Monday, August 25, 2008

Stitches Midwest

I'm home from Chicago and Stitches and have spent the day recovering. I had an all day classes Sunday and then drove home (400 miles). I got home a bit before midnight and, after petting/hugging the boys, I crashed. Today was meant to be all the things I should have done this weekend but it ended up being a sit around watching TV and knitting day between dozing off for more sleep time. But - you don't want to hear around me sleeping, you want to hear about Stitches Midwest!

I signed up to go before all the Mom stuff happened and I'm glad I did. It gave me a weekend to forget about life and just enjoy knitting and knitters. I drove down Friday morning and got there around 2pm. Once checked in I headed over the the She-Knits booth. Sharon is a friend I met on line and has blossomed into a successful business this year. She debated having a booth and finally decided Yes, it's time. The timing was perfect because she has her first published pattern in the Fall Interweave Knits magazine. Sharon has another pattern coming out in the Interweave Felting magazine later this month.

Her booth looked great and was busy all weekend - Congratulations Sharon!!
Everyone loved the felted bags and she had a Dumpling Buffet in the booth. You could pick your own yarn and accessories for making the cute little Dumpling Bag from the Interweave Knits magazine. My Dumpling is on the top shelf - the one on the right in brown with beads around the base
For some reason I can't get blogger to work like it should - I can't highlight text, move pics around, add links, etc. So - if you want to see all Sharon's patterns you'll have to copy and paste this link since I can't make it "live".
Also - Sharon has a podcast that is like a knit group. She's very easy to listen to and will become your friend immediately. Go over to itunes and search She-Knits podcast if you want to give her a try.
Saturday I had an afternoon class with Melissa Leapman. We spent the afternoon learning about Celtic Cables and how to set up and end the cables to prevent the puckering if you try knit without proper set up. When Melissa first came in the room she was somehow aloof and spoke very soft. I started worrying that it was going to be 3 hours of a diva that I couldn't even hear. Oh was I wrong. She was obviously just getting "warmed up" to teach and once the class started she was wonderful. We got the see the cover sweater from her new book that will be out in October. WOW! Melissa had us make a small cable circle in the middle of a swatch. She wouldn't let us knit ahead of her instructions to be sure everyone got it. It was a little slow for some of us but I see the value. She didn't have to repeat the same instructions a billion times and everyone was successful. We also did a small Celtic knot and she had us design our own. We were left with a lot to think about and the ability to play around and create our own Celtic cables. Great class!
Saturday night the She-Knit gang that was able to come to Stitches got together for pizza at Lou Manalti's. It's always great to meet people in person that you've been "talking to" for a long time.

The following pics are the people at our Saturday night meet up (listed by Ravelry name)

LosetheMittens and She-Knits (Sharon, our Queen Owl)

Coggie's aunt, CoggieTM, TaffyYarn

AnitaT, Knit1purlgurl, Coggie's MIL, Nancyba, a new friend we met that night and I can't remember her name
Sunday was an all day class with Cat Bordhi - Sock architecture. The class was not on how the make any of the socks in her new book but it was on the theory of how to make all the socks. We spent the day learning her way to do short rows, how to do SSK so it isn't a bigger stitch than it's partner K2tog, how to know the perfect length of a sock before starting the arch expansion (gusset area). She shows us why you can add the increases anywhere and why it will work. We saw the Houdini sock and how it works. Cat spent time with each of us and was a very energizing person. She makes you want to be better. My best part of the day was when she and I were talking about looser bind off and I mention I always do a sew off bind off for socks and then mentioned I like to do a garter rib because it binds off looser. Cat didn't know the garter rib so I got to show her a sock I was working on and how to do the stitch. She says she's going to try it on her next grandson sock. WOW! I taught Cat Bordhi something! The thing I really liked about her was she was looking for those things she could learn from her students. Another person (I didn't hear that conversion) gave her an idea on how to explain the foot length thing in an easier way. You had to be there to know what I'm talking about but the point is - she's busy learning all the time and that's the way a knitter should be.
I didn't spend much money in the market place - I was there to go to the classes and meet my She-Knits friends. Mission accomplished!
I post pictures of the Dumpling Bag and a few other things next time.

1 comment:

Guinifer said...

What a nice relief for your heart...