STITCHES West 2018

Good morning. How’re you today? I am finally working on this post. After drop off I prepped three racks of baby back ribs for our dinner (Thursday and Friday’s too) so when I get home with the kids after early dismissal I can warm up the oven and pop in the pans since it’ll take three hours to cook (slow and low is the key to fall-off-the-bone ribs). I then got to work photographing my S.E.X. – knitter slang for Stash Enhancement eXperience + uploading pictures from that day to Dropbox and then downloading them to the laptop so I could edit.

Are you ready?

Well, the whole reason why I went this year was to see Susan B. Anderson in person.

You know I knitted my Big Woods Flax in three weeks or less. I finished the last sleeve by 7 pm the night before. I felt like I had run a marathon. I was so tired I forgot to print out my prepurchased market ticket and had to stand in the long, ticket booth line Friday morning. However, the time passed as I met some knitters from the Bay Area, chatting away.

As soon as I got into the market, I looked up what was Barrett Wool’s booth and found this beautiful designer. I immediately gave her a big hug. Isn’t she so cute in her outfit? She loved my sweater as did her DIL, Molly. Susan and her son, Evan, drove all the way from Madison, WI to Santa Clara, CA. She said it took two days and they made two stops along the way. Hardcore and I’m so glad they had safe travels.

The booth was so cute, showing off their yarn and of course Susan’s famous designs:

 

I actually met her seven years ago at VOGUE Knitting Live! LA. It was so good to see her in person again.

Look who found me then:

 

Renee (Confessions of a Yarn Addict) spotted me while wheeling her handsome son, nicknamed Stormageddon. She and I have been following one another’s blogs for years, before podcasting was started. I’m lucky to have her as a follower/friend through my chameleon changes online. This is the first time the two of us hung out. Renee is funny and energetic. I let her take the lead because she knows more about yarn and the different dyers and companies. I spent way more money than I had intended that day – Renee (°◡°♡).:。, you enabler. And thank you homegirl for letting me tag along with you and for giving me feedback on yarn choices.

The bag you see is a kit for this pattern: Sleepy Kitten Set. I’m waiting for the rights to go back to her so I can buy it on Ravelry. I didn’t want the magazine it’s published in.

I also bought a skein of their Home Fingering Weight in Scout. Last year the husband had bought me a skein of that fingering in Field. I usually buy this weight for socks but I felt with Susan’s yarn, I had to make something more special. I’m not on the bandwagon of knitting garments in fingering yet so I thought of this shawl. It’s a simple one, made mostly of stockinette stitch. I like how there’s just a few lace sections, easy ones, and I thought it’d be cool to knit those and to make the tassels in a different color. I originally thought of Pepin, but in person it looked more of a reddish-purple. So Scout won as I love teal.

One thing that was on my list to look for was sock blanks:

 

I told Renee to help me keep an eye out. She spotted some at one vendor but I told her let’s look around more. Then I saw some hanging at Leading Men Fiber Arts booth (left). That is an Improv Sock Blank – Colorway Doll Up. Those pops of blue really drew me in. I picked up two minis for contrast cuffs, heels, and toes. The purple one is Drama Queen and the blue, It’s Cold Outside.

Little Skein in the Big Wool (right) is SF local. She had many skeins inspired by books!

  1. Not One Heartbeat Do I Forget, inspired by Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice – a book/movie you know I love + in her House Blend no. 1 base (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon)
  2. The Watercolor Sock Blank (80% superwash merino, 20% nylon) caught my eye because of its minty color; its colorway is The Dawn Treader, inspired by C.S. Lewis.
  3. Carousel, inspired by Mary Poppins – a film I watched as a child – in her House Blend no. 1 base (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon)

I got to meet @feliciacakes from IG! She comes down from Oregon every year:

big hug from feliciacakes

I loved how she gave me a big hug!

I also had run into Lisa of Purl and Sympathy, the SF knitting group that meets on Monday mornings and one that I used to hang out with. She also met up with another member, Diane, later on who I got to hug then.

I was so happy to have met the dyer of Oink Pigments. I think Renee had heard about this brand from Yarn Hoarder’s podcast.

 

Why did I pick these? Someone whispers Harry Potter and my head whips around!

