Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stitches West 2008

Here's the loot from Stitches West!

I went down on the train on Thursday night after work, and met Jacky and Bo there in Santa Clara. We went to Bennigan's for dinner, and then Jacky and I went to the Stitches Marketplace.

There was a show special on Tofutsie's yarn. Four 100g skeins for $25! And a cd with 10 patterns included! Since I have signed up for Sock Wars, and SWTC is sponsoring the competition, Tofutsie's is the yarn of choice for the new sock wars pattern. These four colors are Stitches exclusives, so I thought, such a deal!

Jacky dropped me off at my hotel, and I met my roommate, Lesley, who found me on Ravelry. This woman flew from Seattle to San Jose, by way of New Jersey! She was flying standby, and her sister is a flight attendant, so she got to fly for next to nothing... except all the time on the plane! (I didn't ask her if she did any knitting on the plane—that might have made it more bearable!) We compared goodies, and then went to sleep. We had both had long days, and I had to get up at 6 for breakfast.

Friday, after breakfast with Jacky, I went to my class: Seamless Argyle Socks taught by Suzann Thompson. It was 6 hours of knitting, and I got the c-diamonds done. I still have the d-diamond and e-diamonds and the toe to do.

The technique is fascinating, but I wasn't super thrilled with the class. They cost lots of money, and I didn't feel like I had $140 worth of new skills when I left.

After class I met up with Meredith and Melissa, and we stood in line for the Fashion Show. Bo and Jacky joined us, and we got some great seats. The fashion show was just as much fun as last year. The highlight was when Rick Mondragon was describing a sweater on the model, and he said, "Have you got on the right garment?" Then he walked over to her and said, "No, you've got it on upside down!" She was embarrassed. She went backstage, and when she came out again, the sweater looked entirely different! It was green with a loopy cable midriff and a v-neck. Before, it was short, and had a cowl neck... not unattractive that way, but it looked even better the right way!

The next day, Jacky and I hit all the booths in the marketplace that had the garments we liked in the fashion show. We bought silk yarn and a pattern for this one, the Diamond Patch Sweater. I couldn't wait to start. I did the blue patch on size 7 needles, it's too big. The green one is on size 5's, and I'm liking the fabric those needles create. I may need to adjust how many stitches I cast on to get the right size. The pattern is ingeneous, you make a diamond that measures 1/6 the size of your desired bust measurement.

I loved the samples I saw at the JoJoland International booth. I was looking for Kauni yarn, which I didn't find, but this Melody seemed to have similar color changes, so I got enough for a scarf.

The Feather & Fan Wrap by Jane Thornley Knitwear looked like a good candidate for some tape and mohair yarns I have on hand. The pattern was a little pricey ($15), but looking through it I see it's actually a tutorial in free-form knitting.

The Diamond Girl Shawl was in the fashion show. I just love the pointed, entrelac back to this piece.

The booth also had a sweater displayed from last year's show that I really liked: Stairway to Heaven Pullover. So I bought that pattern, too. I was sad I hadn't bought it last year. You can see a photo of it in last year's Stitches fashion show here.

There were a lot of men's sweaters in the fashion show from this book: GuyKnits. It's a great one for menswear.

That's it for another fabulous Stitches West! Happy knitting.