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Posts Tagged ‘Ravelry’

Luckily on Saturday morning I woke feeling fairly good. I can only attribute it to the 2 doses of Flexeril and the Melatonin combination. Hubby decided that shopping in the market didn’t sound so bad, so he joined me on our walk to the market floor. I have no idea how to express to you in words the amount of people already in the market. I knew it was going to be busy, but I suppose I’m never quite prepared for large crowds.

I knew that my Ravelry passport had very few stamps/stickers in it, so today I planned on collecting them all, as well as making sure I picked up some yarn from WEBS for a sweater or two. Since I’d walked around all the booths the day before to see my options for purchases, I took my market floor booth layout sheet, and circled all the booths I needed to stop at and for what item. Some were just for the Passport, some were to enter drawings, and others were for purchases. This definitely helped keep me on track and I will do it every year that I attend Stitches.

Market Floor

The current sweater I’m knitting, the Radiance Cabled Jacket, has a hook and eye closure instead of buttons. On Friday I’d noticed some beautiful Norwegian pewter hook & eye clasps at AffectionKnit, so I stopped at their booth first. I surveyed all their pewter clasps, and all the sets of 3 were $14, but I got this one for $9, so I felt like I’d found a bargain. The booth was already extremely crowded, and several rude women pushed their way ahead of me in line so I ended up standing there for 15 minutes waiting to make my cash purchase. In fact, I think these women must have been around me all day because the level of rude people at Stitches was at an all-time high this year.

Norwegian Pewter frogs (clasps)

I didn’t make another purchase for quite awhile since I was gathering Passport stickers/stamps and entering my name into daily drawings for this and that, but when I stopped at the Fibersphere booth to get my Passport stamped, I noticed some bags (of course), As I was looking over the sock size bag, the vendor shared with me the story behind the bag. Since I’m a sucker anyway for any type of bag, when I found out that women in Cambodia were making them and were being paid three times as much as they’d normally make so they could support their families, I just had to support the cause. I’m not sure what the material is on the outside of the bag (bamboo?) but the inside of the bag is fabric lined with two open pockets, one zippered pocket, and the strap is adjustable.

Cambodia Bag

We walked around for awhile, collecting stamps, and entering drawings, but when we ran into Cindi, Barbara and Rhonda at lunch time, we decided to pass on the $10 hotel sandwich and drove to Baja Fresh for a quick and inexpensive lunch. Of course we weren’t there long since there were schedules to be kept by the others in our group, so I returned to the market to continue filling up my Passport.

The next Ravelry passport stop was Article Pract. As I walked in to get my stamp, I noticed the Malabrigo worsted with a sign saying $10/skein. Then I noticed the Julie Weisenberger patterns. Next thing I know, I’m walking out of their booth just having purchased the Katarina pattern, the Malabrigo Loafers pattern, as well as 3 skeins of Malabrigo worsted in Forest and Azul Profundo.

Coco Knits and Yarn

I had meandered around the WEBS booth on Friday looking at the huge assortment of yarns and trying to decide what I wanted for which project. I was so overwhelmed though, and so tired from that day I opted to wait and purchase on Saturday. Well here it was Saturday and as I started to wander a bit, a lovely young woman named Cirilia asked if she could help me. Realizing that I got nowhere Friday trying to help myself, I said yes. Boy am I glad I did. I showed her my printed Ravelry queue page and asked her for recommendations for the projects I wanted to knit. She was so nice, quick, and knowledgeable, that before I knew it, I had 3 sweaters worth of yarn in my husbands hands. I had intended on only buying one or two sweaters worth of yarn, but since I chose Valley Yarns for 2 of the sweaters, I was able to afford the 100% Alpaca yarn.

WEBS

The blue yarn is Valley Yarns Longmeadow and I’m intending on using it for Drops Design 100-34, although I could use it for a few of the projects in my queue. The red yarn is Valley Yarns Williamstown and it’s intended for Katarina by Julie Weisenberger. The olive green yarn Blue Sky Alpacas 100% Alpaca and is intended for Henley Perfected. I can’t wait to start on these projects.

At this point I could tell that my husband was at his shopping limit and so we decided to head back to the room to rest for awhile before dinner. That plan didn’t last long though. The market floor called to me from inside my room, so I left hubby to watch a movie while I wandered the booths for awhile. I wasn’t planning on purchasing anything, but when I saw this little book, I couldn’t resist.

Knitspiration

This softbound book is called Knitspiration by Fiona Ellis which is a knitting journal. I have long been in search of a small notebook that had both lined and graph pages in it so I could play around with some ideas that float around in my head occasionally. This knitting journal has everything I’d ever want in a journal, with inspiring words and Fiona Ellis even signed it.

Dinner was a driving mis-adventure (no thanks to OnStar) to B.J.’s Brewery to meet-up with Lain, her husband and her son. Lain and I originally connected because of knitting, and although she knits beautifully, she is actually a scrapbooking designer, instructor, and podcaster. For what the Yarn Harlot is to the knitting world, Lain (ScrapHappy) is to the scrapbooking world. Someday I’ll say “I knew her when”.

