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Stitches Midwest 2018 – 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.

Non-Yarn Goodies

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From Erin Lane Bags – A pattern keeper, sock bag and Zippity View Da in the Game of Thrones sheeple, and a dice bag in the Wonder Woman sheeple.  Oooh, and a wristlet in a red stitch fabric.

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(upper left) From Pawley Studios – a red yarn bowl and the custom Betty yarn bowl I talked about in my last blog post

(lower left) From KnitBaahPurl – a shirt that says “Baahd to the bone”; From Buffalo Wool Co – socks made out of bison/silk/nylon; From Bar-Maids – O’ Feet Sake and some Cuticle Intensive

(lower right) From MissPurl – two tins (they had so many fun patterns) – one is Dr. Who and one is black cats and wine; From Honey Girl Farms – a small pouch that has a unicorn vomiting kittens.  Yes, you read that right.

(upper right) From Knit Picks – two emergency crochet hooks, a free pin and bent tip needles; From Signature Needles – one circular needle in a size I use for most of my shawls

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So technically I didn’t buy these but here are the stitch markers I swapped for in the swap.

 

The YARN!

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(upper left) From new to me dyer T’ewe Knit Wits – a sock yarn set (two 50 gram cakes) of a purple and rainbow gradient.  I saw the sample knit up in a sock and it actually made me want to knit socks.

(lower left) From A Hundred Ravens – A mini skein set (Iachos base) in the colorway Rainbow.  I also got a skein of Jet (same yarn base) so I can make a larger shawl.

(lower right) A kit from Three Irish Girls to make the Chalk Drawings Hat and Mittens by Paper Daisy Creations.  The yarn base is Adorn Luxe and the full skein is au naturel.  The mini skeins are from the Fall is Near Collection.

(upper right) From White Birch Fiber Arts – A self striping skein of sock yarn (80/20 merino/nylon) in the colorway “Does this rainbow make my black look big?”

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(left) From Dreaming of Hue, a 4-ply superwash merino/nylon base fingering weight yarn in the colorway “Unicorn Tails”

(right) From Destination Yarns – both on the sport-weight base Trinket in the colorways Glen Coe (left) and Witching Hour (right).

 

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Stitches Midwest 2018 – Everything But the Goodies

Stitches Midwest

I’m coming down off that Stitches high.  I missed last year so this year was especially important to me.  I drove up to Chicago on Thursday where I stayed with a friend in the city until Sunday.  It was a wonderful trip full of friends and yarn.

Thursday

After physical therapy  I loaded up the car and drove from Indianapolis to Chicago, Illinois, where my friend lives.  We ran a few errands, including a stop at Salvation Army, where I scored several books at $2 a piece.

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Later that evening we went to Captain’s Catch, which is a Cajun Creole restaurant.  We had shrimp, crab legs and lobster, in addition to some sides.  After we got back home I packed up my bags for Stitches the next day! I even went to bed early!

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Friday

Friday morning I took the train from near my friend’s place to a train station close to Schaumburg, where Stitches Midwest is held.  Stitches was running a shuttle from that train station to the convention center, which was a real bonus.  I picked up my badge and went in to get that shopping started.  I bought a pair of socks from Buffalo Wool Co. before my friend Tori (check her out on Twitch at www.twitchtv.aDorned_ – she is a creative streamer) arrived.  She had driven down from her home in Wisconsin and stayed the night with us on Friday.  Our first stop was Pawley Studio so I could see my custom yarn bowl that the artist made to look like my cat Betty.  Her attention to detail is amazing, right down to the white feathering on her throat.  I’m so happy!

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Next, we went to Erin Lane Bags to grab Tori a stitch marker swap button and then we started our shopping in earnest.  New to me Black Cat Fibers had not only gorgeous yarns, but some amazing samples.

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I saw many of my favorite vendors – BarMaids, CraftyFlutterBy, Destination Yarns, A Hundred Ravens, KnitBaahPurl and Pawley Studios.  Also, several new to me vendors such as T’ewe Knit Wits and Stunning String Studio.  Friday afternoon I took a one-hour market class called Knitting in Both Directions, which was basically to learn how to knit backwards.  I figured out how to knit and purl backwards but not how to still do so continental.  For it truly to be more efficient for me, I will need to figure that out.

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After class Tori and I headed to my friend’s place.  We ran to Michael’s and Joann’s for stitch marker supplies for Tori and then went back home to order pizza from Lou Malnati’s.  We ate pizza, drank wine and root beer, and I looked through patterns on Ravelry while Tori and my friend made stitch markers for the stitch marker swap.  As I mentioned in my prior post, there is a stitch marker swap at Stitches Midwest each year and the swapping is so much fun!

Friday Night

Saturday

Saturday morning all three of us headed back to Schaumburg for some more shopping.  Outside we saw a car with a knit stitch wrap, which I have since learned is from 614 Knit Studio, a yarn shop in Illinois.

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I found another yarn bowl from Pawley Studios.  They had a few on a clearance shelf due to small defects (so small I couldn’t find the defect on some) and I found a red one I loved. Plus I got a picture with ceramic artist Amanda!

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I ran into knit designer Lisa Ross (paperdaisycreations on Instagram) in the Leading Men Fiber Arts booth.  She is a local designer that I have known for a few years and love her work.  We were all in red on Saturday.  That is her shawl, Double Dipper, up behind us in the photo.

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As we were getting ready to leave I saw Stacy Trock, a crochet amigurami instructor on Craftsy.  Her class is finally what got me to the point where I could crochet a 3-d object.  So, in a bit of a fan girl moment, I got a picture with her.  She was very sweet and down to earth.

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And with that, our Stitches experience was done.  Tori headed back to Wisconsin and my friend and I headed back to her home, where we ordered Indian food and vegged out watching movies.   What a nice relaxing end to the weekend!  The next morning we went out for breakfast, where I had red velvet french toast and a mimosa, before I headed back home to Indiana.  So long Stitches Midwest until next time!

 

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Stitches Midwest 2018 Prep

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Stitches Midwest starts in just a few days! I am beyond excited since I haven’t been in two years and so many wonderful friends are coming.  I made that a priority this past weekend and have piled up most of the items to be packed on the guest bed.  I will be at the event most of the day Friday and part of the day Saturday.  If you see me, please say HI.  I will not be at the pajama party this year as I am staying at a friend’s place closer into the city.

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Step One was was to make lots’n’lots stitch markers for the Stitch Marker Swap.  This annual tradition involves participants bringing stitch markers and trading with other participants.  I’ve already had several people ask for one so I made an additional 28 markers, in addition to the 68 I had already made Friday night.

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Step two was registering for the market class I want to take on Friday afternoon – knitting in both directions.  I do still need to get together the items I need for that class.

Step Three was going through the list of vendors and noting those I am particularly interested in for various items.  I also noted on my map which vendors are participating in the Stitch Marker Swap and the Scavenger Hunt. I also noted which session in The Playground I’m interested in.  I like having a one page cheat sheet so that I only have one page to tuck in my purse.

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Step four was getting everything together that I could.  Some gifts for the friend I’m staying with, a surprise for another friend staying with us one night, wine and snacks, shawls, and more.  I’ve piled up everything that can already be packed and will finish up the rest on Wednesday.

 

 

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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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