Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stitches East 2008

This past weekend, I spent two days at Stitches East in Baltimore. 48 hours of knitting heaven! On Friday, I had two classes. The first, taught by Gwen Bortner, was on revising patterns to match the gauge of your own yarn and knitting. Gwen was a wonderful instructor, and I found the class very useful. It would have been even more useful a few weeks ago when I was working on the Debbie Bliss v-neck slipover -- I didn't like the result when I knit to the specified gauge, and I had to pretty much just wing it when I decided to make the sweater in a looser gauge.

During the lunch break, I raced off to the marketplace, and scored some absolutely gorgeous yarn from Tess. It's "silk and ivory," a blend of 50% wool and 50% silk. The raspberry color (not very well reproduced in the photo, unfortunately) is my absolute favorite color for clothing. I"m not sure what I"m going to make with it yet, but I bought enough for a sweater.

After lunch, I had a class on designing cables, with Fiona Ellis. Here's what I knit in class, just made up on the fly:

I had a bit of time for more shopping at the marketplace after class, but not nearly enough, since it was only open for about an hour after I finished.

On Saturday morning, I took Cat Bordhi's class on knitting the Coriolis Sock in her latest book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

In order to have a chance to finish an entire sock in three hours, we made these wee little baby-sized socks:

On the needles, you can see the full-sized Spiraling Coriolis that I started when I got home. The yarn is Socks that Rock mediumweight, Faulty Dyer colorway. The Coriolis sock is knit from the toe up, with a swirling band that wraps across the instep, and can continue spiraling around the leg if you choose that variation.

As I expected, Cat's class was informative and well-taught, with lots of little tidbits of knitting knowledge scattered throughout. One great piece of information I learned in connection with the class is that she has posted several instructional videos on YouTube -- we had to watch some of them for our pre-Stitches homework. You should check them out, just search "Cat Bordhi" on YouTube. That little bit of a Coriolis sock on the needles has now grown up past the ankle, but I haven't had a chance to take another photo.

With class over, I finally got to spend as much time as I wanted in the marketplace. So much to see! It's like being in the world's largest yarn shop. Despite my resolve on Friday to resist the call of sock yarn, I succumbed at The Sanguine Gryphon's booth. And not just to one skein, but to three. But seriously, who could have resisted these amazing colors, especially after having just left a sock knitting class? I only wish this photo showed how subtly gorgeous they are.

I also picked up some leather bag handles, fun reading glasses, and pattern booklets.

The Webs booth had samples of several of the sweaters from the Norah Gaughan booklet, and they were so much more beautiful in real life than they looked in the booklet. In particular, there's a cardigan with a big folded over collar that's absolutely stunning when you can get close enough to see the stitch pattern at the collar and cuffs.

One last purchase -- dyeing supplies. I got some dyes, and an instructional video, and some undyed sock yarn to practice with from Indie Dyer. I'm planning to try dyeing some Blue Faced Leicester fiber for spinning.

Stitches East moves to Hartford next year. I know a lot of people are disappointed that it won't be in Baltimore, but I've got family in New England, so I think I'll still be able to go. I'm hoping that I can convince my mother to go with me -- after all, she's the one who first taught me to knit.


The Dyer said...


I got your email about the video! I am glad you really like it. Come post on my boards when yoiu get a chance and show us what you dyed!
Indie Dyer

The Dyer said...


I got your email! Glad you liked the DVD. I would love to see pix of whatever you end up dyeing.

Indie Dyer