Stitches West – Wow!

Stiches West was AMAZING!

Are you thinking about going to Stitches? You should do it! After many years of wondering if I should go and wishing I could go, I finally went! It was even better than I expected.

I took three classes – Celtic Cables with Melissa Leapman; Fair Isle with Sandi Rosner; and Designing Your Dream Sweater with Leslye Solomon. I learned something in each class but I would say that I enjoyed Fair Isle the most. Sandi has a very relaxed teaching style. Right away I understood what I needed to do and knit like the wind so I could see how my color choices would look in her fair isle pattern. And this technique is so much fun! This class completely took away my concern about knitting fair isle and I look forward to making a future project.

Celtic Cables

Celtic cables are so beautiful. Melissa Leapman was a lovely instructor and I enjoyed making cables in her class. I would like to begin a project with cabling, possibly a sweater with SOME cabling. Too many cables can feel “un-fun” to knit.

My final class was Sunday morning, my last day at Stitches. Leslye packed so much information into 3 hours – the class was just too short. I loved the giant graph paper she has designed and gave us to use during the class. Planning a sweater takes a bit of math and a bit of planning but is very doable for everyone. I would have appreciate an all day class that allowed me to design a sweater and then have the instructor’s input. Still, I learned so much from Leslye, not the least of which was to just go for it!

Although my roommate and I were in the convention center most of the time taking classes or shopping, we did need to take a short walk across the street to our hotel. The Hilton was a lovely place to stay and I recommend it. The weather was rainy, windy and cold when we arrived on Friday morning and when we walked to our hotel Friday evening – miserable! We decided to eat at the restaurant hotel and invited two attendees to dine with us. It was great fun getting to know new people! Our second night, we sat in the bar area of the Hilton and knitted while swapping stories with another just-met friend, who travels all over the country attending Stitches shows. She said that this Stitches was the biggest she had seen and was the biggest in the west, so far. The funny thing was, so many attendees live in California. A few came from Arizona and one from Nevada. Our new friend had traveled from Ohio!

If you’re thinking about attending a Stitches event, my advice would be to find out when the class sign-ups start and register right away. Classes really do fill up early. And bring an extra suitcase for all the yarn and goodies you will purchase. Ladies were there to buy yarn and buy they did! Bags and bags of yarn! There was so much beautiful yarn there – hand-dyed yarns were my favorites and they came in many different blends, as well as, colors.

While I didn’t attend the fashion shows this year, I heard they were a lot of fun. Oh, and I did see some famous yarn people besides my instructors. I was pleased to purchase yarn from WEBS, where Steve was walking around being super sweet and helpful and his dad was at the check-out. I also saw Lorna Miser of Lorna’s Laces.

The Sanguine Gryphon was where I found my had-to-have-it yarn. My friend and I walked around the corner and there it was! The most beautiful, dark purple sock weight yarn. I bought three skeins – but no! – my friend bought them for me! It was the most wonderful gift I have received in a long time. So unexpected and so sweet. I love that yarn! I am going to make a Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig and I look forward to showing it off when I am finished!

So, if you want to immerse yourself in beautiful yarn and learn new fiber techniques, meet lovely people, and bask in the amazing world that we love, I highly recommend attending a Stitches event. I will remember this trip for a long time. And who knows, I just may go again next year!