Monday, October 24, 2011

Back from Stitches East

What a wonderful time! I got up super early on Thursday, packed and hit the road. The weather was gorgeous in Hartford, although I was indoors most of the time. After checking in at the Marriott (highly recommended), I had a great lunch at Vivo and went to class.

Susanna Hansson taught me how to knit stripes in the round without getting an unsightly jog. It's very humbling not being able to master a new technique right away. This skill will be useful for making the Holly Jolly Bag from Creative Knitting. Too tired to visit the Market on Thursday evening (can you imagine?).

Friday began with a great class on necklines with Chris Bylsma. I love Chris' designs and her teaching style. Spent the afternoon with Drew Embrosky, The Crochet Dude, for Beyond Beginner Crochet. This is exceptionally useful and he's a great teacher. Will look for him in the future.

Saturday was devoted to The Sweater Map with Shannon Okey. I've taken classes with her before and learned a lot and this time was no different--she is a fount of information as well as entertaining. My measuring partner Denise was great during that portion of the agenda. Net net, I've got a basic sweater designed but may not use the cashmere I brought with me--too many variables.

I'll be honest, by Sunday, I was tired and blew off the classes I had scheduled (I am trying not to think about how much yarn I could have bought with the price of the classes). I gave my Grand Prize tickets to some lucky strangers in the Market and shopped a little before traveling home.

I was shocked at how much smaller the market was this year and wandered around looking for the new BIG things. Not much was new and there were some conspicuous absences. My favorite is Glitterati from Pagewood Farms (see photo). The yarn is gray and there are pink, black and silver sparkly things and sequins all over it!

I picked up Jean Frost's book Custom Fit Knit Jackets: Casual to Couture. While it features Jean's designs, there's a detailed tutorial up front to help me find my perfect size and shaping. I swatched the Gabrielle sweater last night--I'm not there yet, but working towards it.

Meanwhile, I cast on the Floating Checks cardigan, also from Jean but not in her book. I'm using black and white Zara. This involves a lot of slip stitches, which I'm enjoying.

I bought a lot of beads from Twisted Sistah Beads & Fibers; I really like Leslie and she was able to answer all my questions. I also picked up some buttons that look like peppermints for holiday knitting and little mink balls for decoration. I'm thinking in lieu of pom-poms. I got some Cascade 220 for the Holly Jolly bag from The Yarn Barn of Kansas and then I went to The Yarn Lady. I just love their booth.

Laura Bryant's Prism yarns just slay me, however, I didn't do too much damage--I bought the Glitteri there (didn't know I could get it from the Pagewood Farm booth!), ordered two skeins of Plume so I can make the hat featured in the December issue of Knit and Style (is it out yet?)and I ordered the kit for the Shona vest. This is a pattern Jane Slicer-Smith did for Trendsetter and uses Merino VIII. I ordered the same green as the sample--hope I like it!

I did make significant progress on the Venezia sweater. Better keep those needles clicking.

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