I wrote this post Friday night but when I went to post it blogger appeared to be down. I've been so busy with Stitches since then, I haven't had the energy to repost it until now. So you're getting it a bit late!
I'm in the middle of a Stitches 2008 weekend (knitting convention extravaganza for those who don't knit) and I've loaded myself up with lots of classes and shopping. I even took a day off work this year so that I could take more classes. I must be nuts. But really, the classes are great, the shopping is great, the getting together with friends is great and I've been looking forward to this since I registered for it last September. Here's a quick recap and summary of what's to come:
I skipped out on work a little early on Thursday (shh, don't tell the boss!) so I could get to the Ravelry meetup. It was a great excuse to have a glass of wine and meet up with friends. After Ravelry I picked up my vendor badge - I'm helping out at the Fiber Fiend booth on Saturday after class - and this let me bypass the very long line of eager shoppers waiting for the doors to open. Woohoo! One of my first stops was Blue Moon Fiber for some "Socks That Rock" sock yarn and OH MY did that booth fill up with knitters in a hurry. It was packed! I spent the next three hours (!!!) wandering from booth to booth trying not to buy everything I saw and occasionally running into friends who always seemed to be headed where I just came from. So I did most of my shopping solo, which may have been a good thing. I love my friends but they can be terrible enablers, as I am to them of course. They don't even have to try. I see what they have purchased and ooh and aah over it and suddenly I want some too. I tried to stick to a plan to only buy yarn and fiber that are unique and not available at my LYS (that's local yarn store for you non-knitters), but Stitches is just overwhelming. There is so much yarn and fiber I'd love to own, but I know that I just don't have the time or space for all the projects. I still bought a lot. I was better behaved today and only made one purchase. I'll post a picture of my Stitches stash next week because even though I am mostly in class the rest of the weekend, there's still lunchtime and the last-minute Sunday afternoon, end of Stitches shopping. Yes, I still have lots of stuff from last year's Stitches, but it's not totally all stash - I'm almost done with the Debbie Bliss alpaca/silk cardigan and I've used the needles and spindle I bought. I'm almost done spinning all the fiber I bought from Stitches 2006, which is good because I bought more this year. Is it still stash if I spin the fiber but haven't knit it? Don't answer that.
This year I'm taking more classes than I've ever taken before, mostly because I actually took time off to go to them. Today I had a class with Sarah Peasley on making better sleeves by picking up the stitches along the armhole (the armscye to those of you who sew) and using short rows for shaping. It makes a really nice sleeve with no separate pieces and seaming. The second class was on cables, but beyond knitting basic cables and at first I thought I was in over my head. Eventually I got my bearings and was able to really benefit from the class, which was really just info and tips on how to make cables go where you want them too. I know the instructor (Fiona Ellis) had more to tell us than that but at the time I was still paralyzed with my inability to remember how to cable.
Tomorrow I have two classes on short rows. More short rows! Good grief! When I signed up for the classes last September, I had just finished a pretty intensive (for me) month or so of sewing and I guess fitting, which is one thing short rows do for you, was more on my mind. I'm taking one class on Sunday, which is on knitting a houndstooth pattern - again, I think I was influenced a bit by sewing and fabric for this one. But I do think all these classes will add a lot to my knitting skills.
In the meantime my Burda jacket sits and waits for me to make time to finish it.