Let me explain … no, no, no, there is too much. Let me sum up …
Crazy, and crazy fun. While it is no where near as enormous and overwhelming as Rhinebeck was, it is still a whirlwind of activity. I had a ton of fun and saw a ton of awesome textile based stuff. Unfortunately I left my camera in my hotel room so you will have to take my word for it.
This was my third year at Stitches, but the first one where I wasn’t working the floor, which made for a different experience. I had expected it to be more leisurely, but I was mistaken in that assumption. I still ran around like chicken with my head cut off. Unlike previous years, I managed to take a class. The talented Candace Eisner Strick taught “Two hands, Two Colors, Two Ways” and packed a huge amount of learning in the 3 hour class.
I learned how to tension the yarn in my opposing hand (right for me, I am a continental knitter) and knit with the yarn held that way. Then we knit with yarn in both hands. Then we knit backwards with the yarn in both hands. Really! Backwards! No flipping over and doing return purl rows. The final, mind bending, trick was to weave in long floats along the way. In both directions. It was b-mazing.
And then, of course, the market floor was a treasure trove of STUFF. I managed to restrain myself with regards to spending, but I got a few – choice – items. All in all I purchased 5 skeins of yarn and 4 books. 3 of the books are in languages that I cannot actually read. But more on all of that later, now I need to tell you about my newest pattern that debuted in the Market. It is a piece that I worked on with a local yarn store for them to sell in a kit.
The whole time I was knitting Curiosity it kept whispering to me cables, lace, you know you want to … but I was trying to keep things simple and elegant. So I was hard on myself. But when the idea of doing this kit came up all bets were off. This shawlette is designed to make the most out of a single skein of Malabrigo Finito, which is only 200 yards of fingering weight. But what luxury is packed into those yards! Lofty and soft I chose to knit it at an open gauge to let the yarn achieve it’s full softness potential.
The cables are slip stitch cables to help break up the more variegated color ways and the lace is a one-liner. Once you get into the rhythm, it isn’t a particularly hard pattern. And, as with Curiosity, it is amenable to yarn substitution. You can use anything from lace weight up to DK and still have a lovely drape (based on your gauge) and you can knit for as long as you feel like knitting. If you would rather have a full sized shawl then just keep adding yardage. Then there is an added bonus of button holes built into the lace pattern – to help with keeping the wrap all wrapped up.
Ever unable to leave well enough alone, I had a second skein of Finito so I made a matching pair of mitts – which are also now available. But this post has gotten long enough. More on the specifics of these lovelies later, I will probably mix it in with more Stitches South.
So, what do y’all think?