Stitches Midwest 2006

Here's some of the booty from the Market at Stitches Midwest. What fun!

I have Yarn Brain right now from investigating all the booths and patterns and yarns. My favorite vendors: Habu Textiles from New York City - amazing fibers, kits that look like something out of a high fashion magazine, wonderful customer service from the young women who work there and do the designs; Windy Valley Muskox from Alaska - the best booth set up, it just invited you in to see and touch the luxurious Quivut (musk ox fiber), Suri alpaca, Pima cotton, and the pattern support was great: fashionable without being overly trendy, classic without being stodgy (you can see the two patterns that I bought from them on the floor); and Rovings from Canada - subtle, natural colors of ivory, deep brown, a beige with pink undertones, a fantastic and muted colorway in the handpainted, with the wool and silk blends absolutely incredible for a shawl or lacy scarf (that's their fingering weight wool-silk in the foreground).

I also treated myself to some EuroFlax after having a conversation with a woman carrying seven or eight skeins in different colors. She is taking a class with Maggie Jackson, and was working on a handbag out of flax as well as other yarns. I asked her if the yarn softened after washing; when you touch it in the skein, it feels rough and stiff. She assured me that it softened even before processing. Her 3-ply flax, a yarn Maggie no longer produces, was already pliable just from being worked as she knit. With the Euroflax, she's making handtowels.

And that got me hooked. I love to weave with cotton and linen, and my favorite projects have been household items that we use everyday, such as pillowcases and napkins. I went with two skeins in a sort of buttery ivory color, and I plan to use the lace pattern from the Kimono Shawl in Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls to make curtains for an upstairs bathroom. The only downside is that now I may never finish the pillowcase on the loom. Sorry Shelly, you will someday get your bday present!

The lovely basket is from Lantern Moon, by way of Windy Valley. And the book is a children's book called Knitting Nell. It's about a little girl who knits a lot but doesn't talk much, until "a small, unexpected moment in the limelight changes her life." The author and illustrator, Julie Jersild Roth, is a delight, and is working on a new book which will be out next fall. I could imagine Knitting Nell being used in a classroom to teach boys and girls to knit, or as a present for any knitter.