Monday, August 29, 2011

Stitches Midwest 2011

On Friday, after visiting the temple, I headed west, to Schaumburg and Stitches Midwest. This event is four days of classes and shopping, but I spent just an afternoon, browsing (and buying) at the market.

There were around 150 vendors, selling yarn, buttons, bags, needles, etc, etc. I walked through the entire market before making any purchases - such restraint! Along the way, I took just a few photos.

Took this photo solely because of the name,
Sophie's Toes
Yummy yarn
Ruth Hamann's dog

Yarn tasting? Indeed. I didn't actually knit Bijou yarn (yak fibers, I think), but instead sampled Qiviut, from Windy Valley Muskox. Qiviut is the undercoat of the muskox, is eight times warmer than wool, and is soft and luxurious. I knit with the majestic blend (80% merino, 15% qiviut, and 5% silk), and I also sampled a bit of pure qiviut. Pretty lovely!

I came away with one skein of the majestic blend (pure qiviut is a bit pricey), enough to knit a small lace scarf:

Yes, it says Qiviuk, with a 'k'. As best
as I can tell, the terms Qiviut and Qiviuk
are more or less interchangeable.

I bought some yarn from Helen Hamann (and her dog):

This sport weight yarn is 70% alpaca, 30% mulberry silk. I struggled to decide which color to buy - there were various shades of purple and green and blue that were all beautiful, but in the end I opted for this soft yellow. I bought enough to knit Rebecca Hatcher's Swan Shawl (someday).

My third yarn purchase was at Ruhama's booth, where I was quite taken by the sample Wiggle Wrap scarf. I bought the pattern, and these two skeins of yarn - although you really can't tell much just by looking at these balls. They each go through a rainbow of colors, much more than what that outer layer reveals!

Of course, don't hold your breath for any of these projects to be finished any time soon - my knitting queue is a long one...!

Although it is possible that the swan shawl just might slip up to the top of the list... 

I admired, but did not buy, lots of other yarn, leaving it for another day. I looked at kits for the Mother Bear Project, and ended up just making a donation, rather than buying a kit. (They do good work, you should check out their website.) I tried knitting with the Kollage square needles (interesting). I stayed long enough that I had to drive home in rush-hour traffic (sigh).

Mostly, I had fun, and enjoyed just looking at everything. Will I go next year? Maybe, although it seems a bit decadent; patronizing our LYS & local fiber fest might be a better use of time / money / and energy. I have a year to think about it!

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