Monday, August 10, 2015

Mega-Enabling: Stitches Midwest Recap

Stitches booty!
The fall yarn & fiber festival season kicked off (for me, anyway) at Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg this past weekend! I only attended the marketplace on Friday this time around; usually I go out for one or both weekend days, but to be honest, one day was totally enough since I wasn't signed up for any classes or events. I know I complain about this every year, but the drive to Schaumburg from the city is NOT fun, and since I don't have a car, I have to rely on the kindness of my knitting friends to get me out there since I'm not keen to repeat last year's Metra/shuttle experience.

The marketplace seemed smaller this year, but a good mix overall (if you can excuse the three aloe/lotion vendors which were all in the same row, which seemed like an major oversight for whomever planned the vendor layout - maybe I'm the only person who notices or cares about such things?!) Anyway, there were a lot of the vendors I expected to see, and several that I was delighted to discover. The emphasis was definitely on hand-dyed and luxury yarns, it seemed; or maybe that was just because I was hoping to stock up on spinning fiber, which was only spotted in a handful of booths. I hung out for the first part of the day with my pal Lindy from Balwen Woodworks, and somehow deluded myself into thinking that I could spend all day in the vendor marketplace and not buy any yarn - pretty funny, right? 

Obviously, I didn't stand a chance, but at least my first show purchase gave me the illusion that it might be possible: this adorable sheep needle gauge from Retromantic Fripperies:
They had gorgeous displays and a very unique booth design overall that totally won me over. And all of their animal shapes were too awesome to resist; it was a tough decision between the sheep, cat and alpaca needle gauges...but in the end, the sheep won out!

My whole "no buying yarn" plan quickly went out the window, however, when several skeins found their way home with me, starting with enough 100% Yak Sport to knit the Pennant Cardi by Mari Chiba from the new Knitscene:
It's no surprise that I spent a lot of time in the Bijou Basin Ranch booth, and this time, my pal Heidi was also there to promote the Delta Hat KAL which kicked off at Stitches. Of course I couldn't resist grabbing a skein of Himalayan Trail to join in.
Another beautifully-designed booth was Fiber Story, and after making my first pass at the entire marketplace, I resolved myself to go back and buy a skein of the yarn they were debuting at the show, a single-ply merino/silk blend...
...which, as you can see, actually became two skeins. A big shawl or wrap is in my imminent future! Alas, I didn't get any shots of their booth, but you can see a nice photo here on their instagram feed

I couldn't resist buying this ridiculously bright skein of yarn in the Leading Men Fiber Arts booth to make a certain someone Christmas socks: 
And the final skein of yarn that I brought home was gifted to me by the very sweet Lynn and Sue of the Two Tangled Skeins podcast when I ran into them on the show floor! The yarn is a self-striping sock from a local-to-them hand dyer (etsy shop here). Sue also included some of her snagless stitch markers in my favorite color, and it was all wrapped in one of her cute knot project bag! I have to say, I felt pretty spoiled (oh, and be sure to check out Sue's Etsy shop here).
I was a little sad to miss out on Saturday's podcaster meetup, but I did run into Megan from the Stockinette Zombies podcast, who gifted me a fun SZ zipper pull that is now in use on my favorite cat hoody: 
There were a lot of cool things I would have liked to buy if money had been no object, and at the top of this list was the project kits for a new shawl by Sarah Abram, Polyphony, in the Leading Men Fiber Arts booth. It's such a cool design, and my new goal is to knit more rectangular wraps instead of triangular shawls, which I find difficult to wear, even though I enjoy the knitting process. 
Image © Max Evrard 2015
I think the most colorful booth at the show belonged to Lady Dye Yarns, which had skein after skein of eye-popping colors - the perfect antidote to my usually muted palette. Also, the colorways are all inspired by street art, which is pretty unique...and check out that awesome logo! I got curious and visited their website and discovered that there is even more to their yarn story. I hope I see them at soon (apparently the owner, Diane, has relatives in Chicago, so it's not too far-fetched) so that I can buy some yarn from her this time around!
I came home from the show tired, but determined to start knitting with some of my new yarn. I'll be sharing my new WIPs on Wednesday, see you then! 

1 comment:

  1. I've been eyeing up that project bag on Etsy! It's so cute!!!