I could have spent all of my time just wandering the aisles and drooling over the inventory of the 180+ vendors that set up shop for the weekend. But having attended the convention a few times before, I went prepared with a list of projects for which to buy yarn, as well as plans to attend a class. Otherwise it would have been all too easy to become dazed and confused by the fiber fumes, and befuddled by the sheer amount of all that yarn under one roof. Not only did I manage to drag myself away from my friends and the yarn shopping to make it to my Saturday class, I also did a pretty good job of sticking to my shopping list. Until Sunday that is . . . .
For every purchase you make during the Stitches weekend, you receive a ticket for a drawing that is held on the last day of the convention. Early Sunday afternoon, the names of three lucky people are drawn from a large cylinder packed full of thousands of the little yellow tickets. In past years we made sure to stay for the drawing on the off chance we might win, but we always drove home soon after, content with our weekend even without having won a prize. This year was different. When Rick Mondragon, editor of Knitter's Magazine, called out the names of the winners, mine was one of them! It was exciting and surreal to join the other winners up on the little stage and be handed a cash prize. I won enough to make it possible for everyone in the group to go home with some extra yarn. So I want to say another big "Thank you!" to the planners of Stitches West over at the Knitting Universe.
It wouldn't be a Stitches recap without a rundown of the stash enhancement. My shopping list included mainly sock yarn from specific hand-dyers. The plan to buy single skeins from a variety of hand-dyers allowed me the enjoyment of feeling like I was making an impulse purchase whenever I fell for a particular colorway, all while actually keeping to a list. Here are links to those dyers with a photo of their skein(s) that jumped into my shopping bags:
Pigeonroof Studios - Siren Two sock yarn in "Gilded Oak"
The Sanguine Gryphon - Bugga! sock yarn in "Dragon Millipede"
Blue Moon Fiber Arts - Socks that Rock in 2 colors, "Bittersweet" and "Muddy Bottom Breakdown"
Abstract Fiber - Super Sock in "Burnside Bridge"
Becoming Art - Cielo fingering in "Sunlit Amber"
Miss Babs - Windsor monochrome sock yarn in "Clematis"
A Verb for Keeping Warm - fingering weight merino in "Persimmon"
Madelinetosh - Tosh lace in "Amber Trinket"
As you can see, it was fun just to read the names of the colorways from all of the talented hand-dyers. I'll be rearranging my Ravelry queue with patterns for socks and shawlette-style scarves to take full advantage of all of this beautiful color. Once I realized I had some prize money to spend a few more skeins of Madelinetosh may have come home with me, along with some yarn for some small colorwork projects that have been in my favorites list for awhile.
Be prepared to see a lot of casting on in my little corner of the knitting blogoshere. I can't wait to see the new projects from my knitting group friends as well. Being able to share the excitement of the prize, as well as the fun of the rest of the weekend with my knitting group, was truly the icing on the cake of a fabulous experience. It just may have been the best Stitches yet!