Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stitches West 2008

Opening day, classes, and of course, the market... it was all good.  No pictures here. 

Opening day was about socks

Cat Bordhi, Lucy Neatby, and Sandi Rosner were the speakers.  If you follow this blog you know I am a Cat Bordhi fan.  She covered the sockitecture in her book New Pathways for Sock Knitters, introducing the various top down and toe up socks.  Lucy Neatby talked about her sock philosophy, using the Fiesta Sock as her model.  It's a cool idea - you knit a garter stitch band sideways around the top and then pick up and work down from that.  Lucy is a big believer in colorSandi Rosner is the author of some sock books I have but have never used.  She presented an entrelac sock she made out of faux fair isle patterned sock yarn.  It was kind of cool.  (Lunch after the talk was fine and people at my table were pleasant.)  Cost = $75.  Worth it?  Probably yes for sock knitters like me.

At the opening day a sock contest was announced.  It runs through Jan. 1, 2009, and results will be announced next year at Stitches West 2009.


Sleeves from the top down - Lorna Miser (Thursday afternoon)

She talked about various arm hole shaping (dropped shoulder, modified drop shoulder, and set in sleeves), and how to put sleeves in them.  She spent most of the time on set in sleeves, which is what I wanted.  There was math, a little, and knitting, a little.  It was only a 3 hour class, but good for sleeve-phobes like me.

Vintage Socks - Nancy Bush (Friday all day)

Nancy Bush is the original Sock Goddess.  I learned to knit socks from Folk Socks, and I have all of her sock books.  I love Nancy Bush.  This was the first class I have taken from her and it was good.  Poor Nancy had a terrible cold and kept leaving the room to blow, cough, and wash hands.  In spite of the cold she taught a good class based on her Knitting Vintage Socks book, which was based on the old Weldon's Practical Needlework publications.  We got to knit a little sample sock with new-to-me cast on, heel and toe.  It was interesting to travel back in time and knit socks as they were knit in the past.  For example, most of their decreases were k2tog - no mirroring ssk, just all k2tog - which works, but isn't as balanced as we are used to.  They went for function over form. 

Magical Moebius - Cat Bordhi (Saturday...)

Cat, another one of my knitting goddesses, taught us how to cast on for a moebius ring, and then led us through one of two patterns she handed out in class - a little bowl (to be felted later), or a cowl scarf thing.  She spent some time talking about the moebius ring, it's properties, design possibilities, and the magic of moebius.  I have done a couple of moebius things from Cat's books, so I fiddled with a self-designed scarf that required diagonal ribs to slant in different directions on each half of the scarf... so that they would appear to slant all in the same direction.  If I finish it, I'll post pictures.

This was my last class.  Unfortunately I left at lunch break because bad weather was predicted and I didn't want to drive in wind and rain in the dark.

Cost = $315 for 15 class hours.  $360 for lodging. Worth it?  Yes, but I can't do it too often!

The Market

I went to the market preview on Thursday night, but didn't go again.  The market is huge, huge I tell you.  It fills two gigantic convention floor sized areas.  It took me an hour and a half to walk through it and I'm sure I didn't walk by every single vendor.  There was a line half a block long to buy Blue Moon yarn, and I'm told they sell out quickly.  I didn't stop in too many booths, but I did stop.  I bought a book (Best of Interweave Knits), a pattern (Fiesta Socks by Lucy Neatby), and a couple of Ravelry pins.  Ravelry was there meeting and greeting.  What warriors they are!  I found a new needle maker and I like their needles a lot - Signature Needle Arts.  As soon as they make circular needles, or DPNs in size 0 I'll buy some!

Cost = not so much.

The 4-hour drive home wasn't so bad in the daylight and I managed to stay awake the entire time ($3.45 / US Gallon of gas!!!).


  1. Last year at Rhinebeck, I was walking through a building and there was this lineup of people. I couldn't figure out what it was, until I looked at what each had in their hand. A skein of Socks that Rock yarn. The line up to the cash wasn't a half a booth long, it was over a booth long, and it blocked your entry into the booth. I wanted spinning fiber, but I didn't buy it there.
    They probably could have left the fiber at home in IL and brought only STR yarn.

  2. I didn't go in the Blue Moon booth either, but someday I'll have to have some just to find out what all the fuss is about.