My friends Terry and Janis and I had a great time at Stitches East. Everything seemed to go really well. We left right on time and got there in 1 hour and 15 minutes. We all took way too much stuff as you can see.
Hotel: The Days Inn Inner Harbor was easy to get to and turned out to be a great place to stay. It's got to be less than 100yds from the front door of the convention center. The staff was very kind and professional, the room was more than adequate with a frig, microwave, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, hair dryer. We'll be staying there again next year.
Classes: My Thursday afternoon class was "The Art of Knitting Backward" taught by Candace Strick. I loved it! She's a wonderful teacher who really knows her subject and was extremely well prepared. You could tell she's taught the class many times but still has a wealth of enthusiasm for the subject. She was patient, funny and kind. I highly recommend the class.
My Friday morning class was "A Sampling of Stitches" with Margaret Fisher. Just like Candace she was well prepared and experienced with the subject. She had swatches of each stitch pattern as well as variations and she also had garments made using the stitches that we could look at. We covered Brioche, Twisted Traveling Stitch, Smocking, and Elongated Stitches (Indian Cross and Seafoam). I also highly recommend this class.
The Market: What can I say? After we left I said that I felt the need to stare at a white wall for a while to try to calm my senses. There was yarn made from yak, musk ox, suri alpaca, cashmere, camel, merino, cotton, alpaca, organic wool/cotton/alpaca, corn, soy, silk, stainless steel, plastic, paper, hemp, sterling silver, seaweed, and others that I missed or can't remember. There was every brand under the sun. The most expense yarn I saw was Tilli Thomas silk with Swarovski crytals for $132 a skein. Next would be the Qiviut for $60. These things were not to be mine however. I was interested in sock yarn and lace.
My Purchases: I bought two skeins of Graceful Lace Yarn from the Skaska booth. Each is 903 yds. This is the Summer Dusk Colorway. It has long repeats and I'm looking forward to finding the perfect pattern to show it off at it's best.
I bought 4 skeins of Jojoland Melody Superwash Sock. This yarn and the Graceful Lace were both new to me. I had never seen either one before. The Melody also has a long repeat and the sample socks shown in the booth have an ombre effect.
Probably for socks though I wouldn't rule out some sort of baby item. I don't know if this yarn would be suitable for a BSJ but I might just swatch for it to see how in looks.
Of course, I had to get a skein of Socks that Rock so I chose the Oregon Red Clover Honey skein in mediumweight. Later I picked up 2 skeins of Koigu KPPPM for socks but back at the room I noticed how well they compliment the STR so those may wind up being used together, perhaps for a Chevron Scarf. It's hard to tell from these pics but they really do go well together and they both match my barn coat.
I found some lovely antique pearl buttons for my smidge, a set of Addi 4" size 0 dpns, and a pattern for Malabrigo Lace. I don't have a full skein of that right now but I can get it at my LYS. The owners of Malabrigo were there handing out little skeins of laceweight. The tag says 470 yds. but I don't know whether that's right or not. It wound up into a 2" ball. If it is 470 yds. that's enough to make some of the scarves in Victorian Lace Today.
What do you think? Is that little ball really 470 yds.?
Summing up, I would have to say that our trip was a great success. We had a great room, great parking, great food, great beer, great coffee, great weather, and great shopping.
We met old friends and made new friends including a lot of the ladies that we've been gabbing with on Ravelry. I found myself with the almost uncontrollable urge to stand up in class and ask how many of my fellow students were on Ravelry and what their user names are.
Amazingly, I talked to some people who have never heard of it. Those poor souls who don't use the internet, they give me pain when I think of all they're missing out on.