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.

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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!

Thing-a-Week #45

Last year, I made a Marsan Watchcap for my husband for our anniversary. He’s been wearing it a lot lately, out in the garage, because he needed something warm that wouldn’t get knocked off his head every time he had to roll around under a car or something.

Anyway, we were discussing said hat, and how rarely he wants anything I make, and then he said he’d like to have a hat like Jayne wore on “the Message” episode of the Firefly TV series.

Hold. The. Phone.

Did he actually 1) request a knit item from me, and 2) want something as ultra-nerdy as Jayne’s hat?

Yes, and omg yes.

As luck would have it, I bought the yarn a couple of years ago for this exact project. For me, because I never dreamed he’d actually want one. Naturally, I dropped everything and made it right away. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a Cunning Hat.

Thing a Week #45: Cunning Hat
Unfortunately, he declined to model it.

The pattern is Cunning Jayne Cobb Hat by Keiyla Renee. The yarn is Vanna’s Choice acrylic held double. Simple, easy, and sweetly hideous. (Or is that hideously sweet?)

“A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he’s not afraid of anything.”

Except maybe getting his picture took.

And another thing

Right. So I haven’t been doing Thing-a-Week lately, but I have two things that should’ve taken a week and took a month each instead. Close enough, right?

First, we have a knit hat:

Lamb's Lace Beret

The pattern is Lamb’s Lace Beret by Christina Wall of Classic Cable Knits. The yarn is Old Maiden Aunt superwash merino 4-ply in Ultraviolet, a gift from my friend Ewenique. The color is gorgeous. I just made it for me, though I’m not sure it suits me. Maybe I’m just not used to berets.

After I finished the hat, I moved on to something I’ve been wanting to make for a while. If you know your internet memes, you’ll recognize this:

Nyan Cat Scarf

That’s right, it’s a Nyan Cat in scarf form. The pattern is Amigurumi Pop Tart Cat Scarf by Mevlinn Gusick, and it’s crocheted in wool. It was fun to make and even more fun to wear. You can’t help but smile at it!

Nyan Cat Scarf

So I do have something lined up to attempt this week, so I might just get back into Thing-a-Week real soon. Let’s hope!

Thing-a-Week #19

Right. So, remember the tiny knitting I did last week? This is why I did it:

Thing a Week #19: Tiny Sheep

Yes, it’s a wee sheep. I made this for Ewenique because, well, she requested one! The sheep is made entirely of the Romney wool I processed last year, and I added the tiny knitting project from last week. She stands (er, sits) at about 3 inches tall. It was fun to make, if a bit fiddly because it’s so small. And I only bled once from stabbing myself with the felting needle this time! Go, me!

Thing a Week #19: Tiny Sheep

To good friends.

Almost two years ago, I made a new friend: Ewenique. We met when I, a total stranger, offered to drive her to Sock Summit 2009 in Portland while she was visiting Seattle from the UK. (Honestly, I could have been an axe murderer for all she knew!) We got along famously, and have been keeping in touch and sending presents back and forth and doing all the things that good friends do.

Well, Ewenique is back in the States, her visit once again happily coinciding with Sock Summit 2011. I actually had quite a few things stored up that I’d been meaning to send, not the least of which was a little housewarming gift I knit for her:

Girasole

That’s Girasole, a beautiful lace blanket/shawl designed by Jared Flood. The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca, an alpaca/wool blend in the color “Steel Cut Oats.” I’d started it some time ago, and when Ewenique told me they got a new house, of course I had to finish the blanket for the occasion (months late, as it worked out, but who’s counting?).

Ewenique and her husband only just arrived a couple of days ago. They came to our house last night for a BBQ, after which she stayed over so we could get a head start on our trip down to Sock Summit. (Given the jet lag, they held up quite well!) Ewe also gave me some lovely purple Old Maiden Aunt yarn, some buttons, and some yummy bikkies, which I believe I will devour in record time.

Today was a gorgeous day, so I trotted out the convertible and we made the trek down to Portland. Once there, we walked and stroked the yarn to our hearts’ content. I didn’t get very good pictures, so this will have to do.

(Edit: Ewenique posted her pictures, here. They’re much better than mine.)

Sock Summit 2011

I did catch Ewenique fondling her yarn when she thought I wasn’t looking. Naughty girl.

The weather was quite warm, and stayed that way all day, even after sunset. Naturally the convertible top stayed down and we basked the whole way home. The day could not have been more perfect.

Thing-a-Week #18

Just a little bit of knitting this week. Literally.

Thing a Week #18: Tiny Knitting

This is a part of a project I’m planning. It didn’t take me long, but I think it turned out pretty well. It’s laceweight yarn knit on size 0 needles, transferred to little knitting needles that I made out of toothpicks. Isn’t it darling?

Stitches West 2011: Epilogue

Well, I’m home. The flight home was totally uneventful. No annoyances whatsoever.

Today, I took a better picture of my market haul:

haul
(The Bugga is the gray one in the middle, and the Codex is the magenta one below it.)

And some nice ones of that weaving project I’m so enamored with.

weaving project

weaving project

I haven’t washed it yet, so I expect it’ll still smooth out a little bit.

That’s it! I’m feeling a little less tired now, too. I guess I’m recuperating!

Stitches West 2011: Day 4

Well, that’s it. It’s over. It was a jam-packed, exhausting time.

This morning I had a Farmyard Friends: Needle Felted Animals class with Sharon Costello. I made a sheep. Well, most of a sheep, since we ran out of time to finish.

Class

Aren’t the samples cute?

Samples

After class, it was back to the market for last minute stuff and the grand prize drawing. Nothing really grabbed me except a couple of dizzes and buttons, and I didn’t win anything. What a drag.

Sherry was kind enough to drop me at the airport for my flight home, so here I sit, waiting for my flight.

I’m completely worn out, but I had a wonderful time. Thanks to all my great Northern California friends, you made me feel a part of the family. See you next year!

Stitches West 2011: Day 3

O noes! Stitches is almost over!

Today was the last full day at the conference. Much fun has been had. Much learning has been learnt. I had a full-day weaving class. Yes, weaving. And surprise, surprise, I think I like it. My decent into madness began with knitting, crept into crochet, sojourned in spinning, flirted with felting, fled to fiber prep, and now is wending its way into weaving. Save yourselves! I’m done for!

Anyway, the class was Learn Rigid Heddle Weaving and Use Up Your Stash with Deborah Jarchow. Everyone in the class had a rigid heddle loom to work with: some had Ashfords and some had Glimakras. I had a Glimakra. Unfortunately I was so into it that I forgot to take a picture while the class was in session. You’ll just have to imagine these looms out of their boxes with beautiful weavings of all different colors and textures coming off them.

After class

We made scarves. Well, we tried to. I didn’t have enough time to finish the whole thing, so I ended up with some sort of short table runner.

Weaving

The warp (lengthwise) yarns came mostly from my stash, including some handspun I wasn’t going to use for anything. For the weft (crosswise yarn), I ended up going to the market and picking up some Cascade 220 sport in rich chocolate brown. I really wish I could’ve finished the scarf!

After class, I went to the market for a short while, then went to dinner at Pedro’s with friends. It was delicious. The tamale had the best masa.

Dinner

Back at the hotel, my roomie and I chilled a little bit and took pictures of our marketplace haul. (I didn’t get good pics of the Bugga, so I’ll just have to get proper pictures when I get home!)

New stash

After that, we headed down for yet another PJ party. We showed off our market purchases and I showed off my scarf. I’m so proud.

Nite Owls

We all pretty much crashed after that. I didn’t even post this till the next day.