Tag Archives: stitchesmidwest

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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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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FOtography by Emily Straw

DSC_0070One of the most exciting opportunities I had at Stitches Midwest was to take part in a mini-photoshoot by Emily Straw for FOtography (finished object photography). She had offered up her photography services while at Stitches Midwest to take pictures of knitters and their knitwear. I actually happened upon her Saturday morning because I had stopped to say hi and introduce myself to Danie from the Prairie Girls Knit and Spin podcast. I have three amazing photos from Emily, the one at the top of the post and the two following.

DSC_0071 (2)She also made a fun photo collage video that you can see here. In addition to photographing knitwear she also does family and senior photography and is located north of Denver, Colorado. Her website is here and her podcast on knitting, spinning and photography, Knitting Butterflies, is here. She is amazingly talented and lovely person – you should check her out.

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Stitches Midwest 2015 Part 3 – Yarn Goodies

YarnThe post you’ve probably been looking for since last week is here.  Or you’re so bored at this point you’ve nodded off and are busy snoring at your screen.  Either way, just don’t drool on your knitting.

Hundred Ravens CollageFrom A Hundred Ravens (Owner Kate is amazingly friendly and cheerful, they also have a cool yarn club)

  • (left) Iachos, a 100% superwash merino, in colorway Rivendell (a soft olive green and grey)
  • (center) Iachos in colorway Hecate (light to dark purple and grey/black)
  • (right) Iachos mini skeins in colorway Into the Darkness (catch the Star Trek reference?) which is a light to dark teal

 

Grinning Gargoyle CollageFrom Grinning Gargoyle

  • (left) Lux Lace (laceweight alpaca/cashmere/silk) in the colorway Shiny Penny
  • (center) Primo (DK weight merino/cashmere/nylon) in the colorway Signature Red
  • (right) Shimmer (fingering weight merino/nylon/metallic) in the colorway Black Spruce

 

Buffalo and Wandering CollageThree More

  • (left) From Wandering Wool: Udaipur (50/50 merino/silk in a fingering weight) in Emerald Isle
  • (center) From Buffalo Wool Company: Buffalo Skies DK (50/50 merino/bison in DK weight) in Indian Paintbrush.  I actually sort of won this yarn from a grab bag.
  • (right) From Buffalo Wool Company: Sexy (50/50 bison/silk in lace weight) in Night Shade.

 

Remaining CollageAnd the Final Four

  • (left) Valley Yarns Sunderland (DK weight 100% alpaca) in colorways Charcoal Gray and Brilliant Blue
  • (center) Lost City Knits Oak Barn Merino (laceweight 100% merino) in colorway Spring Valley VFD
  • (right) White Birch Fiber Arts long sock gradient (80/20 merino/nylon gradient) in colorway Shake Your Tailfeathers

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Stitches Midwest 2015 Part 2 – Goodies Except for Yarn

Bag - DrinkingAm I torturing ya’ll by not posting the yarn? Next post, I promise.  To whet your appetite, here are the non-yarn goodies.  Spoiler: I have an obsession with bags.  Specifically, pretty and fun bags that are well made.  So lets start there. Bags

  • (top right) Owl Project Bag from Front Range Bags.  Two exterior pockets and one interior pockets.  There are also two yarn guide clips on the inside.  This is quality made and has a flat bottom so it stands up independently.
  • (far right) Project bag set from Erin Lane Bags.  It was an on-sale grab bag with three sizes (sock, small and large) in my favorite color combo of purple and teal.  The stock may be my favorite right now.
  • (bottom) Small drawstring bag from Knerd.  I actually was hoping to find this in a t-shirt but since I love bags, this was perfect too.
  • (left) A two-fer from Erin Lane Bags.  It has a divider up the center designed to support two balls of yarn being used for colorwork.
  • (top left)  A drawstring bag from Stash-Ems being sold at the Grinning Gargoyle booth.  It came with matching stitch markers.  Obviously the draw on this was the print.