  1. Nimbus base (80% Superwash Merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon) in colorway Slither Inn
  2. Disco base (92% Superwash Merino, 8% Lurex – the sparkly stuff) in colorway After All This Time?
  3. Slipped Stitch Studios couldn’t make it this year but one of the booth’s members whipped this Sock+ project bag and you know I had to buy it.

See them sparkles in that second pic? The teenager loves Slither Inn. She sorted into the Slytherin house on Pottermore. I told her I’d knit her some socks from it; she wants shorties which I’ll work on once Harry is done.

There are many popular indie dyers around, some are hard to buy when they have updates because of cart jacking, something I had experienced once. One thing I like about STITCHES is some vendors may carry an indie dyer.

 

Hedgehog fibers is based in Ireland. I figured I would save on S/H buying her yarn at the market. This colorway is Boombox, an object I grew up on and used back in the day.

Renee and I had stumbled upon Forbidden Fiber Co. while walking around toward the end of our day. I am so glad we did. Why? Uh, Harry Potter! She had a Fade Set of the House colors and a few other HP inspired items but there was no way I could buy it since I had already spent on what you’ve seen so far in this post. But I had to leave with one, just one skein! I picked this one, Vault 713 in her Pride base (70% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon, 10% Stellina – the sparkly stuff). The stellina is gold which is opposite of the silver stellina in another brand I had bought last year.

This last pic is of knitting notions and accessories I bought:

  1. Lo-Lo Bar in Co-Co Mango: Renee had bought one and it smelled so good I asked her how much it was and pulled out the cash I had left in my wallet; it doesn’t have any water in it and won’t come off on your yarn so I thought I’d try it.
  2. Bag Bling for Bad Bitches: My mum LOL’d at this when I had texted it to her and had told her enamel pins are hot right now among the fiber community. I got these from the Spincycle booth.
  3. Two, enamel pins (I am a maker. + a cute sheep) picked up in Little Skein in the Big Wool’s booth.
  4. Gold metal knitting pins, something I keep misplacing around our house or leave pinned to a jacket that gets washed.
  5. From the Imagiknit booth (a LYS in SF, one I used to live 10 minutes away from, and one that has terrific customer service) I bought the ILOVEHANDLES Wrist Ruler, something I need to make a habit of wearing as I usually forget to pack a measuring tape in a project bag. Allison, the owner, remembers me and I love that.

Okay, that’s it folks. What a haul, yeah? Do you smell the burning of money or feel the heat from a well-used credit card? I gave my husband my Christmas money because I had felt guilty and I made sure to hug him and tell him thank you for spoiling me, LOL. I also told him to not look too closely at the bill. Well, I’m off to forage for food now. Thanks for kickin’ it with me today. TTYS.

26 Comments Add yours

  1. First your sweater looks fantastic on you!! You did a fabulous job:)
    What a haul!! You got so many great things. I love the yarn. So many beautiful colors!
    Second would you share your rib recipe? I bet they’re tasty:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stefanie says:

      Hi Karen. I use Dave Liberman’s Memphis Dry Rub recipe as my base. Sometimes I add a tsp of onion powder if I have it but I always add a tsp of garlic powder also. Because I use Costco babyback ribs, they come three in a pack and weigh about 10 lbs total. So I modify by doing the following:
      1. Heat up the oven to 350° and then turn it down to 300 when I’m ready to put in the ribs.
      2. Put the sheet pan with the biggest rack on the bottom oven rack and the sheet pan with the two racks on the top oven rack.
      3. Bake at 300° for 1.5 hours.
      4. Take the pans out and cover each w/foil and switch places in the oven.
      5. Bake for another 1.5 hours.
      6. Take pans out and the foils off and let them sit for 10-15 minutes.
      7. I use kitchen shears and a tong to cut the ribs apart. The meat should be insanely tender and the bones falling out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, those sound great!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Stefanie says:

      Thank you very much about my Flax. Next time I knit a sweater, I will make sure to make time every day to work on it. That marathon knitting was crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. autumngeisha says:

    I love how your Flax turned out! Great job getting it finished so fast. And how fun to meet Susan B. Anderson who is also one of my favorite designers. Her booth looked incredible. Excellent yarn purchases (especially the little skein ones…one of my weaknesses) and I love the enamel pins!

