Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dis on Stitches

Look closely, because you are looking at the only photo we took the entire Stitches West weekend. Yup, we are THAT good. I think it had something to do with the camera restrictions in the market. I just wasn't aware of my camera the entire weekend. Oh well, at least we have proof in this one silly picture.

There is a rather interesting story behind this photo. In our confusion over the rather bazaar "welcome video" in the lobby of the Hyatt, Nasus finally took matters into her own hands. Turns out, the Santa Clara Hyatt is home to the first (and only, I believe) virtual concierge. The woman in the monitor on the left is actually at home! You can talk to her and she can monitor the desk via the video camera on the top of the monitor. The best part? This was a smart woman's solution to making her traditional job more family-friendly through technology. Pretty cool!

Anyway, on to the recap. Stitches was a different experience this year. It was a lot of fun to stay in the hotel attached to the convention center because it seemed so easy to go to and from the classrooms and the market. The downside was that I didn't breathe fresh air for more than two days. Gross!

Blue Moon Twisted in Lagoon destined to be a simple ribbed turtle neck or other cozy pull-over. Don't judge on its "hank look" alone, it knits up really pretty.

I actually felt really bad for the hotel staff. They were clearly understaffed given our sheer numbers. The highlight - when I was brought a glass of simple syrup from the bar instead of the Pinot Grigio I ordered. Talk about a shock to my senses. They're lucky I didn't hurl all over the dinning room. But they were working so hard. It was definitely more of a management problem than the staff itself.

Brooks Farm Yarn superwash wool Solana in color 45. Please take a moment to gander at the yarn that haunted me. I couldn't even stay focused on the task at hand (choosing a yarn for K's Wicked) once I saw it. All I could envision was my very own hourglass sweater like the one K just finished in Lorna's Laces Sheppard's Worsted. And my splurge was worth it - guess which yarn line I don't see on the Brooks Farm website? It must have been destiny.

I took two classes while at Stitches this year. On Thursday afternoon, I took the zipper and closure class with Margaret Fisher. This was a great class! We practiced putting in a zipper and made i-cord buttons and ties. There were a couple "A-Ha" moments that made the price of admission worth every penny. I am also now confident that I can put in a great zipper. I'll have to post pictures of my sample zipper, because I am so proud of it! You can't even see my sewing on the front. Also, Knitzalot and three three of us took Celtic Cables with Melissa Leapman on Friday afternoon. It was nothing Earth shattering, but it was a good class and very fun. It was nice to learn a little about the design process behind cables as well.

Louet Gems in Fern Green and Cookie's Thelonious Sock Pattern. The Bay Area Co-op booth was a real treat to visit. Sent there on a mission for the German Stockings for Jessica, I ended up with a pair of socks, a shawl, and some really pretty stitch markers I failed to photograph.
Plus got to meet Cookie herself.

And the market place...well, I'm sure you are already getting an idea about the market place. Pretty much anything you wanted was there. I mostly kept to things that were difficult to buy elsewhere (because of colors, feel, etc.) or things I just hadn't seen before. However, I did bring home two hanks of Gems mostly to support the Bay Area Co-op booth directly.

JaggerSpun Superfine Merino 630 yards of lace weight in Peacock #3142. Purchased at the Bay Area Knit Co-op.

One treat throughout the market was the samples! Often times I feel yarn shops are desperately laking in samples. I like to see the yarns knit up. See how they behave and feel once they are fabric. In the case of hemp, it no longer appears to be the unappealing straw mess I had prematurely judged it to be...it is beautiful as finished garments! I also got to see a Four Seasons Manos throw in person as well as several WEBS pattern samples I've had my eye on for some time.

Tess Superwash Lace 100% merino in one of their gradient color kits (left to right: 208204, 204206, 20610). This yarn captured my imagination. The picture doesn't do the colors justice. It's like they glow from within. It was so hard to pick a color set, but I knew one was coming home with me. I finally decided it had to be the one that I grabbed first and didn't put down the whole time I was at the booth. This is destined for a very special project.

And finally, there was the people. K bunked with us and we met up with Kris and Marisa once they got into town on Friday. It was nice to see Kris again after her recent cross-country move. We also had the pleasure of meeting Craftylilly Jennifer and had a great time over lunch on Saturday.

Tess Super Socks & Baby (no color noted). Just plain fun!

Us loopy girls flew back to So Cal Saturday afternoon and to be honest, by that time I was yarned-out. I had a great time, but was super happy to have one more day before starting the new week. Unfortunately, the yarn I brought home must be haunted because it has been talking to me non-stop throughout my last two work days. It kills me not to be able to cast-on for a new project right away. And the worst? With all of that color, guess what my next project is going to be? A solid black jacket for B. I am seriously questioning my sanity as I pull out the needles for another black swatch.


The Stitchin' Sheep said...

Once again, I am jealous. Not only did you have a totally kid-free weekend (Yeah, I know, your whole life is kid-free, but still) with yarn, but look at those beautiful colors. Some day, I will purposely plan a trip to see you during Stitches.

And, as for knitting the black sweater, you'll get part of the way through and find that it's perfectly okay to knit on two things at once. Color will become necessary.

Mouse said...

Totally jealous over here too! You got some gorgeous yarns and clearly had a whole lot of fun..
Did you see Yarn-a-go-go's post about the virtual concierge? Apparently she didn't realize it was a real person in there.. lol

mle said...

Nice haul! I espcially like that Blue Moon stuff...can't wait to see what it looks like knitted up!

Jennifer said...

That Blue Moon Twisted yarn is gorgeous! I didn't see that. It was probably gone by the time I got there on Saturday. :-)

Kara said...

Now that is a haul! Well done!

I am loving that sock pattern. Darn that Cookie, why does she have to be such a genius?

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see all this yarny goodness knit up! Maybe you can work in a colorful project simultaneous w/ B's black sweater, to mix things up a little.

Kim said...

Living vicariously through everyone's trip reports. Your yarn is gorgeous! I notice a definite preference for laceweight!

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Dis - do you know where I can purchase Cookie's Thelonius Sock pattern? Love it. Glad you had fun.
xox, J

Theresa said...

Can't wait to hear all about it in person! The yarn is gorgeous, and I'm definitely going to be hitting you up for zipper tips.

Hilari said...

Jealous is what I am! But thanks to your on-the-spot reporting, I feel as though I was there! Great yarn purchases. Knit on!