It’s about the most fun a knitter can have without actually knitting. Stitches West 2010 has now come and gone however, the memories and pain remain, at least for today. My first day there, I spent an entire 8 hours on my feet wandering from booth to booth in an endless sea of yarn, tools and goodies for knitters. Just couldn’t stop exploring and playing long enough to sit down or eat a meal. I heard that over 2,200 students enrolled in classes and haven’t any idea how many attended only the exhibit but can say that there were thousands. So much to do and so little time…
One of my favorite stops was at Tess Designer Yarns, a booth that never disappoints. Tess has some of the most beautiful color displays to feast your eyes upon. Your favorite color was definitely there. The temptation to buy, buy, buy was tough to resist (could have easily bought everything they had but couldn’t fit it all in my car!) and their booth was quite busy every time I went by. If you haven’t been exposed to Tess’ colors, I suggest you give her site a browse before you start your next knitting project.
Another fun find was at the Signature Needle Arts booth. They now have a few circular knitting needles available (just in time for the show) in sizes 5, 6, and 7. I’ve been told that once you’ve knit with Signatures, you won’t want to knit with anything else so… I did splurge on a set of straights to give them a whirl and see if that’s so. If you have any experience with Signatures, I’d love to hear about it. It could be a dangerous new habit to try but I figure it’s a lifetime investment…so we’ll see.
Newly exhibiting this year in a booth of their own; Namaste. If you aren’t familiar with Namaste, they make beautiful knitting bags (I hesitate to call them totes) and accessories to help coral your projects, needles and notions. Speaking of bags, I also found Jordana Paige along with her knitting bags hanging out in a booth this year. Her knitting bags can be mistaken for everyday bags and rather than being dependent upon separate pouches for internal organization, they are outfitted with pockets. Both make simply beautiful bags. I don’t see how you can go wrong with one depending upon your organizational preferences.
Day two was a sheer joy as well. I’d signed up for an all day class on color thinking that it probably covered the color wheel, color theory etc. but learned that it would soon begin to change the way I look at color all together. The class was taught by Laura Bryant, artist and owner of Prism Yarns (more eye candy!). She warned us at the beginning of class that we would look at color differently by the end of the day and she was right. It had to be one of the most entertaining, enlightening and useful classes that I’ve taken. The class focused on the use of color in knitting (choosing colors, combining colors etc.) however, it is it is applicable to oh so much more than just knitting. It has most certainly changed the way I will look at selecting colors for future projects. I may write a separate article on this topic since there is so much to it but in general, she teaches a Josef Albers technique that she studied for a full semester in about 6 hours. It is indeed a crash course on the topic.
A delightful surprise – – During class lunch break, I headed outside to catch up with friends and to my surprise and delight, stumbled upon a couple of gals outside who’d brought along a couple of Alapacas to visit the show. Both females (the alpacas), one was 1 1/2 years old, if memory serves and the other a mere 4 months old. What a treat that was. I honestly just wanted to bring the baby on home with me and keep my fingers sunk in that soft fur. Just think of all the knitting one could do then! I wish I’d thought to take a picture.
What an amazingly delightful way to spend the weekend. I could have easily spent several more days playing in that sandbox. In fact, I figured out that I’d have to attend for around 30 more years in order to take all of the classes that I’d like to take so I’ll be having another shot at it next year. How about you?
If you missed Stitches West or simply live closer to one of the other events, there is still time to get in on South, Midwest, or East. You won’t be sorry, I promise.