I spent two nights and two days at Stitches this year. It was a very good year!
My classes, as always, were quite good — I took one from Melissa Leapman, who I love as an instructor. The class was Fully Fashioned and Fabulous, and focused on using fully-fashioned details in designing. Great stuff. On Saturday, I took a six-hour class with Lucy Neatby with a couple of friends. It was good, not great (is that heresy to say about someone as fabulous as Lucy?). I loved the techniques that she showed, that one can use on socks as well as other garments. But I found the constant use of her DVDs in class meant that we were one level removed in the teaching, even though it makes it easy to see. Part of the fun of taking a class is the interaction with the instructor. I did learn some cool stuff though.
Hotel: Hotel Sierra is a bit removed from the Convention Center, but it was lovely and quiet. So nice to get a suite too, and be able to bring food to have at the center. Great breakfast, and a heated pool and spa in winter. On Friday evening, I was so exhausted that I went back to the hotel, skipping dinner with friends, and chilled out. It was lovely. My roommate came in and showed me her lovelies (including sock yarn from Miss Babs in totally my colorways, I’m surprised that she let me touch it).
The Market: I’ve made a couple of decent purchases over the years. A lovely kit from Cabin Fever for a baby sweater that has become my go-to pattern. Ok, maybe only one great purchase. I’ve had a lot of duds — yarn that I either used for cat blankies or is still in the stash. But this year, I studied ahead, and attuned myself with what was in my stash. I considered the many LYS in the Bay Area and what they carry, so that I don’t have to buy things at Stitches that are carried in them.
I started with Shawl yarn. On Wednesday evening, the night before Stitches, I found out that a friend, Sandy, has been diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer, so buying yarn for a prayer shawl went straight to the top of the list. Luckily, I had planned to attend the Market Preview and found this almost right away:
That’s Brooks Farm Primero, a 100 percent mohair that is shiny, hairy, light as air, in Sandy’s favorite colors.
Isn’t that a gorgeous blue? And silk too!
And my last purchase on the last day was a shawl pin, since I have shawls and a cardigan that doesn’t have buttons:
I love the finial thingy on the end — it reminds me of celtic design.
There were so many things I was tempted to get and didn’t. But I spent more at the market, and more overall at Stitches than I ever have, so I feel I did my part to help stimulate the economy.