STITCHES West 2017

Good evening. It’s 7:21 p.m. here in the Bay Area. My crew and I are winding down from our jaunt in San Francisco. I have Chai & Mighty steeping as I catch up on my water intake after oinking out today.

I am sadly a bit behind in posts, especially this one about the mother of all knitting conferences, STITCHES. Before I get into that, I just wanted to say ヾ(*・∀・*)/☆゚。・+aloha to the new subscribers to my little blog. To all of you, *bows* I am deeply honored that you come by to read Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons. Mahalo nui loa. I appreciate the time you take to read &/or comment each post. Your visits are rays of sunshine. So thank you again.

Back to STITCHES…there are STITCHES events all over the country – East, Midwest, West, etc. Obviously I go to West as it’s held in California at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara and at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The first two times I went, I took classes and commuted with the Kahuna, each time getting a glimpse at the 50 miles he drove each way to get to work and to work hard for his ohana; we were living in the city then. My honey₍՞◌′ᵕ‵ू◌₎♡ took me to lunch each time. The third year I took my mum with me to check out the marketplace. She enjoyed seeing all the goodies and spoiled me there. Last year I went by myself as I was meeting up with Purl & Sympathy for lunch at the hotel; what a buffet it was!

For 2017, I signed up for a class druing early bird registration and drove myself the short distance since now we’re in the east bay; man, it’s nice to live nearby. A week before STITCHES I was doing some mad knittin’ and started experiencing fatigue and aches in my forearms, wrists, and hands. Note: I do stretch out before I use the laptop and knit; here’s the link for the stretches I do. I stopped knitting and took the week off since I knew I’d have class on the 24th of February.

I left the house around 7 a.m. With morning traffic E figured it would take me 45 minutes to reach Santa Clara and I also wanted to factor in getting-lost-time, LOL. And yes, I did get lost twice (My iPhone connects to the car and when I use Google Maps I can’t hear it talk.) but arrived safely at the free parking garage and took this picture by 8 a.m.:

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I’m all bundled in my Wool & Company scarf. I didn’t know if the air conditioner would be on even though it was in the 50’s that day.

This was the class I took:

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It was actually all day with a two hour lunch break. I purposely signed up for this class because I was worried about my hands. I told myself it was time as in the past Christmas knitting has affected them. Here’s my kumu for the day:

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Andrea Wong is amazing! She is sweet and helpful. This patient woman really wants you to be happy learning. Each of us were supported by her in any way she could help. I’m glad to have met her and happy I took her class. She showed us many things but I stuck to the basics of knit and purl. I’m practicing every chance I get. I even bought her book to learn how to do other things, like YO, etc. with the Portuguese style. But I do have the option of just switching back to Continental for those things which is great.

In my class there were two women from the east coast who wore lovely shawls of the same pattern. They knitted them at the same time and graciously let me take a photo of them in the hallway so I could show you here on the blog:

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Aren’t they wonderful? The colors they used were like fish hooks that drew my eyesight right in. The pattern is First Point of Libra by Laura Aylor. Think of all the color combination possibilities! Mahalo ladies for letting me take your picture! And sorry, if you’re checking here now and then, to have made you wait.

Do you know this character?

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This awesome knitter and mama is Renee of Confessions of a Yarn Addict. You will drool over her astounding haul! I was power walking with food in my hands to sit at a table near the marketplace and stuff my face when a woman called out to me. Renee with her observant, hawklike vision recognized me. We chatted a bit and then ran into one another later in the marketplace where I told her we needed to take a selfie. So of course the two of us did. Mahalo Mama for connecting with me.

Wanna see some goodies? I have a very modest haul. In truth, I had a specific list of items I wanted to find; I shocked an IG knitter by saying, yarn will always be there. I wasn’t really interested in buying more sock yarn but wanted to see for example, if there were sock blanks or the Gleener. However, I didn’t comb through each booth. I had had a good lunch but I was tired from waking up so early and power walking the marketplace. I strode purposely through the aisles but didn’t walk into each booth to dig. Despite that, I did pick up some wonderful souvenirs:

Yarn bowls were on my list. I found one at the Pawley Studios booth for half off:

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I liked the way this bowl was striped. It’s kind of whimsical and reminded me of Roald Dahl and claymation. Next year I plan to buy a beautiful wood one. I had spent more money after this and felt I couldn’t afford another.

