Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Friday at Stitches Midwest 2012

We decided to restrict ourselves to a single class, so that we would have ample knitting and shopping time. Unfortunately (for me, the night owl) The Stitches Czars had decided to start classes earlier this year, so we had to rise and shine at a mind numbingly early hour and I had unwisely chosen a complicated class to start us off with. Our teacher was Anna Zilboorg, famous for her sock books and our class was on (Austrian) Twisted Traveling Stitches.

Ms Zilboorg is a delightful woman, so very smart and experienced and full of interesting stories and information. She showed us beautiful examples, but unfortunately had forgotten the example of what we were going to knit and ultimately for me this class was probably not the best choice.

For me the initial oral instructions didn't seem to jive with the written instructions and so I got confused and at the early hour, with not enough sleep, this made it difficult for me to follow the class.

Additionally the focus was on doing these stitches flat instead of round, but I wasn't all that familiar with them in the round, so trying to keep the directions my stitches were traveling straight was harder than it might have otherwise been. The class didn't seem well organized and our handouts for example didn't even have the name of the class or teacher on it, so I in writing this I wasn't sure at first if I was looking at the right materials.


The best thing about this class was the historical knowledge we gained on the way that Alpine knitting influenced the design of Arans. Ms. Zilboorg possesses an immense fount of knowledge about knitting and I could listen to her all day when it comes to this background information.

After the class, we decided to try the hotel restaurant Sam and Harry's for lunch. It surprised me by being relatively inexpensive and high quality (and there is internet on that floor) so with that and the great cup of decaf coffee they provided me, I was in hog heaven.  The design was also interesting - particularly the weird silver wormy things that hung from the ceiling.

I have to say that I was generally ecstatic - we had had great food ever since arrival. The accommodations were fantastic and we were about to get to shop the market! (What more could one want?)

I took only a couple of random pictures at the market. It is such a whirl of color and chaos, that I never know how to capture it in an interesting manner. My senses get overwhelmed and so I snap a couple of arbitrary example shots and then usually get lost in shopping. We did see some interesting new things, like the knitting table with spools attached so your yarn would unspool easily (This picture is from their website - go check it out - they are inexpensive, good quality, SOLID WOOD and beautiful!!)...

 ...and designs by Sunday Knits. (Look at Eve's Rib and It's the Berries!) I also was very interested in the necklaces crocheted by the woman at Hand-dyed fibers.com.  I bought her kit and some beads from a lampwork bead maker named Tanya McGuire! Please do take a look at their work. It is all interesting!

After the market it was time to eat!  We decided to find a new Greek restaurant, since I was convinced that my old one Yanni's was closed. I knew Yanni's was closed, because it was next to the hotel I stayed at the first night. My sister did her ipad magic and we headed off to the Greek Village Taverna Restaurant and it turned out to be the very eating establishment whose demise I had been bewailing. I guess I'd never gotten to go to Yanni's!  The food was fantastic this time around. I had a great Gyro platter and I enjoy the surroundings, because they have built the place to look like a Greek village.

We arrived home pooped and over full! It was a glorious day!

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