23 April 2010

Day 2 of STITCHES South 2010

For Friday I wore the Bootkicked scarf. I also carried the Elfin Lace shawl and wore it a couple times. I have mixed feelings about appropriate room temperature. On the one hand, I don't like to be cold. On the other hand, if the knitters are cold, then they are wearing fabulous knitwear. Maybe keeping things a little on the cool side is appropriate in these circumstances.

Friday was an all-day pattern writing class with Edie Eckman. She did a great job explaining how submissions are done within the industry. She also showed us how hard it is to write a pattern to the industry standard. Our practice sample was a flat sweater pattern graded in four sizes. Writing it in the shorthand of the knitting world was really hard. It was also harder than I expected because I don't knit sweaters from flat patterns, so it really hurt my brain to try to think that way. I would much rather draw out shoulder and neck shaping on graph paper than try to explain how many stitches to bind off when and where, and I'd rather knit from a European or Japanese pattern that uses the charted standard. Of all the classes I took, I think this one probably will have the most influence in which directions I pursue and what I do next. I know already that I don't want to make myself crazy knitting on deadline. And I know I want my patterns to be teaching, which falls outside the industry standard. If you are somebody who is thinking about designing in this industry, you need to go take classes with Edie.

And one plug for her: her Around the Corner Crochet Borders book is coming out next month. It has 150 edgings explained both in words and diagrams and they are figured out for turning the corner in pattern. Would that everyone would be so wonderful when they write edgings!

I should also add that sometime half the fun is who else is in the class. Susan Dingle who designs for Only Ewe and Cotton Too was in the class, as was Nancy the Knitting Gourmet. And my friend Debra Davis, who has the most awesome stash! It was such a delight to take a class with these ladies.

I did go knit on the Big Sock after that. I needed a little therapy for my hurt brain, and the Big Sock was it. Aaaaah.

Friday evening was the dinner and fashion show. All the fashion was geared to Atlanta weather. If you think there isn't anything to knit for warm weather, you didn't see this show. And I never cease to be amazed at how Rick Mondragon can find the right skirt in that strange shade of green or the proper print to really bring an outfit together. I remember thinking that if we all looked that fabulously dressed most of the time how much happier a world it would be.

I was also especially happy to see certain items in the show. The first item out was a group of socks from The Whole Nine Yarns sock guild. One of the featured socks was Bruce's "Solar Wind" sock. In all the bustle in the run up to STITCHES, I had missed the part about the socks being in the fashion show. It meant a lot to me. My dear friend Jenna the Yarn Pimp had an original lace design in the fashion show. Kelly (go, Kentucky!) did special one-of-a-kind hand-dyed yarn for Jenna's pattern. And Ducky from the Knit Lit group knit the sample. I was sitting in the audience with Mary Lou, Laurie, and Julie, who are all The Whole Nine Yarns regulars. Rick kept saying "yards" instead of "yarns," and we kept yelling corrections. There's a reason I gladly drive the 50 miles round trip to get to the shop.

At the dinner afterward, I won a door prize -- $25 gift certificate for Knit Witch, who is local and wonderful. Glee!

Then I went to the pajama party. A huge thank you to Kimberly Reynolds aka somebunnyslove for organizing the Big Sock and the Pajama Party. Many of the XRX people showed up in pajamas, as did Shannon from Cascade. I loved Benjamin Levisay in a smoking jacket. Who knew he gets Hugh Hefner's cast offs? Alexis Xenakis sent down a fresh fruit bouquet for healthy snacking. My Japanese-themed ensemble included felted slippers with embroidery to match the lining of my robe.They were made from the Fiber Trends "Felted Clog" pattern. There were many other wonderful ensembles on display. One lady had sock monkey slippers and had made pajama bottoms out of monkey-print fabric. Another had a flashy sleeping mask and slippers made from novelty yarn. When it came time for the slipper contest, I scurried up at the last minute.(I had been at the bar getting hot water for my Earl Grey tea. By the way, be sure to support Kollage yarns. Mark was at the bar drinking a lite beer, and that just ain't right.) I turned to look at the person to my right, who was wearing a fabulous Christmas pajama ensemble with matching crocheted santa slippers. It was kagknits, whose Ravelry avatar is a picture of Lun Lun. So I was able to give her a free pass to ZooAtlanta, and I gave some extra passes to Team Ravelry and a knitter who had come all the way from Australia. There were four winners in the slipper contest, and we all got a little Skacel bag with a needle, pattern, and a six-ply Zauberball. More glee!
Thank you Skacel! There were prizes for best pajamas and prizes for best sheep-themed pajamas and prizes for the person who had been knitting the longest (Jan Stephens, adorable in a great Ma Kettle nightgown) and the person who had been knitting the shortest. Sarah and I even bowed down and prostrated ourselves before Casey the codemonkey. In the end we had owners of a publishing company, owners of yarn companies, vendors, teachers, knitters, designers, and Internet idols all hanging out in the lobby in our pajamas. Is this industry great or what? I left a little before midnight. I'm sure the evidence is out on the web somewhere. Don't Google it.

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