Stash Enhancement Expedition. Come on, people… get your mind out of the gutter. I attended Stitches West sans hubby.
I had a really good time at Stitches West. It was my first time and although I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I think I would have had more fun with a few knitting buds. Every knitter I knew here in San Diego couldn’t make it. So… I just started talking to other knitters and had a great time talking yarn and projects.
I forgot my camera at home so you won’t see any pictures from me of the actual event. Oh well, I’m sure you’re seeing other people’s pics all over the blog world. I got in on Thursday morning at 11 am and had lunch with my old college roomie Michelle. She is a non-knitter who learned how to knit before I left. She works in Santa Clara, literally 1 mile down the road from the Santa Clara Convention Center. The convention center had free parking. Yeah!!! and I pulled into the garage at 3 pm to get registered. I wanted to see if there were any spots in other classes that I was hoping to take. But alas, nothing tickled my fancy among the open classes. There was a market session class that I wanted to take but the ladies at registration told me that I would have to wait until the market preview to register for those classes. The market session classes were 1 hour workshops that were held on the market floor. They offered instruction in Toe Up Sock cast on (which is what I ended up taking on Friday), Seaming, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I can’t recall at the moment.
The market preview started at 5 pm on Thursday and I wanted to make sure that I made it to that. It was an absolute zoo. There was one booth that sold discounted yarn in packs of 10. That was the most frenzied I’d seen knitters get. Granted, there were some deals to be had. On some bags, it was 60-70% off. Women and men were digging frantically into 3 huge bins filled with bags of yarn. Customer service was not the name of the game at this booth. Scoring big deals was. So… I found 3 bags of yarn that I almost bought. Almost because I stood in line for 30 minutes without any movement. Then my friends started calling at 6 pm to go out for dinner. I decided that if this yarn was here tomorrow, it was meant to be. I mean, I had only gone thru 10% of the market at this point. How could use my budget to buy this when something else spectacular could be calling my name. So. I threw the bags back into the sea of yarn and knitters and headed out for dinner. I would be back bright and early in the morning to check out the market before class.
My friends took me out for dinner at this Mediterranean restaurant in Mountain View. Very good food although I couldn’t remember the name of it for all the money in the world right now. Pregnancy forgetfulness has taken over at this point. My friends want to go out and have drinks and I have to tell them that I would rather pass out on the floor or couch at one of their houses. So we head back to my friend Ben’s house for a movie. Unfortunately we end up watching “Don’t mess with the Zohan”. This is a politically incorrect movie that was probably funny but I passed out before Zohan made it out of Israel. My friends tell me he ends up in the US. Don’t know how far into the movie I fell asleep but apparently it was very close to the beginning. Oh well.
The next day, I set out at the bright and early hour of 10 am for Stitches. I was staying over at my friend Michelle’s house for the weekend and she lives in Mountain View. About a 15 minute drive especially at the non traffic hour that was was up. So… I wandered around the market for 2 hours until my market session. I found the Webs booth and found their yarns on closeout to be a much better deal than the Zoo booth. So I bought some Rowan CashCotton DK and some Malabrigo Sock yarn. It was my first time ever buying Malabrigo Sock and I found it yummy soft. I fell in love with a brown color, Cordovan, that I was thinking would be a very smart Clapotis but I am not sure whether I could take another turn at Clapotis. It was brutal knitting it the first 2 times around. Here’s a looksie.
My market session was highly successful and I conquered the toe up cast on. We learned the figure 8 cast on and the Turkish cast on. We also tried the Judy Becker Magic Cast on but that was way too complicated for me. This class enabled me to finish my first toe up sock which is going to be for my baby. I used some left over Happy Feet from my Monkey sock. I have one Monkey and one baby sock to complete.
Here’s a pic of my Monkey and baby sock together so you can see the size difference. Isn’t the baby sock absolutely adorable??? I just used a figure 8 cast on with a short row heel and ribbed the foot and cuff.
My next class was “Stuck on Steeks”. I had tons of trouble following along and after the class I remained “Stuck on Steeks”. I did manage to cut a steek but I’ve come to the conclusion that steeking isn’t for me. I don’t know if it was the way the instructor taught the class or if pregnancy brain was to blame but it was an exercise in futility. The instructor didn’t demo the skills before hand. She described the skill and then went around and corrected people. After she described the skill, I had no idea what to do and had to wait until she came around. The whole thing didn’t want to make me try a complicated fair isle sweater then cut it to make a cardigan. No siree… I’ll stay the course and knit flat.
After the class was over, I was exhausted and went home to rest for a bit. My friends wanted dinner out again so we went to a Cuban restaurant. Sooo good. I had black beans and rice and a tamale. It came with fried plantains. Yummm…. I ate too much though and had horrible heartburn the rest of the night.
On Saturday, I took a break from Stitches since I didn’t have any classes scheduled. My friends and I just hung out and watched Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood. Good movie. Very un-PC. Set in Michigan with a look at immigrant gang life and what it does to middle America.
Sunday was my last day and I had an 8 am Hairpin lace class. I checked my class confirmation and realized it was with the same instructor I had in my steeking class. Ugh… but I’m glad I gave it because I was actually successful with hairpin lace. I’m not sure if I’ll use the technique for projects but it was fun learning the basics. After the class, I hung around the market to find out if I won the $1000 grand prize. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t win. But I participated in more S.E.X. My husband was not pleased. Here is a picture of the damage.
In addition to the Malabrigo Sock and the Rowan Cash Cotton, I have some Rowan Silk Cotton in a light blue, a skein of Socks that Rock Lightweight, 1 skein of MadelineTosh sock, Colinette Jitterbug, a shawl pin, and another set of Addi Turbos Size 1. I did get to play with the Addi Turbo interchangeables and was extremely tempted to buy them but I might wait until next year. This is the first year they are out and are probably still working out any bugs. I didn’t particularly like the cord as it isn’t like the fixed Addi’s but the click feature was down right cool.
I also bought a pattern for a stole and skein of 100% silk in a natural shade. I got this from the Yarn Barn. Who knows when I’ll find time to knit it…
And for you Waldo lovers out there, here he is looking as snug as a bug in a rug.