Have you heard of the Mother Bear Project? My friend, Marissa, is always knitting them for the childen in Africa. She and I had taken a selfie at the booth last year and I totally forgot they were selling kits! So buying one this year was on my list:

You can pick a kit with either straight needles or DPN’s. I chose one with DPN’s. Inside each kit is the yarn, needles, and pattern to make a bear. I will knit my bear this year and bring it to STITCHES in 2018 and get my picture taken with it. I’m so happy to be supporting this cause.

Guess who I got to meet? Lorna, the previous and original owner of Lorna’s Laces.

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Renee had blogged about Zombie Yarns in 2016. I followed Lorna’s story in the past and was excited to learn she was dyeing again. Someone had mentioned she wasn’t going to come back, so when I saw her, I was nothing but a rambling fan when I spotted her. I was drawn to this one – Roamer base in Yucky Yellow, 75% washable wool + 25% nylon. Neon yellow adorns my running shoes and socks which I love which is why I picked that skein.

And guess what? The husband saw this skein and thought it was very cool. I asked him if he wanted me to knit him something in it; at first he said no, it was okay, but then we talked about how cold his hands get while sitting in the office so I told him I’ll knit him a pair of fingerless mitts in this. The condition: He can’t stand over me, crackin’ the whip, and keep askin’ me when am I going to be done. He agreed.

I looked for Space Cadet’s booth this year because my friend, Fatima, was helping out there. She’s been overseas for a few years and I was excited to see her and catch up. Her friend is the creator of this yarn; I had bought a MCN one last year and didn’t plan to buy this year. However, oh boy, when I saw this sparkly skein, I knew I had to have it!

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Ain’t it beautiful? Lucinda base in Gentle, 75% superwash merino wool, 20% nylon, + 5% nylon sparkles.

There was a collaboration of indie dyers who chose a fairy tale and dyed yarn to represent it. I heard about it from Anne of Little Skein in the Big Wool on IG. OMGosh there were so many choices! I wanted several but limited myself to this one:

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The Fawn & the Fox is one I follow on IG. I’ve always wanted to try her yarn and figured hey, if it’s accessible where I don’t have to pay S/H, I’m gettin’ one. Her fairy tale was Alice in Wonderland. The colorway is Down the Rabbit Hole in her Doe base, 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, + 10% nylon.

And last but not least in the same booth, I found another indie dyer I follow on IG:

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I drooled and was green as the Grinch last year during the month of December because everyone was flashing their Christmas-colored sock yarn. I saw this and grabbed it! Must Stash Yarns Perfect Sock base in Tangled Lights, 75% Superwash merino + 25% nylon.

Not bad eh? In 2018, I will take my mum again to the marketplace. I will be patient this time and comb through each booth! Well, it’s 9:03 p.m. Time to go. Mahalo for hangin’ out with me tonight. TTYL. Aloha.

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12 thoughts on “STITCHES West 2017

  1. What a great event! I love the yarn bowl even though I didn’t have a clue as to what it was at first…but then I got it! We used to live in Santa Clara and I got lost every time I had to drive to San Francisco!

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  2. How lucky are you to have gotten to meet Andrea Wong in person? I bought her Craftsy class and it’s awesome. It teaches you everything to do with Portuguese Knitting and I really enjoy the method. I just need to practice more. It really helps with the strain on the wrists and hands. I love all of your purchases 🙂 I have been in the South Bay for almost 3 years and I still haven’t made it to Stitches. I really wanted to go this year; however I got really sick. Maybe next year!

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  3. I think you did just fine on your haul (why yes, I’m a few weeks behind on reading, why do you ask?). Also, found the Gleeners. Knit This Purl That in Pleasanton has them, just an FYI 🙂

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  4. You are lucky to have such a wonderful event happening so close to your home. Portuguese knitting looks really interesting! Love your yarn haul, especially the Must Stash Christmas skein. I’ve been stalking their website but things sell out so quickly.

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