Monday, February 14, 2005

(Drum Roll, Please) TA-DAAAAA!!!!

I have finished Blue Cardy! Yes, it happened on Sunday morning, appropriately enough during the glorious Stitches West weekend. I woke up early, sat straight up in bed, and thought "Now. Now is the moment." It took about 20 minutes to do those last couple of rows on each sleeve. My sweetie took a picture of me with the finished pieces, soon to be posted.

Now comes the finishing, but I am feeling much more prepared for that after my lovely weekend at Stitches!

Here is the play-by-play for those who are intereted:

Friday at 1 pm: Arrive at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Make mad dash through Marketplace. Complete sensory overload. Run into Julie the sock goddess from Knitting Meet-Up.

1:30 pm: Crochet for Knitters with Edie Eckman. Wow! I learned to crochet! I plan to sew Blue Cardy together using single crochet, and finish the edges with crab stitch, as the pattern suggests. And now I know how!

5 pm: Meet up with Spinnity, another quick dash through the Marketplace. Still overwhelming, but we linger over some Koigu, and I pick up a cheap copy of Lily Chin's Urban Knitter.

6 pm: We get in line for the fashion show and dinner. Not much to say about this other than the gals at our table were lovely, the food was decent, the show was too long and the garments difficult to see. But we took note of some favorites to purchase on Saturday.

Saturday at 8:30 am: An early morning, but worth it! Melissa Leapman's Basic Pattern Drafting. I like Melissa, but she schills her books a little too much, and her sweater patterns are not my personal taste. Plus, there are some obnoxious women in the back of the class who talk way too much. But I get to bend my brain around some math and the handout will be useful, I think.

Saturday lunch: Ack! First of all, no decent vegetarian options in the hotel at all, so I stuff down a plain green salad and venture into the Marketplace. Insane! Barely room to move. But with Spinnity as my guide, I discover a great new pattern designer, White Lies, and manage to snag a pretty sweater pattern before they totally sell out. I also pick up a pattern for a sweater from Knitter's Studio in Menlo Park, a cool drop-stitch Aran they have on display. I really like Wilma, the owner, and will have to visit her shop in the future.

Finally, the heat and claustrophobia get to be too much, and we head off to class, vowing never again to go the Marketplace at Saturday lunch.

1:30 pm: At last, I fling myself at the feet of knitting guru and goddess Sally Melville, and boy, does she meet expectations! First, though, I find that flowers have been delivered to our classroom by my sweetheart in recognition of our wedding just one month away!

Sally teaches Good Grafting, using absolutely innovative yet simple techniques. I won't describe them at length here, but if you *ever* get the chance to take one of her classes, seize it. She is divine.

4:30 pm: Back to the Marketplace, but I don't last long. Pick up some books at Yarn Barn that have been on my list: Sally's The Knit Stitch and Last-Minute Knitted Gifts (so clever!). They're sold out of Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge, so I'll have to get that later. I also pick up a small crochet hook and a copy of Melissa Leapman's Cozy Crochet for my new secondary hobby! Also fall in love with a Trendsetter yarn called Aura. More on Aura later! And a second trip to White Lies to peruse their ransacked shelves yields a lingerie kit and a second pretty sweater pattern.

Run into several Knitting Meet-up friends -- the Nyquist sisters, Jeni, etc.

Then home to sleep!

Sunday 12:15 pm: After finishing Blue Cardy and taking a quick side trip to Jo-Ann for supplies, I head to the Marketplace for a final shopping spree. This is a good one -- much less crowded, much more room to move! I get the soft, sparkly Aura yarn at Yarn Barn to create an amazing evening shawl. I plan to do this simpler lace project before attacking the White Lies sweaters. I also pick up a small, easy Koigu pattern for a little scarf.

Then Spinnity and I drift over to a side of the Marketplace we haven't looked at much before, and visit Knitting Diva of Fremont, where we meet the talented Miss Tina Whitmore of Knit Whits! I get her new crochet hat kit as well as three other patterns, a circular needle case, and a couple of knitting-themed notecard sets (I can always use those.) We observe the very well-laid-out booth for Los Altos' Uncommon Threads, glance at a few others, and then head to class, much poorer but happier.

1:30 pm: The perfect class for the end of a long weekend! The adorable Nancie Wiseman teaches Combining Knitting with Fabric, after which we actually have a half-finished project. Nancie's easy technique for picking up stitches from tapestry fabric to create pillows and jackets is very clever and easy. I am halfway through my little pillow, which I will share with the Meet-up folks on Wednesday. I want to try this technique to attach fun novelty-yarn cuffs to store-bought gloves and socks.

A great weekend overall, and I feel like I have projects for the next year at least! But with Blue Cardy in the bag and Spinnity making such excellent design progress on the wedding wraps, it will soon be time to tackle something new -- on the beaches of Belize!


Tyzilee said...

even the knitters can enjoy the valentines cynicism at

Christina said...

Isn't Stitches Great!?! It sounds like we got some of the same things. I also bought a few sweater patterns from White Lies Designs (so great!) and a pattern (the capelet) from Stitch Diva Studios (what patterns did you get there?). Maybe we can have our own mini knit-along. I'll try to remember to bring my stuff to the meetup on Wednesday. See you then!

~ Christina

Wiz Knitter said...

I got some crochet flower patterns, fun hat patterns, and one other thing -- Mary got the capelet, so I think I got one of the shawls. I have so many patterns now it's hard to keep track!

spinnity said...

I did get capelet! But I can't start yet, it's all shawls for the next month. I had a total blast at Stitches and it was so awesome that I got to hang out with you, knuknitter. I love having hobby friends!