On Friday, I gassed up the 'burban and met Jane in York to head on down to Baltimore's Inner Harbor for the XRX publishing knitter's market known as Stitches East. I'd love to share some photos with you of the highlights - and there were many - but alas, photos are not permitted. Why? well, one big reason is that there is a whole group of bloggers whose pleasure derives from photographing people at fiber events, vendors booths and ticketed and copyrighted shows and then posting their pics on blogs and making fun of them. Not good natured opinion sharing mind you...no, viscious character assassination based on their choice of clothes, yarn, knitting ability or style. Nice huh? Well, we can thank them for the lack of photo journalism of the various Stitches events. Fortunately, the vast majority of people attending such events are sooooooooooooooo much nicer than that. OK, I saw my share of things I'd not choose to knit or wear myself, but then not one such person actually asked me to do so. We all shopped in peace and had some good laughs along the way.
What did we see? How about the funnest (it's MY word - shut up) space age lighted drop spindle ever. Did I buy one? No and I'm kicking myself for it too. By the time I got back to that booth, they were pushing us out the door to close. Apparently, these folks opperate from an eBay store so go check them out. This is too much fun for $24.95.
I also saw lots and lots of great wool and wool blend yarns.WAY more than years past and WAY more wool than novelty and ACK-crylic stuff. Things are definitely looking up for lovers of GOOD yarns.
I have been known to speak of 'plastic yarn' in a most derogatory fashion in the past. I was always referring to ACK-crylic. Now I can't do that anymore. I have met a true plastic yarn and it's tons of fun! Actually, I've known about Jelly Yarn for some time but never really explored it's possibilities. Folks, this stuff is HILARIOUS! The latest deal in Jelly yarn is to string cool buttons on and knit them into a bracelet or belt. Fun, fun, fun. Can you really go wrong with a yarn that requires the use of WD-40 in the knitting? BTW, the couple who sell the stuff are some really funloving folks too...from PA no less. :)
I did have a "run in" with one vendor who shall remain nameless in order to both protect her identity (from attack) and so as to not send customers her way innadvertently. It's not that she was nasty or mean, she was just criminally STUPID. She sells a product billed as 'Irish Yarn'. OK, peaks my interest, so I check it out. It makes coarse rug yarn feel like angora. YUCK. Then I check the label hoping I've misunderstood the stated purpose or something. Maybe this is supposed to be sisal rope for Irish fishing boats or something. Nope, it's labeled as 'Aran weight' sweater yarn. Um, huh? What was in my hand is a bulky weight 3 ply rope. Aran weight is generally at least 5 ply and roughly DK weight! Doesn't bode well. So in my further effort to justify a wool product I ask the proprietress if she had it spun herself. "No, it was spun at a 300 year old mill in Ireland." I see. Not real likely, but could be. I ask for clarification; "What type of sheep is used?" the answer.... "Irish sheep"..."um, no, I mean what BREED of sheep?" she looks me dead in the eye as if I'd just crawled out from under an acrylic rock and said "IRISH sheep...you know, from IRELAND." I think I blacked out at that point cause it all goes fuzzy until Jane was sorta slapping me back with a skein of scrumptious Angora/Merino...
THIS Angora/Merino to be exact. Now doesn't that just make you say 'ahhhhhh' and forget all about stupid people who don't understand their own stuff? :) Actually, this is spun by a lady who I hope to do some more and wonderful work with in the future. Take it from me, this is roll-around-in-nekkid good! This is one of about 12 colorways that she had and the dying is just as good as the spinning. This skein is one of only Three things I actually bought all day. The second was this pattern from Strickwear to use with the Angora. Check the site out for the color blend kits too. They were all the rage at Stitches and they really are pretty awesome.
The other thing I bought was a skein of Trekking. Boring, whatever, I wanted it. I really like Trekking colorways.
So that's my exciting report from Stitches. Next stop...to stop. Completely stop. Done. Fini. Tired.