitting Amy’s Chromatic cowl, and I bought one of her kits of yarn (a 50 gram gradient ball and a 50 gram solid).  I almost picked a red/gray combo but ultimately decided on the rainbow and cream.  Fun, right?  I made good progress but ripped it out later that night to restart on smaller needles.

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After class we went to our hotel in Peoria and then to dinner at Granite City.  I loved that the restaurant was right down along the river and we could watch the sun set over the river.

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The next morning we went to our second class with Amy Detjen, which was essentially the “part 2.”  We learned a brioche cast on, and then did increases and decreases.  Not sure I have those nailed quite yet but I guess I will need to figure out the decreases if I want to knit a brioche hat.  After lunch the retreat started!

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I made some wonderful new friends at my table and some new friends from other tables.  There were some free break-out sessions during the retreat, although I did not attend.  Saturday afternoon there was a vendor market with a lot of indie makers (more on those goodies in the next post).  We had a little more knitting time before the retreat wrapped up and we had to say goodbye.

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After the retreat we headed down to Springfield Illinois to stay the night with my aunt.  We had dinner, some wine and some “show and tell” before wandering off to bed.  Sunday morning Patty and I went to have breakfast with Kristi of the In a sKnit podcast before heading back to Indiana.  Stay tuned for next week’s post on the amazing goodies I got, complete with links for enabling.

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September 2016 Odds n’ Ends

It’s almost fall.  We’re almost there! I love fall – cinnamon, apples, fallen leaves, the slight chill, plaid shirts (which apparently is “in” this fall”) and more apples.  Seriously, I’ve already dehydrated five pounds of apples and made chili.

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Small Stash Swap Weekend before last my friend brought over some yarn she wanted to swap.  She had received some yarn from a family member that she couldn’t use (she’s allergic to wool – how tragic is that?). In particular, she was hoping for some Knit Picks Stroll I had in my stash.  So, I traded for the beauties pictured beauties.  Left to right: 1)Sassafras Sock in Jack’O’Lantern from Hiwassee Creek Dyeworks; 2)Vesper sock in Tartan from Knitterly Things; and 3)Bounce in Here We Go from Fibernymph Dyeworks.  So far I’ve avoided skeining them up, but that’s coming.

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New Bag Here is my very large custom bag (think sweater size) from The Silver Shed on Etsy.  The proprietress Ann was so great to work with and had the custom bag off to me so quickly.  One of the things I love about her shop is the ability to customize the bag by adding different types of exterior and interior pockets.  I also was able to choose to the interior fabric.  I couldn’t be more pleased.

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Upcoming Design I’m wrapping up a cozy autumn shawl that has mesh, lace and some simple cables.  It should go out to test knitters next weekend – if you’re interested in test knitting please shoot me an email or message me on Ravelry.  Hopefully it will be released around Halloween.

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Super Secret Project I’m not ready to disclose any names or details but I’m excited to be starting on some possible design work in collaboration with a yarn company.  They’ve sent some skeins and, after I finish the autumn shawl, I’m going to work on some sketches and swatches.  Hopefully I’ll have more to tell you about this next month.

Upcoming Events I will be demoing spinning and/or fiber prep at the National Alpaca Day open house at Montrose Farms on September 24th.  I have it on good authority there will be wine there 🙂

 

 

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Stitches Midwest 2016 – The Goodies

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This is probably the post you’ve *really* been looking for – the yarn and other goodies that came home with me.  I’ve linked to each vendor, if available, in case you’d like to check them out.

Some Non-Yarn Goodies

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From Erin Lane Bags – a circular needle organizer (the Knit Pack Circular) in a fun retro cat print and the Sheeple sock bag with specially designed Stitches Midwest print.

From KnitBaahPurl – a shirt that says “Three Sheeps to the Wind”

From Michelle’s Assortment – a shawl pin with a Dr. Who Tardis

From Pawley Studios – a red mug with the Star Trek Insignia (insert red-shirt joke here for any Trekkies)

The YARN!

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From Dragonfly Fibers – Three skeins of sport weight Damsel (100% merino) in the colorway Sugar Shack.

 

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From Destination Yarns – Three skeins of fingering weight Letter (100% merino) in the colorway Harvest Moon.

 

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From A Hundred Ravens – Three skeins of fingering weight Iachos (100% merino) in the colorway Apollo.

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From Fresh From the Cauldron – Two skeins of fingering weight Schoodic Sock (75% merino, 25% nylon) in the colorway Poe’s Absinthe Induced Dream.

 

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From White Birch Fiber Arts – A long gradient (200 gram cake) in a sock base (80% merino, 20% nylon) in a Roy B Giv gradient (one repeat).  This was something that was on my “serious” shopping list since I prefer to knit larger shawls.

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From White Birch Fiber Arts – A rainbow mini skein set (75% merino, 25% nylon) in the colorway A Rainbow to Adult By.  I also got a matching black skein (same yarn base) to use in the same project.

