Good Company

Going to a yarn event is so much more than the sum of its parts.  Sure there’s yarn, classes, events, and a whole lot of knitters.  And those are all wonderful elements, but what I’m talking about is that intangible feeling, the collective excitement of its attendees, the electric frisson that happens when you’re in a room full of people who just get it.  We all love yarn and making thing with it, and there’s no need to explain why we do what we do. There is both a thrill and a peacefulness brought about by being with your people.

Marketplace line, day 1

Blog/swap friend Carmen!

PDXKnitterati, soon to be featured designer at Stash!

Sock Summit was just this sort of place, made even more exciting for me when I kept running into people I know, either in real life or through blogging.  These connections are very real to me, and I always enjoy filling up my knitterly cup, so to speak.  In addition to getting to spend gobs of time with Stripedsocks who flew out from Connecticut for the event, I got to connect with Michelle, Carmen, a few blog readers (hi again!), and of course Cookie A. and Stephanie.  Yeah, we’re like this.  Especially after Stephanie accidentally stepped on my foot and said “Sorry, sweetie.” I mean, we’re practically best friends now.

And then there was the yarn.  Goodness, there was so much lovely yarn it was difficult to know where to go first.  Fortunately, I had a list of dyers for the shop that I wanted to talk to face to face, so that’s how I stayed focused.  Mostly.  After conducting the yarn business, I was a little stunted as to what yarn to buy for personal use.   I needed to pick out three colors for the Westknits mystery knit along. Then I saw the Catkin shawl on a knitter and knew I had to make one, which led to a handful of skeins from Hazel Knits.  Everyone was wearing beautiful hand knit shawls, by the way.  If I didn’t know better, I would have thought it was Shawl Summit. There were the odd moments when a certain someone dared me into buying a wee turkish spindle.  Guess I’ll just have to keep practicing my drop spindling, eh?  Fairly restrained purchasing for me, but I also know there is about to be a whole lot of yarn coming in to the shop, so I didn’t want to go too crazy.

A Verb for Keeping Warm booth

Hazel Knits swatch towers

All in all, Sock Summit 2011 was a wonderful experience.  Soaking up all that knitterly energy, taking classes and hearing industry legends like Tina Newton and Clara Parkes speak, eating good food and knitting as much as I wanted; all were wonderful ways to spend a weekend.  Now it’s back to life, back to reality, which I am all the more ready to embrace after a delicious retreat like this.

 

Mommy & Me Hat

This was one of those perfect knitting projects; it’s as if the yarn and pattern were meant to be knit together.  The saturated cinnamon tones of the yarn and its buttery, lofty texture were heavenly to work with.  The hat pattern was straightforward with just enough going on to keep your interest. If I’m honest, I expected there to be a little more to the pattern, but more on that later.

I finished this up in time to present it to Sweetie for Mother’s Day, and am pleased to say she loved it.  So did PB, who promptly stole it and popped it on her head, hipster style.  I guess I’ll be using the leftovers to make her a matching hat!

  • Pattern: Windschief by Stephen West, size Large (Ravelled here)
  • Yarn: Becoming Art Agave Worsted in Cinnamon, about 1/2 skein
  • Needles: US 6 & 7
  • Mods: I decreased every row a little earlier than the pattern suggested.  This would have been slouchier, otherwise.

Two things I want to mention while I have you here:

  1. this yarn is incredible (click the link, buy the yarn!)
  2. this pattern seemed a bit pricey to me; I was expecting a little more innovation or complexity for $6.  This is not to say that the effect of twisted stitches with strategically placed increases and decreases isn’t dramatic and worthwhile.  And to be fair, you do get a hat and cowl pattern, but the cowl is just the hat without decreases, so…  Couldn’t I buy a complex sweater pattern for $6? Or one of Westknits’ other dynamic shawl patterns? After feeling a little duped by this pattern, I’m going to think very seriously before shelling out the big bucks for downloads.
Have a great weekend, my fellow stitchers!