------------------------------- ------------------------------------ On and Off The Needles

Monday, November 06, 2006

Friends, Family and Fun!

What a wonderful weekend! Not only did I see lots of friendly faces and beautiful yarn, but got in my kitty time as well...
Squeek and Mom Cat
Since my dogs are a bit too "fond" of cats, my only real kitty time is when I go to my cousins house - she has three great ones that love to cuddle.

Erin and Cheryl picked me up (thanks again girls!) at my sisters apartment bright and early. After a fun adventure of trying to find a parking spot that wouldn't take all of our yarn budget, we headed over to the convention center.

Stitches Crowd
It was quite a line waiting to get in. It went very quickly though and once inside, we met up with a huge crowd of the knitnite girls - Lolly, Jenna, Erin, Coleen, Jolene, Laura, The Midge, Diane, Cheryl, Suzanne and Jen. We tried to methodically walk around to see everything but some of us wanted to be more random with our browsing and we all ended up breaking up into little groups and wandering around.

There was lots to see. I recognized many of the vendors from Sheep & Wool and was glad to see them here also. Finished sweaters and shawls were a plenty. The interweave booth had the model sweaters from the current issue. It was nice to be able to see them in person and some even got to try them on! I was typically indecisive about my purchases. I did have a few things I was looking for specifically (sock yarn for the lace knee highs, more sock yarn for the Mamluke Socks, the Anna Zilboorg book and possibly sweater yarn if I found a good enough deal) but otherwise I was just browsing and enjoying watching everyone else buy!

Amazingly enough, the Blue Moon booth was pretty empty when Stitches opened. Even an hour or so later, there was still yarn in the booth. Quite a change from either Sheep & Wool or Rhinebeck! Even when we left for the day, some stray skeins of sock yarn still hung on their pegs.

Lolly purchased a beautiful lacy wrap pattern from (I think) Windy Valley Musk Ox. I eyed it seriously for a long time, and decided to pass in the end - but it is something I will keep in the back of my head though. I'd like to do a wrap sweater eventually of some kind. It's such a flattering shape on almost everyone. I was anxious to visit School Products, but they had none of their famous cones with them. I guess I'll have to visit in person one of these days!

The Mannings was a great, huge booth and I spent lots of time wandering in it. I found out later after talking to someone in the booth, that they had the Zilboorg book, but back at the shop! If I had called or emailed, they could have brought it with them. Oh well. Live and learn! I did end up getting some Regia Silk there though.
Regia Silk
I think the colors will work great for the Mamluke Socks. I looked several times at the pattern, and had a few other people look as well, because it only called for 2 balls of yarn at 245 yd each. It just doesn't seem like enough for a pair of stranded socks. I think I may post a message in the Folk Socks yahoo group to see how much yarn some people have used that have actually knit them up.

I also was sure to visit Tess' booth. She has such wonderful colors and a great sock yarn.
Tess Yarns
These two skeins will become the lace knee highs, or a knee high of some kind! (After looking at the pattern, the IK lace knee highs call for a heavier weight yarn than normal sock yarn) Lolly is also a huge fan of her yarn and we both did our part at this show!

Brooks Farm was also there with a huge booth. Their yarn is one I always admire both at Sheep & Wool, and here at Stitches. JoJoLand is an ebay seller I have seen for awhile - their sock yarn looks a lot like Trekking in the way it is plyed. I passed on it though as it is hand wash only. I'm trying to get only superwash to save myself any heartache or a huge sock tragedy when they get thrown into the washer and dryer!

My LYS, Webs was there also. I browsed through their huge booth a few times. They did have Regia Tweed at a great price, but I indulged in something a little bigger.
Nature Wool
Araucania Nature Wool in a beautiful teal color. Varigated, but not too much. I got a sweaters worth (at 242 yds/skein you don't need too many!) along with Lolly for under $35. Can't beat that! I have a few different patterns in mind for it depending on how it swatches up and how variegated it ends up being. After looking at a bunch of online photos, it doesn't seem to be that drastic, so I may be able to use it for cables. (my winter obsession)

After seeing and petting lots of yarn, we called it a day. Our feet were throbbing and we were done.
Jenna and I with haul
Jenna and I had some full bags by the end of the day!

Our stomachs were also growling, so Lolly, Jenna and I headed to One World Cafe. One World, One Word - YUM! They have great vegetarian and vegan fare in a cozy, friendly setting. We left stuffed and relaxed. It was truly a great evening with great friends!
Jenna, Lolly and I

All in all, it was a great time - I had such a great time with everyone - my second knitting family! Even though I'm not from the area, they always welcome me to the group with open arms and I have made some great friends in the Mid-Atlantic that I will be visiting often!

Amazingly, with all this going on, I did manage some knitting.
Cruise Sock
The first cruise sock is done! The only time I knit was at the airport and on the plane. It was a really quick knit - socks on #9 needles! They should all go this quickly! It fits my boss great - nice and big just like she wanted them. On to the second one......