Saturday, October 30, 2010

On Location in Hartford

I'm at STITCHES East, a knitting conference, to take a couple of classes and visit the large market of "soft wares" vendors.

I got here yesterday and took a class called The Joy of Steeks (a nervous-making technique wherein you knit for several months, then slice right up the center of your work and, amazingly, it doesn't all fall apart). This was a fun class. I was sitting among a group who were pretty on the ball and we started giggling at our classmates who were all "Huh? What? Where do I baste? Are we supposed to cut now? Do we pick up stitches around the corner?" etc. Despite being in (or probably instigating) the peanut gallery, I did get a lot out of the class, and will not be afeard when I need to use this technique someday.

After cutting between the machine-stitched columns of stitches along the center column

The edge, after picking up and knitting a mitered placket

Here we have basted up another column, and are adding a hand-crocheted edge prep

That same column after crocheting both side columns and cutting

Last night I went to the fashion show, which I was surprised to find was quite professionally done, with "real" models and two commentators. There were some nice designs, some of which I might make. There was also a fair proportion of crap. There were several designs made using yarn with, uh, stuff in it - I believe the yarn industry is foisting Novelty Yarns on us again, as it seems we failed to learn from the '80s. Two or three of the garments looked as though the model fell in a pile of raked leaves and didn't quite brush herself off. Oh well. I don't have to follow where they would lead.

Debbie Stoller is here launching her newest Stitch 'n Bitch book, as well as her line of yarns (which are pretty nice and at a super price point). Unfortunately, at the dinner (after the fashion show) she was seated with the fancy Knitter's bigwigs,* so we couldn't really hang out much. I sat with two ladies from the peanut gallery in my steeks class, which was nice. I generally find events like that pretty lonely and/or very hard work, but my dinner companions were really nice, and I soldiered through.

Today I slept in, which was lovely, and then checked out of the hotel and drove over to the convention center, where I got super rock star parking (at least, if it is a legal spot). This is handy because my second class, Spinning for Knitting, isn't until 1:30 and I am bringing my wheel to it, but I wanted to finish going through the Market and NOT have to schlep my wheel the whole time.

Yesterday I didn't see anything in the Market that excited me, but today I found a booth that is selling wonderful Irish yarns and they had a sweet cardigan pattern that I tried on and LURVED, so I snapped that up. Then I turned a corner and found the Miss Babs booth; I've spun a bunch of her hand-dyed fiber before and I love her colorways. So I got a couple bumps of fiber to spin that I think will ply well together. I introduced myself to Herself but she was super busy manning the register and it wasn't a terribly meaningful exchange.

Now I've had a little breakfast and I'm heading back to finish the Market. After that I have my second class and then it's back home to my lovely husband!

* It's my theory that Debbie is being courted by XRX/Knitter's.

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