Sunday, September 30, 2007

TKGA Knit and Crochet Show

On Saturday, September 29, I went to The Knitting Guild Association's (TKGA) Knit and Crochet Show in Oakland, CA. I met Jeannette, Marty, Tara and Matthew (aka DoilyDude) of IBKC Yahoo group at Daly City BART, and we happily knitted on the way over. The 12th Street BART station is right across the street from the Oakland Marriott.

The attendee line was fairly long at 10am, but I scooted up to the exhibitor desk which had no line and got my badge. My friend Tina of Knitwhits had asked me to work in her booth, so I spent the majority of the day there amongst the adorable hat, scarf, sock, purse, and other Knitwhits kits. The scarf above is one of her lovely crochet patterns called Ella. Some of the most popular items were the Flore (the petal hat at right) and Ripley hat kits that come in a variety of color combos. Purse kits were also flying out the door, like Lexi the houndstooth bag suitable for work or play. What a busy day! I didn't think that TKGA would be as busy as Stitches, but for the first few hours I was having flashbacks. The shoppers were out in force, credit cards in hand, and they were definitely buying.

When I had time for a break, I walked around and visited the
usual suspects, plus some others that were new to me. The Y2Knit booth was right across from ours. Jill Wolcott is one of two sisters who own the business. The designs were lovely, inventive, and many of the sweaters were sized from small to 3x or 4x. Jill lives in San Francisco and her sister has a shop in Maryland. Jill was wearing this short Latice Lace Wrap, which was simply charming. The lacy insert has a twisted open stitch that looks much like broomstick lace.

Another exciting booth was
Gita Maria, whose wares include enameled shawl pins and shawl kits in beautiful packaging. The shawl designs are wild, open and lacy and the shawl pins are gorgeous like this autumn inspired pumpkin pin.

I also enjoyed revisiting Geddes Studio, where I had bought gorgeous handmade glass buttons at Stitches West. Nancy Geddes' shift from engineer to artist is fascinating and compelling. She had discovered the beauty of dichroic glass while working as an aerospace engineer, and extrapolated her nascent art project into an idea for a growing family business. Her buttons, as she mentioned to me, end up on coffee tables as conversation pieces as often as they become attached to finished garments. I must admit, my favorite Geddes button is waiting patiently to be affixed to some future sweater. I fondle it from time to time and bring it out to watch my visitors ooh and ahh. The photo is an example of Nancy's artwork.

Due to my recent yarn spending spree, I decided to forego any new yarn purchases, but I did pick up a pattern for the Spring Blossoms shawl, by Eugen Beugler, from Terilyn Needleart. Lynn Curry, the proprietor from Redwood City, offers a lovely selection of her own lace shawl patterns, plus Fiber Trends and others. At present, the business is Internet only, but she does attend shows like TKGA. Lynn is a member of The Lacy Knitters Guild in Mountain View and the editor of their newsletter. What stopped me in my tracks was her display of the lace doilies knitted by Marguerite Shimmons. The Shimmons doilies are legendary and a number of them have been donated to the Lacis Museum for posterity.

I also ran into a few friends from the knitting world, like Ann of
afghans for Afghans. (The first "a" of "afghans for Afghans" is intentionally lowercase to differentiate between the blankies and the people.) I don't know how she finds the time to do all that she does, but there she was, shopping in the market after attending a class. Ann is coordinating a big shipment of handknitted items to be sent overseas to Afghanistan in October to help clothe the Afghan orphans during their very cold winter. The deadline for contributions is October 12. They can always use extra hands for packing, so if you have a free afternoon, drop her an line. She graciously invited me to join her and some other knitters at a pub after the show, but I was too pooped to party.

On the BART train, a few knitters and I sat together discussing the show, and of course, the knitterly camaraderie made us instant pals.


Jane said...

I enjoyed the show too and those Shimmons doilys also had me gaping. Amazing work in tiny thread. I'm not sure I want to go blind trying to go that small but you have to admire that kind of dedication and craftsmanship! I tried not to go hogl-wild at the show and stuck to only a few nice things.

Soo said...

Wow - almost as good as being there! I love that shawl pin..definitely off to check those out.

And the buttons are amazing -- I'd need a whole new wardrobe to be worthy of them!

zippiknits said...

I still have the first pair of dichroic glass earrings that I bought from Nancy many years ago in a gallery in Utah. She is a great gal.

Thanks for some memories and some beautiful sidebar photos.