Stitches is a nation wide fiber arts convention that travels the country during the year, making stops in four different regions of the United States, one of which is the Midwest.

Last year I missed Stitches when it came to the Midwest.  By the time I thought to look into attending, it had already come and gone.  If you remember, I made a trip to the Stitches Marketplace for the very first time in 2012.  You can read about it by clicking HERE

If it’s possible that ‘too much yarn’ can actually exist, it would exist at the Stitches Marketplace.  Outside of being totally overwhelmed by the size of the marketplace in 2012, I had a great time, and had intentions to go again in the future – next time with a plan in place.

Stitches was in town again this past week, and since I work full time, I couldn’t attend the conference, but I did make it to the marketplace this past Saturday.  Due to my busy schedule, I did not have time to form a very good plan of attack, but at least I went in knowing that the market would be way too big for me to even consider seeing and digesting everything in it. 

The conference was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, IL.  It’s a bit over an hour drive from the town where I live in Indiana.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I don’t have any ‘inside Stitches’ pics like I did from my 2012 trip, but I did take some photos once I got home so that I could show off some of my awesome finds.

I’m on a bit of a serious budget these days after deciding to refinance my student loans, and putting a closed gutter system on my house (no more ladders!  Whoot!).  I wasn’t planning on buying much in the way of yarn unless I found a deal I couldn’t pass up.  If I did buy yarn, it needed to be blue since I noticed I have nearly no choices within that color palette in my current yarn stash.  And it couldn’t be cashmere.  Somehow there is more cashmere than I ever intended to acquire in my stash, and cashmere is not practical for everything.

I did need some more stitch markers since mine always seem to mysteriously go missing as time goes on.  I was also excited about the prospect of seeing some actual books with paper and pages!  Here in Indiana, ALL of the book stores have gone out of business.  So I have no way to preview new knitting pattern books as they come out.  I love book stores, and I think it’s ridiculous that we have none left in Northwest IN as of about two or three years ago. 

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I did get some ‘freebies’ from the market.  A nice lady from the Windy City Knitting Guild gave me this cute book mark that has both a ruler and the steps to complete the Kitchener Stitch on the back!  Love it!  The button was also free (with a purchase) from Knerd knitting shop.  Check out her stuff on Etsy by clicking HERE.  She has some of the best gift tags for hand-made items I have ever seen (they are SO funny). 

I also got a free pattern for the Sweetly Zig Zag Cowl from the owner of Fiberstory (with the purchase of some gorgeous yarn).  I love the pattern and I will likely knit it up at some point.

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Here are the stitch markers I picked up.  The metal ones are from Knerd, and the plastic are from ChiaGoo.  I love them all!

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Here is the lovely yarn from Fiberstory.  I literally couldn’t resist.  This yarn was so beautiful, and the samples on display were so amazing.  In spite of my plan not to buy yarn, I was sold (obviously).  At least I remembered to pick blue…

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This is Fave Sock.  I SOOO wanted another set in a gray and a burgundy tone, but I was able to exercise at least a teenie bit of self control…

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Even though my plan was not to bring home more yarn, I felt I HAD to when I found this super-cute Angora blend yarn (remember my sister’s fixation with Angora….?) marked down to $5 per 100 yard hank.  It is Lush from Classic Elite yarns.  Even in the photo, you can see how fuzzy and soft it is.  It is actually 50% Angora in a nice worsted weight.

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These are SO going to be more mittens.  I’m thinking I can make matching mittens for my sister and me.  Mine will be the orange and hers will be the blue.  She likes blue.

 

I bought some Malabrigo since it is always so lovely and so reasonably priced.  I figured it would save me in the long run on shipping since I’d have to buy it online if I needed it for a project.  I also bought the multi-color twisted BFL wool seen here in the center of the pile.  It was a total impulse buy that I couldn’t afford and I still don’t regret it.

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Soooo, you might be starting to realize that I failed at my ‘don’t buy any yarn’ goal because I actually bought MORE yarn…. BUT it was a good deal.  Here’s the justification for this one.  Ready? 

I have plans to knit Wendy Johnson’s Nordic Cowl pattern.  I have adored it ever since she came up with it this past March.  You can read about it HERE on her blog.  Once I decided that I would like to knit this, I realized that I have literally no blue fingering weight yarn in my stash.  I really wanted to make my cowl in colors similar to those that she chose.  So I was on the lookout for an economical option for this cowl.  Here’s what I came up with:

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I found these Louet Gems in a discount bin at the Yarn Barn booth.  They were $6 and some change each, and the colors are so pretty.  Washable wool.  We’ll see how it goes….   If I don’t like it, my FiberStory purchase shown above would probably look fantastic as a Nordic Cowl.

 

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I was bummed to discover that none of the book sellers had a ‘show special’ or multi-book discount in place for the conference.  I ended up choosing two sock knitting titles.  The socks on the cover of the Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet have been in my queue for a while now, and now I own the pattern along with several others that I love.

 

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And lastly, I got these adorable, hand-made mugs.  I am a complete sucker for hand-made pottery.  These are dishwasher and microwave safe. 

In other news, here’s a peek at what’s on my needles right now, actually purchased at Stitches Midwest 2012:  Rambouillet wool!

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~Happy knitting!

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