Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stitches Midwest!

Merino Silk Blend
Originally uploaded by Project Pictures
Well, I'm back! (Did you miss me?) Sure you did!

Bet you didn't know I was in Illinois for the past two weeks. Because I rather forgot to mention it. But I was! I carefully packed myself, my family and my knitting (and spinning) into a shockingly small number of bags and set off for two weeks "back home" with my family. We had a lovely visit and one extra bonus came out of the whole wonderful time...

... my mother took me to Stitches!

We had a lovely time in the Marketplace. We spent about four hours there, including a very brief stop for lunch. For the first half we managed to follow my philosophy: see everything, first, and THEN go back and buy. But unfortunately we chanced upon the cutest little kit to knit a Tooth Fairy and fell down on that resolution. Oh, well!

My last purchase, but first pick, is pictured above. Each skein is two ounces of dyed merino wool blended with undyed silk. These deliciously fluffy strips of combed top are from "Imagine Together" and unfortunately my receipt does not include the name of the booth from which they were purchased. I believe these bright colors are destined for some lovely colorwork.

Millie's Place
As we walked on we came to the booth for Esther's Place. Mom had found out about this shop and we had originally planned on driving out to see it personally, but opted to go for Stitches instead. As luck would have it, they were there with a booth! Here's where I fell down on buying and caved to purchase a half-ounce of Type B Pygora (this is the fiber from a cross between a pygmy goat and a cashmere goat and there is a nice FAQ you can read here). Touching this fiber is like running your fingers through a cloud of dreams. I have Big Plans to blend it with something else--probably merino and perhaps a bit of silk as well.

Miss Babs fiber
The final booth for me was Miss Babs's. I had wanted to shop at Miss Babs's booth at Sock Summit, but somehow got distracted and missed it. Trust me, there was a lot to be distracted by at Sock Summit and since I had already been up and running for 10+ hours before ever going to the market there, I'm not shocked to find I missed out on some of the real finds. I was thrilled to run into it again at Stitches Midwest. One twist of fiber immediately caught my eye and it was four ounces of a merino/bamboo blend in "Oregon Cellar", which is apparently a colorway dyed originally for Sock Summit. I was in love, but I've been avoiding merino/bamboo. I'm not sure why, but the way bamboo is marketed as an "environmentally friendly" fiber rings warning bells in my head.
Miss Babs fiber
Too much hype and not enough evidence. At any rate, it didn't take much searching to turn up the same colors in merino/tussah silk and... oh. So pretty. I had to buy, and at the same time, also really wanted another color called "Woodland Viola". I debated for a couple of minutes and then took my mom's advice. I bought both ;)

On top of all the gorgeous yarn and fiber, Miss Babs has got the "extras" thing down. She tossed a couple of really fun items into our shopping bag as we left:
Miss Babs extras
a small bar of multi-colored glycerine soap, a mini-skein that is 10 yards of her "Wow, Whatta Skein!" yarn (in "Denim" blue) and some pencil-roving.I never thought I was such a sucker for extras, but this stuff really made me pleased I'd shopped with her.

After four hours (and a bunch of purchases for Mom, too) we were done in and gathered ourselves and our things, and headed back home to fathers and family. What a lovely day.

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