Saturday, February 24, 2007

Stitches West
Wow! I think this is the only word to describe this event. It was my first time at an event dedicated strictly to the fibre arts and it was almost overwhelming. It was held in the Santa Clara, CA convention center which is huge, and the event took up the entire ground floor. There were over 200 vendors, book signings, demos, fashion show (which I missed) and lots and lots of people.
And Yarn! Oh, the number and kinds of yarn! It is geared more toward knitters, but yarn is yarn. There were beautiful knitting needles and crochet hooks, spinning wheels, yarn winders & swifts. One booth advertised brushing your pet, sending them the hair, and they would make it into yarn and send it back to you. With four cats, you would think I would have gotten their card, but had brain fade.
Many of the vendors had items made up and then sold the supplies in kits. In fact, my friend Kitty bought a kit for a gorgeous sweater in beautful oranges. Not a color that I would have imagined for Kitty, but she said she wanted to expand her horizons.
I saw booths for vendors and yarn suppliers that I have seen online. So nice to be able to see & pet the yarn. Now I have a better idea of what some of them are when I see them mentioned on the web. And the prices! I was so impressed. No wonder Wilma and her daughter, Cathy, came down from Sacramento on the train. I saw her shortly before we left and she said she hadn't really bought any yarn, yet, but her daughter had.
Kitty brought me some handcrafted kettle dyed wool from Uruguay when she went to NYC last week. At the Web's booth, I found Skye Tweed by Classic Elite yarns for 3.99 for 110 yards, so I bought 5 skeins to go with it and am going to make a felted messenger bag from it.The yarn Kitty brought is a copper color and the yarn I bought is kind of a linen color w/small specks of the copper in it. I can't wait to start this project!
Then we were in the demo area and I saw Newton's booth. Big sign $7.00 skein, min 5 skeins. Well, had to go check this out. I got approx 1200 yds of cashmere/merino in a gorgeous yellow tweed. It is so soft. I don't know yet what I'm going to make with this, but it will be for me. The other yarn I got at Newtons is something call Frenchie which is wool/acrylic/rayon in a red. This yarn has a really unique texture and I have no idea what to do with it, but I had to have it.
As expected, saw lots of people walking around in things they had made, all the way from scarfs to skirts. Most of the things were wonderful, but there is always someone who has no sense of color or function. But they are happy with what they did, so that is the important thing.
I am exhausted but happy. Will do this again next year, and will make every effort to get Margaret here from Florida to go with me. She would love it. If you have the chance, go next year.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Projects
Well, I finally started my Sunbonnet Sue graphghan. As I get older, I am having a really hard time reading graphs, so I spent a couple of hours translating the graph to an excel spreadsheet. I did this same thing last year when I did the ABC's afghan. Finally got hook and yarn in hand. After 3 days working on the 1st square, I've decided I hate the yarn that I got for this project. I'm using Red Heart and Caron. Think they are just too heavy. So now I have spent a lot of time on the computer looking for a dk yarn in the colors I want. I am doing this for me, so I want it in the yellows and reds that are in my bedroom. It also needs to be washable because we have 4 cats, and I'm sure at least one of them will think this was made just for her. Think I've settled on Plymouth Encore DK. Looks like the colors are what I want. My LYS in Castro Valley is listed as a retail outlet so need to get by there and see if they have the yarn.
So, since that project is now on hold, I decided to try the new Tunisian baby blankets that I got Kim Guzman's pattern booklet for. I chose the houndstooth afghan, which uses 2 colors. Well, the only thing I had enough of is Lion Brand Jamie Baby in blue, and variegated pastels. So that is what I am using. I haven't done tunisian in years. In fact, the last time I did any, it was still referred to as the afghan stitch. Think I figured out why it has been so long since I've done this. It works up really, really slow. I have worked on it for about 12 hours, and have only about 3 inches on 145 stitches, using an I hook. And this is probably the least complicated of the patterns in the booklet.
But I had a talk with myself and have decided that speed is not everything. It's the process. So I am moving forward. Just glad there isn't a baby waiting for this. Probably be in college before I finish.
My friend Kitty is in NYC this week on vacation. She is a knitter, so she tracked down an LYS in Greenwich Village that she wants to check out. She asked Penny and I what color yarn we wanted and said that is what she is bringing us from NYC along with a refrigerator magnet. Penny chose yellow, and I chose either copper or rich dark brown. Been thinking about what to make w/one or two skeins of this. It's not really cold enough here to wear too many scarfs and hats, so will have to give this some thought. Any ideas?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A few days ago, an issue started on our crochet group, and it has made me very sad. Our rules state that we can not use religious or political statements in our signature lines, or use in our posts. I don't usually pay much attention to the sig lines, even tho I read them. Some make me chuckle, some make me think, etc. But, rules are rules, and we all agreed to them before we signed up.
Apparently, some one had a religious theme to a sig line and the list owner asked (her/him) to remove it. Well, this started a religious war on our list. People are leaving the list because they think the rest of us are not Christian. Well, that is probably partially correct! We are an international group, so come from all walks of life.
I have enjoyed the crochet wisdom of many of these posters, and will miss them. I'm sorry that they feel this was an attack on their beliefs. We all have our own beliefs but a crochet chat group is not the place to share those thoughts.