Thing-a-Week #49

This week’s Thing is actually three things, the products of the classes I took at Stitches West.

Thing a Week #49: Stitches West classes

At bottom right are the samples from the Embroider Your Knitting class on Friday. Up top is the bag from the Color and Weave Mini Tote Bag class, and all that fiber and the little tiny ball of yarn is from Spinning for Knitting.

My favorite, and the most proper completed Thing, is the tote bag. I haven’t been doing much with color patterns (or much besides scarves!), so it was nice to do something different.

Color & Weave Bag

This class used a basic 2×2 alternating color warp with three different weft patterns. The top of the bag is one pattern (2×2), the middle is another (4×4) and the bottom is yet another (1×1). It’s pretty neat to see the different effects you get by just varying the weft.

Color & Weave Bag

Overall, the classes were great and I learned a lot. Looking foward to next year!

Stitches West 2012

I had the best of intentions. Honest. I was going to post daily accounts of my time at Stitches West, like I did last year, but the days were so packed that I didn’t have the time. So, here’s a recap!

Stitches West began on Thursday. I went to the opening session by Betsy Hershberg, author of Betsy Beads. XRX, who runs the show, is promoting the book. I’d gone in not really interested in it, and by the end of the speech, I wanted to purchase the book (and did!). Funny how that works. Nice job, XRX.

Opening session

After the session was lunch, where the teachers came around to our tables at five-minute intervals. It was a great chance to see what was being offered at Stitches. While there were classes Thursday afternoon, I didn’t sign up for any, choosing instead to hang out and wait for the market preview to open.

Marketplace entrance

I did take three classes at Stitches.

My first was a three-hour class on Friday: Embroider Your Knitting with Anna Zilboorg. Amazing lady, beautiful work. I sincerely hope she comes out with a book on the techniques in the class.

Embroidering class

My second class ran all of Saturday: Color and Weave Mini Tote Bag with Deborah Zarchow. I’d taken her introductory class last year, which led to all of those scarves I wove since then. I wanted to try something different, hence the bag. (I’ll show that off with my thing-a-week, next.)

Weaving class

Finally, I had a class on Sunday morning: Spinning for Knitting with Merikke Saarnit. I already spin, but this class was worthwhile to gain a better understanding of different fibers and techniques.

Spinning class

I purposely didn’t fill my schedule with classes. I’m fortunate to have fallen in with a group of great folk from Northern California and enjoyed spending time hanging out and knitting with them. I also met with relatives for dinner on Saturday and spent an afternoon with a high-school friend on Sunday before my flight home. Oh, and my roomie Sherry bestowed upon me a beautiful skein of yarn that she spun and a knit cowl. What great friends I have!

Prezzies

The rest of my time was spent at the marketplace, which was pretty awesome, as usual. Nearly 200 vendors, thousands and thousands of yarns and books and other goodies. It’s a wonderland. I didn’t get that much, considering how much there was to buy.

Market haul

That’s pretty much it. It’s all a blur, and I didn’t get much sleep, but it was great. Definitely want to go again next year!

Stitches West 2012: Prologue

I’m in Santa Clara for another Stitches West! It doesn’t start till tomorrow; I like to get here the day before so I’m not rushing around on the first day.

Last year, I posted some complaints about my trip down. In a surprising reversal, everything went smoothly this year. I am amazingly unannoyed. Here’s why:

  • I was not subjected to a full-body scan by airport security.
  • I heard all of the boarding announcements and boarded in a timely manner.
  • The one-year-old baby next to me on the plane was well-behaved and slept most of the way.
  • The TSA did not search my bag.

There’s really only one annoyance that continues from last year:

  • The sinks at the hotel are still stupid.

But that’s ok. Also, this is my view:

View from the hotel

It’s 75 degrees right now. Oh my.

Thing-a-Week #48

Alright. Back to weaving now. Another pooling scarf.

Thing a Week #48: Woven Scarf

This is using Blue Moon Socks that Rock superwash wool in the “Tricoter / LYS Tour 2009” colorway for the warp, and Navy Valley Yarns tencel for the weft. I like this pooling stuff.

Oh, and I’m off to Stitches West this week. Maybe I’ll cheat and make one of my class projects this week’s thing. Easy, right?

Thing-a-Week #47

I returned to spinning this week! Yay!

Thing a Week #47: Handspun

This was spun from a very pretty batt from Becoming Art in the colorway “Spice of Life.” It’s 4.25 oz mixed BFL wool, nylon, milk fiber, and firestar (sparkly!). It came out at 320 yards of roughly sport-weight yarn.

Thing a Week #47: Handspun

It was nice to spin again. It’s been a while.

Annoyed.

I joined Pinterest in 2010. I joined the site so early that I was able to get the perfect user name for me: Elle.

Today, Pinterest took my name away.

Apparently the Elle brand (presumably of magazine and fashion fame) decided they wanted a presence on Pinterest, and wrote to them requesting the name Elle. Pinterest force-changed my name, then sent me mail saying I had to forfeit my name because of a trademark request.

The trademark thing is a crock: Elle is too common a name, and they’ve been spanked before trying to defend it. It’s got to be about business, about exposure for Elle and hits for the site. Pinterest just caved. No doubt Elle will fill their pinboards with all manner of beautiful imagery, and bring thousands of Elle magazine and fashion followers to the site. And Pinterest isn’t alone. Twitter does it too, and probably many others I’m not even aware of.

Even understanding the business aspect of it, it still sucks. I mean, if any of us wanted our chosen name on a social networking site, and it was taken, we’d be shit out of luck. I’d have to choose Elle123 or ElleToo or use any number of tricks to get a unique name. And it’s not a big deal. Other Elles got there first. It’s a fact of internet life.

Unless you’re a company forcing your way onto a site who’ll lick your boots for traffic. I shouldn’t be surprised, I guess. Just annoyed.

Update 2/8: Please be nice to the poor newbie currently inhabiting the name. Pinterest didn’t have the foresight to reserve it after kicking me off (it can be as simple as parking it on a fake account, people!), so there’s likely to be a series of soon-to-be-disappointed new users on that URL. I’m sure we’ll be able to tell when the Elle brand finally claims it.

Update 2/13: And Elle Magazine has finally claimed the username. Took them long enough. What was the rush taking it from me, then? :P

Update 2/17: So they finally half-heartedly put 5 pins up, 4 days after claiming the name. Their description is a copy/paste of their Twitter description: “the official Twitter page of ELLE Magazine, the number one fashion magazine in the world.” Couldn’t even be arsed to change “Twitter” to “Pinterest.” Seriously? This is what I gave up my name for?

Thing-a-Week #46

I’m going to Stitches West in a few weeks. I found out there’s going to be a stitch marker swap there, so I made some to trade. I have some closed rings that’ll work with knitting needles, and some open hooks that’ll work with crochet. I just thought the charms were cute.

Thing a Week #46: Stitch Markers

I got the charms and findings at Beads and Beyond in Bellevue. I’m not sure if I got enough, or too many. I guess we’ll just have to see!