    Like

  3. Whoa, chica! You really made out 🙂 I was worried I would do this same thing (or worse). We’ll have to enable each other next year 😀 Your sweater turned out so pretty and looks gorgeous on you! Congratulations on finishing it and getting a lot of great pictures of the experience too. As I said before, I’m living vicariously through my friends for the experience. Thanks so much for sharing yours!

    Like

    1. Stefanie says:

      Yes! Let’s do that…enable one another next year. If you can only come on a Saturday, I’ll wait for ya. I seriously would have come home with about half of that loot if it was just myself pokin’ around. Thank you about my Flax. It was warm and cozy. I’ll have to learn how to sew button ups to wear underneath it.

      Like

  4. autumngeisha says:

    Love how your Flax turned out! Great job getting it finished so fast. So cool that you got to meet Susan. Her booth looked incredible. Love all of your goodies. The enamel pins are so fun 🙂

    Like

  5. Beautiful yarn pics. Anything with sparkles. lol. I’ll look out for the Slytherin socks pics.

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    1. Stefanie says:

      Sparkles remind me of Twilight vampires, yeah? I’ll be working on my Harry so I can cast on for the teenager next. She loves being a Slytherin. We LOL’d for quite some time after she had gotten sorted.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahahaha. It’s definitely different 😄

        Like

  6. Oh my gosh your Flax looks amazing! Fantastic job, and I can’t believe how quickly you knitted it up!

    Like

    1. Stefanie says:

      You are so sweet. Thank you so much. I’m really proud of it as it’s my first official sweater. I love the color. I plan to wear it this Saturday at my brother’s birthday celebration dinner to show my mum in person.

      Like

  7. MrsMcD918 says:

    Swoon. Love your Harry Potter inspired picks! Love it all! So jealous Stefanie 🙂

    Like

    1. Stefanie says:

      Thank you, Mrs. McD. BTW, I don’t know your first name…I drool every time when dyers have HP colorways. Some have yarn clubs too! Like I need more yarn. My sock yarn is huge now.

      Like

  8. This looks like so much fun! That’s great you got to meet designers and so many other bloggers. And the yarn is gorgeous! Every time I walk past the yarn section of the craft store I want to learn how to knit just to use all the pretty stuff so I can’t imagine how gorgeous everything was there!

    Like

  9. Patty Magyar says:

    That world of yarn is an entirely new world to me but it looks like such fun! You were in our old stomping grounds…Santa Clara! Our home for three years. Our fave place there was Buy The Bucket! We would go every Friday for pizza and clams and beer! I think it’s still there. I love your goods but what are those pieces that already look knitted? Your sweater looks delightful on you!

    I am so happy you had such fun! Who cares about what you spent? You deserve it!

    Like

    1. Stefanie says:

      That sounds so interesting, pizza, clams, and beer! My little one now likes fried calamari and the chewy clams in the clam chowder soup. Yeah, the husband hasn’t squawked yet; I don’t now if he’s just not saying anything or the charges haven’t shown up yet, LOL.

      Like

      1. Patty Magyar says:

        But what counts is you had a wonderful time!

        Like

  10. oh am my jealous! what a fun experience and you met so many ‘famous’ people – I’m glad you were there and you bought such lovely stuff. I adore the HP stuff the most 🙂

    Like

  11. Renee Anne says:

    I am definitely an enabler. I won’t lie about that. I’m impressed that I didn’t go over my budget this year. I usually budget an amount, blow it and then some, and that doesn’t even include food. This year, food included, I was under my budget (the last $10 went to the scratcher basket for the auction).

    I still haven’t written my Stitches post. That might happen this weekend…maybe….after my Year of Projects post 🙂

    Like

  12. the bookworm says:

    oh wow! It sounds like an amazing time! I love your green sweater too. Oh my gosh, and that gorgeous yarn!

    Like

    1. Stefanie says:

      Mahalo nui loa. It really keeps me warm. I wore it to my brother’s house Saturday and I don’t think he had the heat on.

      Like

  13. Gracey says:

    Great stash haul! Just read Renee’s. So jealous the two of you got to meet…I need to come out west…I know our airport does a special flight out to SF during the summer…maybe…..I have Stitches United coming up at the end of the month..I’m looking forward to a few booths..and maybe taking a selby mitten class…and Harry Potter..yes! I’m sorted into Ravenclaw….

    Like

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