Totally a last minute decision, and with the good fortune of finding a room cancellation at the Crown Plaza, we hurriedly packed the night before and set out for a very early morning ( 5 a.m. departure! ) four hour car ride to Hartford to attend Stitches East!
My travel companions, Roberta and Nan, enjoyed the ease with which we were able to travel about the downtown area near the Hartford Convention area by city shuttle. We ran into pals Jeanie, Eileen and Amanda, from The Knitter's Edge, on the Market Floor, and because of the extremely enforced rules prohibiting all photography on the Market Floor, there are sadly no pictures on site. Roberta had her new Jane Slicer Smith book signed by the designer. We had a lovely, relaxed and fun time, but didn't overdo in the spending this year. Translation: No Knitter's Guilt!
BARGAIN! Jo Sharp for $ 2 a ball. Fingerless mitts or a cowl anyone?
An enterprising young knitter and writer developed a comic book series featuring a super hero theme.
Knitting pattern in each issue! Purchased to support a budding writer.
Couldn't come home without buying some buttons. This vendor had a great selection.
Angora. For those never-ending baby gifts.
Limited myself to just one ball of sock yarn this year. Zauberball. Will look nice with jeans. I'm due for some sock knitting, BUT the next pair most likely will be knit with some Blue Moon that's been maturing in the sock dresser drawer.
Our only GROUP PROJECT purchase. (remember the Koigu mitered squares jacket of Stitches 2008? It sits, half of the back knit....sigh.) Planning to do a needle felting progressive get-together during the darkest, bleakest part of the winter months!
A beautiful Artyarns scarf kit. A gift for a friend who does so much for others.
Have been planning to knit a tea cozy for years and this one can be found in the book, "Knitter's Stash", which I've had forever and only just rediscovered, has terrific patterns in it! Didn't need to purchase the pattern, and Margi, shop owner and designer, was very nice.
Overall, the Market seemed to be very subdued when we were there on Friday and Saturday. Lots of vendors seem to be offering their patterns for sale only in kits with their yarn. I didn't think that folks were really buying a lot of yarn. Remember when you could buy sock yarn for around $13? Was it my imagination or did yarn prices seem higher? As also pattern prices?
I, personally, spent well under half of my usual amount this year on the Market floor. There were 11 rows of vendors and some vendors had multi booths. Some vendors offered some simple free patterns and candy. I noticed again that novelty yarn continues to be incorporated in many scarves and sweaters. Probably because folks still have so much of it lanquishing in their stashes. Like me! BTW, We saw many beautiful handknit sweaters, wraps and scarves worn by attendees this year. A few Clapotis. Lots of lace shawls and tasteful novelty scarves. A few February sweaters.
The lighting and climate control were great. For your convenience there was a coat check. The concession was fairly prices and run very efficiently. I liked the Connecticut venue, despite the travel time/distance. It was easy to catch the shuttle bus to eat at local places like The Hot Tomato (great Italian!) and City Steam Brewery Cafe. People were friendly and helpful. Yes, I'll probably go back next year.
Back at home...
I completed my knitted beaded bracelet after taking a class at Knitter's Edge. I made it more of a bangle, foregoing the toggle and ring closures. I'm happy with the appearance. Any kind of gold lame' or silver ropey yarn would work. My beads are 6mm amethysts.
I swear this is my last pair of pocket book slippers! They're just too addicting. Nan and Roberta are now knitting them too!
The legendary 2009 Knitting Ministry Afghan Project is complete! A labor of love.
Speaking of love...
Shelby has settled in nicely. She is very verbal, squeeks and likes to be near us. Her hangout is the bed in the yarn room, across from Kringle and his love seat.
Kringle remains content in his twilight years. Skin over bones, but, when awake, can be found sitting on the bathroom sink's edge, waiting for someone to turn on the faucet.
May you have a happy knitting week!