Monday, 8 August 2016

Stitches Mdwest 2016 Thursday and Friday

So, it was time for our annual pilgrimmage to Chicago for Stitches Midwest. It was a bit disappointing this year. There were fewer vendors (probably because it converged timewise with Convergence in Milwaukee and many of the vendors were there.)  It also seemed like there were fewer classes and they overloaded them with more people than usual.

Our first class (Thursday afternoon) was Shadow Knitting with Franklin Habit. I wondered what on earth we could do for three hours with such a simple technique, but Mr. Habit did a good job of not only talking a bit about the technique and history, but also suggesting some creative applications.

Shadow knitting is a technique which creates a garter stitch pattern, where when you look at the piece straight on, you only see stripes, but when you look from the side a sort of ghost pattern appears.

Mr Habit did a clever version of an appearing and disappearing Tardis scarf (from Dr. Who). Below you can see how the technique works as you look at the scarf from different angles.

He gave us the traditional heart pattern. Here is my sister's final swatch.

I couldn't bear to do a heart, so I did an x instead.

Of course one reason to arrive for the first day, is the evening market preview.

Even with the smaller market size I was able to find lots to buy. (More on that later)

Our Friday morning class was "Making a Masterpiece of your Leftover Yarns" with Gwen Bortner. I always enjoy Gwen's classes.

This class was basically about making a magic ball, which is a new ball made up of a bunch of shorter scraps.  The skirt that Gwen was wearing was an example of the type of fabric we created:


Here is another example:

With my long lens I did not get good pictures, but we each brought a bunch of leftover yarn and then swapped with each other to make our "magic ball". The more random the lengths of yarn the better, it turns out! Here we are looking for good yarns for our magic balls.

Here is what I ended up with. (My sister's was prettier.)

Here is what my sister came up with:


Our second class was with a new teacher Kennita Tully. Our class was on asymmetry ("Loosen Up with Asymmetry"). I liked that Ms. Tully gave us historical and aesthetic background.  

We worked on elements that could be added to give our own garments asymmetry (although nothing we knitted was asymmetrical.)

 What was also really great is she showed us how to knit pleats.  Unfortunately I didn't get very far on mine, (See below) but this is definitely something I want to play with. (I hope to work on my pleat some time this week and finish it up.

That evening we went to hear Steven B. talk about unlocking our color future. It was a cute presentation.  Sort of your knitting aura - not sure where he got the descriptions, but I think he should have credited the source.  Steven B. is an exuberant, fun person with a marvelous sense of creativity and he runs a yarn shop right here in Minnesota.

This is his Willie Nelson vest.

I think the picture above captures a bit of Steven B.'s personality.

Oh, and I couldn't figure out my color - I seemed ot be all of them (just like Horoscopes, huh?) I guess red and yellow were my best matches. I WAS wearing yellow at the time.

After all this excitement, my sister and I were quite exhausted  and of course there was more to come in the next two days!

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