I had a wonderful day yesterday at Stitches West visiting with so many of my fiber friends! Of course, there were high hopes of making a huge documentary-style blog post about the event, talking to the booth owners and photographing their products, etc. and sharing all that information with you here... but the moment I enter the marketplace I am overwhelmed by all the yarn and fiber and inspiration! It's everywhere; in the booths... in the books and magazines... even on the others attending the event - it's a constant parade of beauty and color and that, my friends, is why posts like these are somewhat short (especially when I'm only there for one day!)
The big news of this event was that my design, Corydon, is included in issue 106 of Knitter's magazine! Made out of Kollage Yarn's Fantastic in colors Bison and Burlywood, it was a really fun pullover to design.
The piece is named after Corydon, Indiana (the first state capital from 1816 - 1825 and was also the only location in Indiana of a Civil War battle); the "big" town near my childhood hometown of New Middletown, IN. Combining this great textured stitch with short rows and an i-cord drawstring at the collar resulted in a comfy sweater with a casual but distinct style.
I'm proud of this work and happy to be included in the issue on page 54. If you don't already have a subscription for Knitter's, you can subscribe HERE.
We also came across Jane Slicer-Smith quietly sitting in a chair, lever knitting a mitered square. After a brief introduction, and my friend John's expressed interest in lever knitting, Jane gave a 3 minute impromptu series of tips for successful mastery of the skill. She was a delight to talk with while John purchased a copy of her book, Swing Swagger Drape!
These events are just littered with talent. Designers, publishers, owners of yarn companies and fiber farms... My hint for a memorable Stitches event? Take time to talk to those around you! You never know who you'll meet!
...and as I went around looking at all the amazing products on display, I happened upon the booth of KCL Woods (Ken & Carol Ledbetter) - who make, among other things, finely crafted drop spindles, shuttles and yarn bowls. I was drawn immediately to his shuttles- they're GORGEOUS and smoothe as silk! I also happen to notice when I took this photo that in the background is none other than Michael Wade (Wondermike) who snuck away from our group and was, of course, picking up another drop spindle!
He has quite the eye for finding high quality products...
I also saw the great people at RedFish Dyeworks - they offer beautifully dyed silk and silk blend yarns and fibers, and their colors are always so brilliang and make me smile.
Part of the beauty of coming to these events is seeing some of the people that I only get to see at shows! Elf (one of the owners of RedFish) makes me smile every time I happen upon their booth at a show and it's like running into an old friend each time we meet up. The interactions are always too brief... if only there were some way to keep up with all the business of daily life AND get to stay in better touch with people like this who are such sources of inspiration for so many!
Oh well... if nothing else, we have the luxury of seeing booth after booth of inspiration at fiber festivals like Stitches!
I'm always looking for the next new or interesting thing at these events - this year, it took maybe 2 minutes for me to sit down and fall in love with fiber hooking! Basically, it's using a wooden handled crochet-style hook to pull up loops of fiber through a fabric. This company is using linen as the fabric and has an artist hand draw the images in their collection. Once stretched on a frame, you just pull the loops up and fill the image with your fibers. I think working with this new craft could be a great and fun way to use up scraps from knitting or crochet projects and can't wait to try it out!