24 April 2012

STITCHES South 2012

I'm hard-pressed to decide which is the more delightful weekend of the year -- STITCHES South or Dragon*con?

This year STITCHES South was as wonderful as ever. I started off with the Opening Day Presentation. There were lots of interesting ideas from Laura Bryant, Anna Zilboorg, and Rick Mondragon. But I think my favorite was Myra Woods' very interesting butterfly-sleeve sweater worked both in crochet and knitting. It will be in the summer issue of Knitter's magazine, I believe. As you all know, I don't knit other people's patterns very often, but this one looks intriguing enough. Myra and I share a strong interest in shaping, and the sleeves in her design are very interesting.

While I try to limit my shopping, I did find some great things in the Market.
As usual, not a lot of yarn. My stash is already pretty good, plus I have spinning stash. (And remember, I have three alpaca fleeces in the spinning stash.) I was very happy to see Karen Poulakos Fiberarts Studio, as they were amongst the few vendors with spinning stuff. (Carolina Handspun was unable to attend.)  I was able to get one more bobbin for my Rose, and it came in handy the following weekend when I took a 2-day workshop with Jacey Boggs. Karen had the "How to Card Wool" video that was on my wish list, as well as "A Spinner's Toolbox." I bought the "Spinning Gossamer Threads" video elsewhere in the market, and was able to have Galina Khmeleva herself sign it. Glee!

While some of the shops here in town carry the Kollage square needles that I love, they don't always have them in stock. I was very happy to get the last needle I needed to finish out my set -- I have the full run of needle sizes in the 40" length firm cable. The tiny Addi dpns (sizes 1.75mm and 1.5mm) were purchased just in case for the Bohus Stickning class. I did end up using the 1.75mm. I also bought the Addi needle gauge because it goes way down to the small sizes. By the way, does anybody know what that strange slot/clip on the back of the gauge is for?

The yarn is another skein of Claudia Hand Painted Linen that may end up in the unfinished competition shawl from last summer. Plus, I met Claudia herself, which was awesome! She recognized the Dahlia Shawlette I was wearing from her competition last summer. I am still swatching for the second shawl. I am getting closer. The completed shawl will be a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, I promise.

And speaking of that unfinished shawl, the middle pattern booklet from Kristin Omdahl features a feather and fan pattern that may give me some insights into my shawl. On the far left is the older Jean Frost jacket book that had somehow never entered my library. An oversight, I assure you. The new blue one isn't in the picture because I already had it and, yes, I did get it autographed. And speaking of autographs, the book on the right is an autographed copy of Charles Gandy's The Embellished Sock: Knitted Art for the Foot. Even if you aren't planning on knitting embellished socks, Charles' wonderful sense of visual wit is infectious and can be used on other projects, such as bags and hats.

And at the bottom right is the pièce de résistance -- Ultimate Exotic Luxury Sampler from Wild Orchid Fibers. The stuff is so beautiful -- guanaco, qiviut, cashmere, silk, yak, baby camel, and suri baby alpaca -- it makes me want to put away the knitting entirely and just spin. Some of my spinning friends also bought the sampler kit, so we'll have to each spin it up and see what projects we can make. This is one vendor I would be very happy to see again in next year's Market.

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