This morning, I headed out to Schaumburg, IL for Stitches Midwest, a fiber arts conference.  I did not register for any classes, but I wanted to go look around, and experience the vendor hall.  There were roughly 300 vendors selling all things related to fiber arts.

This crazy yarn-mobile was parked in the parking lot near my car.

The conference was in a rather nice hotel convention center.

Even though I knew it would be big, I was not prepared for just how overwhelming it would beI wandered the vendor hall for nearly 5 hours, and I still did not see everything there was to see.  I learned that when attending Stitches, it’s best to go in with a plan.

I never thought there could be such a thing as “too much yarn”, but holy cow, this was as close to it as I think anything could get!

Here’s a whole wall of Shalimar Breathless.  It’s like a dream!

Sweaters at the Cascade booth.

So much sock yarn!!!

So much everything!

There were many well known, professional knitters and crocheters present, teaching courses and signing books.  I saw Drew Emborsky (the Crochet Dude).

Since Stitches is actually a conference, I was expecting ‘conference rate’ pricing or discounts.  I was mistaken.  Shopping Stitches is like shopping at a high-end yarn store that just happens to be large enough to fill an entire convention center.

In spite of this, I came home with yarn, a book, stitch markers, knitting needles, project bags — enough to fill three shopping bags.  I should have had a plan…

Here was one of my best discoveries while at Stitches:  The Plucky Knitter.

Not the best name, but what GREAT yarn.  They had an entire table of samples knit up in this lovely yarn, and it drew a constant crowd. 

The fiber is beautiful.  The colors are beautiful.  This is some of the nicest yarn I have seen in a long time.

I brought home 4 skeins of their Primo cashmere blend:  3 in fingering and one in worsted weight.

I know I’ll be a customer in the future.  (Their sales reps were great too!)

Another of my favorite finds was this yarn from a fiber artist from CaliforniaThis particular yarn is spun from wool from ramboillet sheep, and the texture is just spectacular.  It’s not like anything I have seen or worked with before.  The price was also very reasonable.

I was having some strange fixation with limey shades of yellow/green today (shown here are more of my purchases):

Here’s a quick shot of me on my way to my car at the end of the day.  You can just see my afterglow…

 

I had heard that it’s customary to wear your hand-knits to the conference, so I sported my Breath of Fresh Air scarf.  I was glad I did because everyone was wearing their own scarves and sweaters.  It was fun to see what everyone had made, and several people recognized the actual yarn and colorway (Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino in the colorway Marin) of my scarf as it hung on my neck! 

There is something so nice about being among like-minded people.

~Happy knitting!

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