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From A Hundred Ravens – A mini skein set (100% merino) in the colorway Starry Night.  I also custom ordered a dark gray skein (same yarn base) so I can make a larger shawl.

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I also bought, from Wandering Wool and Grinning Gargoyle, some one-off mini skeins for my sock yarn blanket.

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Stitches Midwest 2016 – Everything But the Goodies

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I’m coming down off that Stitches high.  This was a different year for me – travel was a little different and I went with family instead of my normal friends.  I want to run through what all happened on my trip, and then next week I’ll post all about the goodies that came home with me.  However, some of those items will be popping up on social media later this week and next.

Wednesday

After work Wednesday I drove from Indianapolis over to Springfield, Illinois, where my aunt lives.  On the way, I listened to podcasts from Prairie Girls Knit and Spin and Unraveling with Grey and Joey.  My aunt and I had dinner at a local lodge-like restaurant and went back home to watch television (and I knitted).

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I should also introduce you to Buddy, my aunt’s cat.  He was an outdoor (and technically feral) cat 100% of the time.  In the last several weeks she’s been letting him in the house (only the living area and only when she’s right there with him).  He seems to enjoy being outside and is still young enough he loves to play with toys.

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Thursday

Thursday morning I went to have breakfast and some knitting time with the wonderful Kristi of the In a SKnit podcast.  We talked about Fred the dog, Stitches, baseball, and, of course, knitting.  We also swapped stitch markers and took a picture.

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Then I went straight to lunch at an Indian buffet with my uncle and back to my Aunt’s where we hung out for the afternoon, idly packing, playing with the cat, napping and knitting.  Early in the evening we loaded up the car (side note – we had enough wine and snacks to survive for at least four days if stranded), picked up my cousin’s wife and headed to Chicago.  We had a few drinks, some snacks and then off to bed! Usually I stay at the hotel at the convention center, but this time we stayed at another property across the interstate.  Not particularly impressed with the hotel but it was ok for the limited amount of time spent there.

Friday

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Friday morning we headed over to the convention center at 10am to get into the market.  I shopped with my family for a few hours and then darted off to a market class on knitting with two circulars.  Still struggling a bit with ladders at the ends of the needles, which was why I took the class, but I’m hoping that will improve with practice.

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The family headed off to the mall while I had a quick snack and went back to shopping.  All throughout the day I swapped a LOT of stitch markers.  The stitch marker swap is such a great idea because it encourages you to talk to random strangers.  It was great to see some of my favorite vendors, including Ron of Buffalo Wool Company, Lisa of White Birch Fiber Arts, Kate of A Hundred Ravens and Lindsay of Erin Lane Bags.  One of the coolest purchases of the day was the sock bag with a print designed especially for Stitches Midwest.  It had sheep with corn, sheep with deep dish pizza, sheep at the Indy 500, etc.  Had to have one of those (which you can find here).  I also ran into (multiple times) and hung out with one of my local Indy knitting friends and her sister.  Shopping with a friend (or friends) is always great because a)its more fun and b)color/style input is important.  Mostly so you don’t get home and go “what the heck was I thinking?”

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In the late afternoon my family picked me up and we went to Ikea (bought two jar candles) and then dinner (RAM Brewery).  The hard cider with dinner was a welcome treat.  We looked up some patterns for my cousin-in-law’s yarn purchase – a 200 gram worsted weight rainbow gradient cake that was beautiful.Since the pajama party wasn’t for several hours we went back to the hotel to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.  That also gave me the chance to do some yarn and pattern research.  Lastly, we went back to the convention center for the Stitches PJ Party.  There I ran into designer Adrienne Ku of Mushroom Knits, which of course caused some squealing.  I actually got a fair amount of knitting done between the “audience participation” lip sync dancing.  Which then my cousin-in-law and I then took part in on stage.  Yes, totally made possible by alcohol.

Saturday

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Saturday was our last day in Chicago so I packed up everything before my aunt took me over to the convention center.  They went to brunch at Wildberry, which I’m bummed I missed! Not that I needed the calories.  Around lunchtime a friend that lives in Chicago came by.  We shopped in the market and caught up.  She bought a wool shrug (which she then put on!), some BarMaids products for her and her sister and then some shoes for her sister.  She also gave me some good color advice.  While she was shoe shopping I ran into Sarah (aka Mrs. Shoo) of the Cultivate and Create podcast. We caught back up with my family and my aunt and cousin-in-law each bought a kit from Universal Yarn for a really pretty stole.  I went back to A Hundred Ravens a final time for a a mini-skein set and some complimentary deep gray yarn, which Kate is going to dye and send to me.

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We left mid-afternoon to drive back to Springfield, where we had pizza at my cousin’s house.  My aunt and I went back to her house to watch the Olympics and play with Buddy the cat.  Despite Buddy’s insistence I should be playing I did manage to take pictures of my loot and enter everything into Ravelry.  That felt pretty awesome!

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The next morning (or rather, early afternoon) I drove back to Indy, which ended my Stitches adventure.  Until next year. . .

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