Funzies

  • A t-shirt that says “Sheep Wreck” from Knit Bah Purl.
  • A mug from Gnome Acres.  Because what is better than a gnome on a tractor? Microwave and dishwasher safe.
  • Beads to go with my Elixir purple yarn from Plucky Knitter.
  • My first (and only) set of signature needles.  It’s a US 5 circular with stiletto tips.  I don’t foresee buying very many of these due to price but want to try a pair.

 

Stitch Marker Swap

This isn’t really a bought goody but I wanted to show the results of our initial stitch marker swaps.  This was an amazing part of Stitches – I met and talked to so many people.  There’s an intricate clay owl hand-made by the swapper and a couple glass ones.  Since I love anything handmade, all of them are special to me.  Some had a story behind them (the flattened penny).

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Stitches Midwest 2015 Part 1 – Everything But the Goodies

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I’m baaaaack.  Well, actually I was back last week but needed some time to catch up, take pictures of the pretties and so on.  We had an awesome time, met many new people and came home with loot.  In order to not have an epic long post I’ll post the yarn and other purchases next post(s).  But, if you follow me on Instagram/Twitter you’ll see them pop up a couple times a day.

096This is my shopping bag.  It has all the required items – buttons and stitch markers for the swap, my business cards and a swatch I was looking for yarn for.  I put my Rav button on my Stitches badge.  Inside the bag I had my purchases, my wallet, my phone and a shopping list.  I did have the opportunity to meet Danie of the Prairie Girls Knit and Spin Podcast (which I highly, highly recommend – it’s like sitting down with your knitting friends) and got some swag buttons to add to my bag.  099

I enjoyed learning new techniques for adding beads to knitting.  I’m not a huge pre-stringer of beads but the comparison of stringing onto the bar between stitches versus onto the stitch itself was interesting.  I also liked weaving the beads into the finished ribbing sample.  The cable with the beads was just cool.

UntitledMy friend Patty and I ran into Adrienne Ku of Mushroom Knits.  At Stitches three years ago Patty and I both bought the pattern for the Learning Curve shawl and then managed to separately buy the exact same colorway of yarn.  So we have twinsy shawls (here’s the post for mine).  Patty was wearing her’s when we met Adrienne, who is super nice (and funny!).  We (Patty, Heather and myself) also bought another of her shawl patterns, 20 Days, to knit together.  Just not out of identical yarns. Untitled

Last time best meal award went to Ram Brewery.  This time our experience wasn’t as nearly as fantastic (poor service).  But, we more than made up for it Saturday morning at Wildberry Cafe.  They had a great breakfast and I got some yummy crepes.  Pro tip: Get there early or you will be waiting for a loooong time.  Appears its pretty popular.

UntitledOne of my favorite aspects of a Stitches Events is seeing all the samples knit up.  I already mentioned the pattern we bought – the 20 Days Shawl but I’ll list it proper, along with my other favorites.

  • 20 Days Shawl from Mushroom Knits.  Half circle shawl using 900 yards of laceweight.
  • There be Dragonflies by Rosi Garmendia. Beaded shawl using 1260 yards of laceweight.
  • Through the Loops Mystery Shawl by Kristen Kapur.  Two color half-pi shawl in fingering weight.
  • Cypri by Amanda B Collins.  Two color crescent shawl in fingering weight.
  • Mansion House from the London Underground ebook. DK weight shawl that is kind of a boxy crescent.

And finally, thank you Signature Needles for the warning. I hadn’t really contemplated sticking my needles into my ear. Or nose. Untitled

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Stitches Midwest Prep

Stitches Midwest starts in just a few days! I am beyond excited but so much has been going on I’ve barely had time to prepare.  I made that a priority this past weekend (after a long afternoon working on my mysterious project).

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Step One was knitting the swatches for the beading class.  I’m taking Be a Bead-knitting ‘Show Off’ with Betsy Hershberg which I think will be an awesome class on beading.  I wavered a lot on whether to take a 3-hour class (rather than a market class) but after emailing with the teacher, I felt it would be perfect and advance my design skills. 

