Monday February 26th 2007, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Knit

This is a slightly breathless-sounding post, but if you’ve ever been, you understand the overload. Stitches West was wonderful and overwhelming and totally a Disneyland for knitters–over 200 vendors. I love it. I love running into people I only ever get to see there, some local, some from all over the world. That delightful fellow from Wagtail Yarns in New Zealand, with my hearing loss in that noisy place and his accent, we somehow need to put closed captions on him when he talks, but we laughed at ourselves and managed just fine. (His kid mohair in Dark Teal. The intense color!) I finally got to see Blue Moon Fiber Art’s yarns, and understand why they’re so popular. Gorgeous. (Backstabber: was that deep rose-red colorway named after that bank that yanked their credit card operations for their Socks That Rock Club, claiming selling sock yarns had to be a terrorist front, that no one knits socks? If it is, they made something beautiful out of that whole mess, I love this stuff.) I got to see, of course, Sheila Ernst and Lisa and Rod Souza, my favorites. (Mardi Gras, Saint Valentine, Berry Poppins, with Jellybeanz on order, and Lime and Violet glass needles to play with them on.) I got to go to Half Pint Farm’s booth and exclaim on behalf of my friend Cris (it’s a tradition), “Ellen: you ROCK!” She laughed and laughed; I hadn’t forgotten! (Emerald, silk/merino.) Karen at Royale Hare, who wanted to read my whole book on the spot (Cazadero Mist, Fitch Mountain Frost.) I got to see Melinda at Tess Designer Yarns, who’d been pretty stressed last year; I didn’t help at all at the time, given that I caught and tore an expensive yarn with my wheel, and she waved me away when I tried to pay for it: so as a thank you for her kindness, I took some of her hand dyed silk I had, knitted it up into a scarf, and surprised her in the mail with it not long after. This year, she seemed much more relaxed, enjoying people, really enjoying the show and how much people loved what she’d dyed. I patted myself on the head and chose to believe I’d played a small but good part. If nothing else, knitting for her had made it all the more important to me that she have a good time, and she was clearly having a good time. Yay!

I had people coming up and introducing themselves over and over, and thank you to each of you if you’re reading this, you totally made my day. At one point, I exclaimed, “SUE!” I hadn’t seen her since I’d gone to…well, let’s see, my younger daughter was in fourth grade at the time and is a college junior now. Been awhile. I got to see Robert, who wove my much-loved medicine blanket. Very, very cool.

Pictured above are two of my favorites, Pam Bell and Darrin Kaufman of Pacific Meadows Alpacas (garnet for a shawl, and red for a scarf). Darrin found me before I found them, and dropped everything to come over and chat awhile. They sell the baby alpaca yarn that I used in a lot of the shawls in my book–wonderful, soft stuff, and they are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. So don’t mind me; I’m bragging on my friends for a minute here.

So, meantime, if anybody bought the silk/stainless steel blend yarn from Habu, tell me, what on earth do you DO with it?! Their website says it was originally developed for oil filters. It reminds me of the old joke that if you give an avid knitter steel wool, he or she might knit you a Volkswagon.

A little bit of each of these vendors, most of them people who are already good friends, will be there with me as I knit up their yarns. Good times ahead.

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I use the metal and wool yarn from Habu for bobbin lace. You can make some of the most amazing necklaces and bracelets out of the stuff. Try knitting something in a lacy pattern and see if it grabs you.

Comment by Erin 02.27.07 @ 1:56 pm

Curious. That’s one way to get a stiff doily. Or I would think it would make a lace scarf for summer that wouldn’t overheat you (right?), given how metal conducts heat away.

Comment by AlisonH 02.27.07 @ 3:15 pm

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