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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stitches East Review

Just returned from a 5 day trip for Stitches East 2006, where I was helping a friend run her yarn store's booth. This post is a little late as I am still catching up on sleep and have just started blogging today! It was a great experience, and wanted to share my thoughts with you all on a few things. I am not a vendor, nor do I work in a yarn store. Just a fellow yarnaholic.

I took three classes while there.

  • Learn to Love Intarsia with Sally Melville - A+ Class. Sally is friendly, personable and teaches many useful techniques in a short amount of time. These techniques are useful for intarsia as well as other types of projects. This would be a good class to supplement your reading of her third book, The Knitting Experience: Book 3: Color (The Knitting Experience), before you have tried to tackle any of the projects in it. Those in the class who had already done some of her projects in the book STILL learned how to better accomplish the techniques. This was my best class at Stitches.

  • Fair Isle Knitting with Beth Walker-O'Brien - A Class. Beth was great, made you feel like you were being taught by a friend. She is also friendly, personable and made sure that she moved all around the classroom to help everyone. She demonstrated techniques from many locations in the classroom, as well as to small groups. Everyone in the class had practiced knitting in the hand they are not used to knitting in well before the class, so we were able to move at a fast clip. (I highly recommend doing this by knitting a few washcloths, like the "Back to School" free patterns on using inexpensive Sugar N' Cream yarn. You will be respected and much liked by your classmates for being prepared AND you will get more out of the class by already mastering this.) She shared her contact info with everyone, so that we could email her at anytime with questions. Be advised that she is getting divorced, so that you can find her under her maiden name Beth Walker at future Stitches events.
  • Intarsia without Fear with Edie Eckman - B Class. I thought this was a good class until I took Sally Melville's. Edie will teach you a few traditional techniques with humor and patience, while Sally Melville will teach you many more techniques.
I feel that The Market could have been run a bit better than it did for the vendors, from my observations. It seemed there wasn't enough communication with the vendors on the procedures for setting up and breaking down. You could tell that no one with real logistics or planning experience was put in charge of that operation. :) I hope they can fix this in future Stitches East. It will make it easier for the vendors to participate. Also, vendors did not receive doorprize entry forms for the customers, nor were they giving them out with every purchase when they did! As a result, many people did not get to enter into the drawings as much as they should have. So be sure to ask for these next year!
Food - Either plan on eating great french fries and greasy food at the concession stand, eat at the great pubs across the street, or pack your own lunch. I did the latter two choices. Also, Starbucks is located on the third floor, so be sure to hit that for caffeine-assisted learning!

This is obvious, but budget plenty o money for your purchases, and bring a list of what you wish to see and buy. The Market is a great opportunity for you to see all of those cool yarns and gadgets you have heard about but can't find locally. The list also helps you stay on budget! I found extra yarn money by cashing in my coin jar before the trip. (Don't laugh, it works!$60 worth! Thats 3 skeins of sock yarn!)
My Stitches East purchases:

  • Socks That Rock by Blue Moon Fiber Arts - I bought 4 colorways of the lightweight 100% Superwash Merino Sock Yarn: Lucy, Fred Flinstone, Metamorphic, Blue Brick Wall (a gift for a friend). I also bought one colorway of their Seduction Sock Yarn, which is 50% Merino and 50% Tencel, in Nodding Violet. I also bought three of their sock patterns: Central Air, Cedar Creek Socks, and Lavender and Lace. If anyone has worked any of these patterns, please let me know your thoughts.

  • Tiny Toes by Interlacements - I bought one colorway #402 Taiga. It is a variegated green colorway.

Super Socks & Baby by Tess Yarns - I bought a colorway with greens, blues and purples, but since it did not come with a label, I do not know what it is called. I am guessing that it is the Rainforest colorway.

Sunflower Kit by Decadent Fibers - this is a needle felting "recipe" for me to make sunflowers to decorate my house.

A "K2TOG" magnet from ModernYarn - I find this romantic, like my husband and I knitting our two lives together....okay a touch of gooshiness, sorry. Moving on....

Even though this is my birthday month and had a birthday present budget set for Stitches from my DH, I had to limit my purchases, as I had gone to SAFF the weekend before and spent way too much there. I will share my purchases from that in a separate post!

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