Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stitches 2011 Recap and Booty!

A little bit of Stitches goes a long way. For me, that means four or five hours of browsing, shopping, meeting friends, chatting with shop owners, and absorbing all of the silky, woolly, warm vibes at the Santa Clara Convention Center this past weekend.
Many of the same vendors were back, some with smaller booths and less product, a reminder of how the economy has affected not only our pocketbooks but the livelihoods of our favorite creative shop owners.
At Interlacements, where I have purchased a couple of skeins every year, I was surprised to see the reduced inventory and booth footprint. The colors were as vibrant as ever.
The Mannings booth was buzzing with activity, as was Tess Designer Yarns. The Yarn Barn was full of people browsing, but it seemed to me that purchasing lines were shorter here and throughout the Market. I was pleased to see the popularity of Intwined Pattern Studio, the design software that I purchased last year. Demonstrations at Intwined were lively, and it looked like people were buying.

Tina at Knitwhits

A vendor new to me, The Sanguine Gryphon, was attacked by shoppers on the first day of the show, I was told. And something they had was all gone by the end of the first day. What was it? I must know! The booth attendants were dressed in long gowns, their hair tied up in ribbons. Medieval times at a yarn show? Their yarn was scrumptious, and I picked up two skeins of some cashmere/silk fluffiness. Yum.  I picked up these two handcarved shawl pins from Chappy (a.k.a., Purrfectly Catchy Designs).  Don't they complement the yarn well?  She's the vendor with the highligher tape, if you need some.

I also stopped by Cheryl Oberle's booth and picked up her Knitted Jackets book.  She graciously signed it for me and gave me a marbelized bookmark.  She's always so lovely.

I have to admit I am attracted to sparkly, smooth things, and these glass handmade knitting needles from Sheila and Michael Ernst of Drain, OR are no exception.  I tested them at their booth and the wool slid nicely over the pointy tips.  I'm not sure how they will do with finer yarns, but for a relaxing, satisfying woolly knit, I'm definitely going to use these.  They have a lifetime warranty against breakage (made with borosylicate, commonly known as Pyrex), and the smallest size is 4.  I bought one of the standard colors, but look at their website to see some of their gorgeous designer color wonders.

I can't leave out the man with the Midas touch.  The guy with the gold.  The Japanese silk man.  Who is he and where does he get this stuff each year?  He is  John Marshall of Covelo, CA and he buys out remaining stocks of Japanese textile companies.  He also teaches and lectures in dying, stencil carving, and various Japanese and other arts.  I purchased some extremely fine silk from him.  I don't know yet what it will be, but the colors are stunning.

And I do like this Handy Caddy I found.  The plastic organizer snaps onto a steel frame that will stand up on a table.  But you can unsnap it, and take just the plastic organizer with you in your knitting bag.

I'm looking forward to reading all the blog posts about Stitches this year.  Let's keep attending these events, and purchasing from the vendors, so we can enjoy Stitches in years to come.


Sonia said...

Thanks for a lovely report on Stitches! Perhaps next year I'll be able to make the trip :)

Sonia (from oz)

Mereknits said...

I wish I could have been looks like so much fun. I love all your wonderful buys....I am so jealous of the silk yarn.
Have a wonderful week,

OceanKnitter said...

@Sonia - Would love to see you when you visit! Please do let me know the next time you come.

@Meredith - The silk is lovely and extremely fine. I couldn't resist the shine and the vibrant colors. I'll have to post a swatch and test it for blocking. If it's too weak, I may have to double strand it.