August 10, 2018
I truly enjoy every Stitches Event. The staff always put on a great event. This year's Stitches Midwest felt amazing. It's a very long wait between Stitches West in February and Stitches Midwest in August to see everyone again. Sarah takes care of the vendors. She is awesome. Diana is the announcer. She has the wittiest announcements. Benjamin Levisay is the CEO of the company that puts on Stitches Events. He is a really kind and thoughtful guy. This year he also brought his wife and both sons with him. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. More on that later.
This year I bravely drove by myself. It's a 6 hour drive with the following to see on the way: cornfields, 3 cow pastures (this is an improvement on the 1 cow pasture from last year), 1 horse pasture, and the RV museum and hall of fame. An audio book and music via Pandora helped to pass the time. Who else is ready for self driving cars so we can knit while in transit? :) Usually a knit group friend drives in with me for the weekend. Fear not, Kat from Why Knot Fibers met me there with a stunning selection of yarns for this years Build Your Own Kit! It was delightful having Kat's company and help for the weekend.
BYOK options included a choice of 3 patterns per yarn weight, 2 yarns, any Shawl Pin, and optional extra of beads and beading tool.
Stardust is a fingering weight base with sparkles. It's pattern options were In The Sky, Crystal Helix, or Crystal Berries.
Swoon is a laceweight blend of alpaca, silk, cashmere, and stellina(sparkle). It is as swoon worthy as it sounds. Its pattern options were Suavest Ease, Suavest Ease Hooked, or Beadazzled.
To make Stitches Midwest special and give support for the beaded patterns and beading tool I have for sale I did a demo on adding beads to knitting, not just once or twice, but 6 times. Luckily I had the help of Gabe Levisay to get me to each of the demos on time. Not only did he make sure I got there on time; he sat and conversed during the rare quiet times. His brother Chris Levisay did many jobs and helped many people during the event as well. When I talked to Sarah or Diana one of the Levisay sons always seemed to be there as wingman. In the photo below Chris is sat with Gabe leaning on him, both watching a demo. I'm in the background giving a beading demo. Not pictured is the proud dad Benjamin Levisay who took this photo. Thank you for sharing your sons with us at Midwest! I hope to see them again at a future Stitches.
This year each event exclusive pin has been a Czech Glass Pin. The bead chosen for Stitches Midwest did not disappoint. With a limited quantity each day only the early birds got to bring one home.
Another feature of every Stitches that brings me joy: the attendees fashion show in the marketplace! Stitches Midwest 2018 provided a seemingly endless parade of Shawl Pin style! Each person wearing their pin brightens my day! Those that stopped by multiple times were particularly awesome! See anyone you recognize? Wear a shawl pin to my booth at any event and get a gift. (pictures and hugs are optional extras)
Share your #shawlpinstyle pic and earburn me @craftyflutterby to make my day even brighter :)
Here's a not very well kept secret: Vendors like to shop too. ;)
I support Indie Dyers. It's fascinating hearing the stories of where they draw inspiration from and how their business evolved. I could pay $5-10 for acrylic yarn from a big box store. (That type of yarn does have it's place for specific projects, don't get me wrong.) I prefer to pay $28+ for quality indie dyed yarn. Every dyer spends years perfecting their unique style of dying. After years of honing their skills, hours of work still go into every skein. I also enjoy knowing that my purchase directly supports a fellow artist and their family. Then there are the variety of yarn bases. Merino is a safe choice. Anything with a hint of cashmere tends to jump into my hands first. Silk and merino is also delightful and adds both drape and shine. This event I was excited to try out Ramboillet and Blue Faced Leicester (breeds of sheep that give great yarn). Can you tell what my favorite colors are? I broke out of my comfort zone for at least 1 brave new color choice.
As soon as I got home (after giving the family enough hugs) I could not resist matching each yarn up with the perfect pin. How did I do?
Twisted Fiber Art Yummy Large Evolution Colorway Leprechaun with Butterfly Pin. I am so honored and delighted that they were thinking of me when designing this colorway. It fits my branding perfectly. I am eager to photograph all of the pins on it and for it to hop on my needles and become a beautiful new shawl pattern.
Erin Lane Bags Wonder Woman Sheeple Chart Keeper and Youghiogheny Yarns Somerset Silk colorway Summer Sky with Ivory Shimmer Shawl Pin. As I design more complex patterns more than one chart keeper is necessary. The wonder woman sheeple will both amuse and inspire me. The gorgeous white/blue/indigo merino silk blend is just begging to be a gorgeous shawl soon. Keri of Youghigheny yarn was a fun breakfast companion at Wildberry one morning. :)
Destination Yarn Trinket colorway Roadside Wildflowers with Twirl Pearl Pin. I've admired this colorway since it's debut. It's destined to be a new vest pattern that will debut at Stitches SoCal.
Make new friends and keep the old is a lesson well learned in my days as a girl scout. Knit Picks is an old friend. My first gateway yarn into the world of non acrylics was from Knit Picks. I am smitten with square needles and in the majestic colorway they were screaming my name! You will be seeing these needles in a lot of WIP pics soon. Also, Knit Picks stock a few of my pins now! At Stitches Midwest I got ot meet and talk to the person form Knit Picks I had been e-mailing with. To see my pins on Knit Picks Click Here.
Kyla's Lab is a new find. This is my exciting BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) find. BFL is very nearly as soft as merino. This blue/aqua/indigo colorway inspired by the sea requested to be paired with a Pearl Shawl Pin.
Northern Bee Studio is another new friend. The Merino/Cashmere/Nylon base is hard to resist. Add that this is my favorite color combination of turquoise and purple and I just couldn't resist. This yarn will be a new shawl pattern by the end of the year.
T Ewe Knit Wits is another new find. This sparkling purple DK weight practically jumped into my hands. The sparkling Diamond Shawl Pin is a perfect match.
And now you might want to sit down and brace yourself. This next color is well outside my blue/green/purple comfort zone.Farmer's Daughter Fibers brought a Ramboillet single base! When I learned to spin roving into yarn; rambo quickly became my favorite. It has a lot of curl which gives it a lot of spring/bounce/memory. I'm really looking forward to transforming these 3 skeins into a beautiful shawl. The Celtic Knot Pin brings out hints of silvery grey from the variegated skein.
Thank you for joining me as I shared my Stitches Midwest 2018 journey with you! I look forward to sharing the next event with you soon! Check out my Events page for the full line up.
On Instagram and Facebook on Friday morning I did a live tour of the booth. This is new to me so apologies for the focus being a little wonky in the video. Stay tuned to future blog posts with booth and event tour videos!
January 13, 2019
December 06, 2018
November 16, 2018