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Step Two was doing some Ravelry surfing.  I looked through my favorited patterns and those I had queued with0ut yarn matched up.  They’re not patterns I’m absolutely committed to finding yarn for, just thoughts.  I find it helps me focus on what I’m interested in knitting right now.  I also decided on some yarn I already have in stash that I’d like to find beads for.  That would be the picture above – although its a more silverly blue in person.  It’s laceweight alpaca and I’d like to knit a cowl from it.

UntitledStep Three was lists.  You know me, I like my lists.  Very important – list of food options.  I also highlighted the vendor map with those that are participating in the stitch marker swap.  Then some packing lists so I (hopefully) don’t forget anything.  Lastly, a list of prompts for our car game of ‘Would You Rather’ based on a thread from the PraireGirls Podcast Rav group last year.  I also have a list of what I still want to get done this week. 

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Step. . .just kidding.  I already had these done.  I spent a Saturday a couple weeks ago with friends making stitch markers for the swap.  I will most definitely post what stitch markers I come back with!

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July 2015 Odds n’ Ends

Its officially summer and things are heating up (ha-ha) so I thought I’d take the chance to write a post with some odds n’ ends – quick updates, a revised blog schedule and things to look forward to.

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Back to the Old Blog Schedule Well, twice a week blog posts didn’t happen.  For the forseeable future I’m going back to one a week.  If there’s something exciting I might have two, but for now, one is more reasonable.

Upcoming Webinar Some very exciting news I’m not quite ready to go into detail about yet (I just sent in the signed contract last week).  I was contacted about teaching a webinar on raw fleeces in August.  So, if you weren’t able to take one of my classes in person, now’s your chance to get a condensed version.  I will post more about this later as the details are firmed up but I’m super excited!

Upcoming Events Stitches Midwest is now less than three weeks away and I’m already giddy with excitement.  I’m going with two friends for what will end up being about 2.5 days.  I just signed up today for a beading class.  BIG NEWS.  This will be the inagural year for a Stitch Marker Swap at Stitches Midwest.  Erin Lane Bags is doing the bulk of the organizer.  If you’re going and wish to participate, see the thread in the Ravelry Stitches Midwest group.  The general idea is you bring a large number of stitch marker you made and then you swap them with others who made some.  Several of the vendors are participating and you will get a little button to signify you’re a swapper. UntitledShawl Pattern Coming Out in August My first shawl pattern should be coming out on Ravelry in August or early September. It will again use one skein of sock yarn and be based on the pi shawl design.

Family Vacation Well, sort of.  My mother couldn’t go due to her dad having some health issues so I went with my dad and brother.  We had already rented a KOA cabin on Lake Barkley in western Kentucky and couldn’t change the reservation.  I’ll leave you with some fun photos.

Giant Chess Set – I had challenged my dad to this as soon as we knew we were going. Game ended in a draw. We each had one rook and our kings.  Out on the Water

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Historical Finished Object – Learning Curve

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I mentioned this shawl when I talked about the fair and said I would follow up with a full post about it.  This may be one of my favorite shawls I’ve ever knit.  I found the pattern and saw a sample at Stitches Midwest a couple years ago with a friend.  We both decided we wanted to knit it.  One of the draws was it used one ball of Juniper Moon Farm Findley, which our local yarn shop carries.  But, enough history. Moving on to the details.

Pattern -Learning Curve (Ravelry pattern here) from Adrienne Ku of Mushroom Knits.  This is a half circle shawl inspried by EZ’s Pi Shawl.  There are three separate lace sections and then a lace border is knit onto the live bottom edge stitches.  I will warn you, the bottom border is time consuming but totally worth it. The pattern is well written and the directions are clear (even those involving the moving stitch markers).  A lace or light fingering weight yarn in a solid or tonal color would work best. Pattern is $6.00 on Ravelry.

Yarn –  Juniper Moon Farm Findley.  Findley is a heavy laceweight blend of 50% merino and 50% silk. A 100 gram ball is 798 yards which is enough to do the shawl (my friend and I each had a small amount leftover). I used a teal colorway named Mermaid (number 18). PS – Juniper Moon has a really cool blog here.

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I blocked this puppy pretty aggressively, focusing on the points.  Very pleased with how it turned out!
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