Return from Stitches

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What a wonderful trip…and how good to be home again. Isn’t that always the way with travel?

Overwhelmed?

I’ve been to Stitches Midwest three times, but this is the first time I took classes, and the first time I stayed overnight. It is SO much easier to shop the marketplace when you have more than one day. There are eight aisles, packed to the brim. And staying overnight meant I had time to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack — super yummy — and shop at IKEA.

As soon as we walked into IKEA, my traveling companion kept repeating, “Oh no! Oh no!” She was overjoyed and overwhelmed. I made it out of there spending just $16, which includes some spice shakers, several kitchen utensils, and a yard of Cecelia fabric. I could not resist, especially when I found out they trust you to cut your own fabric! I was tickled pink.

Cecilia $5.99/yard

But back to the point: Stitches. I bought yarn from just two vendors. First I got three skeins of Universal Yarn in “Spanish Moss” from Yarn Mountain. They showed a display with an entrelac shawl made from the yarn, which was stunning. I have been interested in learning entrelac for a few months now, so it seemed like a perfect project.

Spanish Moss

Then I got six skeins of “Eden” from Sunday Knits. Wow. So soft, so luxurious, so pretty, such great colors. I chose the color “Curry” with a summery sweater in mind. After sleeping on it, I went back for six more skeins in the color “Pickle”. I really want to make the Dahlia cardigan in the latest issue of Interweave Knits. I think Pickle is the one. At $8.50 a skein for 225 yards, I was pretty excited.

Pickle & Curry

One of the most interesting things I saw was a booth that had made up dozens of muslins of how their sweater patterns fit, from Jean Frost’s new book Custom Knit Jackets. I tried one on and found that I should really be knitting different sizes for the front and the back. Jean Frost is a tiny little lady, and she took to making her own knits because she couldn’t get any ready-to-wear things to fit her. I did end up buying her book. It has a large section on fitting, which is helpful to me as a seamstress as well. (And I had a 28% off coupon. Who makes a coupon for 28% off?) As luck would have it, as I was on my way out, I saw Jean Frost sitting at a booth signing books, and nobody was in line, so I got my book signed as well.

I took two classes, and they just so happened to be taught by the same woman, Brooke Nico. She was wearing some amazing jackets of her own design, but sadly they are not up on Ravelry (yet). The first class was Designing a Triangle Shawl. I learned a lot, and when I got home I went directly to my computer to start playing. Well, first I kissed my husband and boy. I can see I am going to have a lot of fun with designing.

I also took Fixing Mistakes in Lace. One of the things we had to do was drop 12 stitches off the needles, pull the work down 10 rows, and reknit the entire section. Useful for if you realize you messed up in one section of your lace. You don’t have to tear out all the rows back down to the mistake, you just drop down one motif. After taking these classes, I have been daydreaming about knitting more lace. I don’t know where to wear it or what to do with it, but it is fun to make.

My Loot

Perhaps I need to make a shawl to match each of the new dresses I have sewn this summer!

One final thought: I loved the carpet at the hotel, and I kept thinking I want to sew a quilt like this. What do you think?

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