After dinner I met up with the group from the previous evening for more knitting until 1am, although hubby did not join us this night. When I booked our hotel room, I’d debated on whether to stay Saturday night and at that moment I was so glad I booked us through Sunday morning. Spending time knitting with others that enjoy the same things as I was a priceless moment. I knew that although the classes, and shopping were great, spending time with current friends, meeting new ones, and spending time with those who share the same passion, was the true gift of Stitches.

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Friday was an amazing day at Stitches, especially since I attended an all-day class taught by Cat Bordhi on the Foxglove Sock Architecture as explained in her latest book. It was amazing just being in Cat’s presence, but watching and listening to her information about sock construction was very enlightening. Her visual aids and her method of explaining techniques were so great, that I really feel like I have reached a whole new level of understanding regarding sock design and sock architecture. She was extremely patient, and was available to anyone at anytime for one-on-one attention if they needed it. It’s really hard to put into words just how amazing this class was.

My baby sock design

When class finished in the afternoon she asked to see the baby sock I designed and I was shocked when she said it was one of the better designs she’d seen. Since I didn’t plan the design and it was just created as I knit, I realized that sometimes I over-think things and that just going with the flow sometimes produces the best results. By the way, I hate this photo of me, but since this is the only photo I have or will probably ever have with Cat, I will treasure it. And yes, that is the Tangled Yoke Cardigan.

Me & Cat Bordhi

When class ended that afternoon I met my wonderful husband in the market for more shopping. I only picked up a few items, and although it’s barely worth mentioning the stitch markers I purchased at Ellen’s Half Pint Farm, it is most definitely worth mentioning the Full Thread Ahead booth. Normally I prefer to not shop at these types of vendors since they are a LYS from the local area. I personally would rather give my money to my LYS, but Full Thread Ahead had two items my LYS doesn’t. An over the ear light for knitting in low-light conditions and the new Cookie A sock patterns. I ended up only purchasing the Trystero pattern, but I’m sure the others will be added to my sock patterns fairly soon.

Stitches West

The Ravelry booth had a few fun things to purchase, but I decided on the Raverly pin and the Bob pin. I really wanted the Ravelry canvas bag, but honestly I have too many bags as it is, although on Saturday I forgot this fact. Other than meeting Jess & Casey, the Passport was the best thing at the Ravelry booth. Several exhibitors had their logo imprinted on a page that looked exactly like pages in a passport, and the idea was to go around to each of those exhibitors and get a stamp or sticker from them for your page. When you filled your passport, you then returned it to Ravelry for inspection and you were then entered into a drawing of prizes donated by the participating exhibitors. This Passport got me into lots of “trouble” on Saturday, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see why.

Ravelry

The marketplace closed at 6pm, so hubby and I went to dinner with Laura, Barbara, Cindi, and Rhonda. Since both Laura and I had a vehicle, we got to leave the horribly overpriced food at the hotel, and went to Red Robin since it was affordable for everyone in the group. The food, drinks, and service were wonderful although little did I know that later I was going to later regret eating the Bonzai Burger, fries, and large beer.

Back at the hotel, nobody wanted to “call it an evening” so we sat in the hotel lobby to knit and got lucky enough to have both Michelle and Rebecca join us as well. Hubby sat with us for 2 rounds of drinks. He ordered us Bailey’s Coffee and that was another item I regretted later on. He left us to our own devices around 10pm and went to the room to watch a movie. We all stayed up until 1am and then decided nobody was going to be useful the next day unless we turned in for the evening.

Back in the room, hubby was in bed soundly sleeping (so cute) and as I leaned over the weird sink to wash my face, I felt a rumbly in my tumbly and it wasn’t good. But that’s not the worst of it. While the rumbly continued in my tumbly, and the horrible feeling of “worshipping the porcelain god” was going on, I had an intense fibromyalgia flare. It was so painful, that even wearing my jammies hurt like hell. It went on for hours until I took a second dose of Flexeril and finally fell asleep. What a day!

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There’s so much to share with you regarding Stitches West, but I’m going to break it up into several posts so I don’t overload your systems with photos.

We left the house Thursday morning and drove from Southern California to Northern California. We were lucky enough to be staying at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency hotel which is attached to the Santa Clara Convention Center where the Stitches classes and shopping are. The hotel is very nice as are the rooms, but it seems like they tried to make everything a little bit contemporary which made for poor room functionality.

Hyatt Hotel Room

The bathroom had a wonderful shower curtain rod that bowed out so that you felt like you had more space in the shower, but the sink in the bathroom had the faucet mounted to the left of the sink which turned out to be very awkward to use.

Hyatt Regency bathroom

After getting settled into our room, I went to the hotel lobby to meet up with a Laura and a few friends from the Anaheim Hills Knit Night on Mondays, so that we could attend the Ravelry meet-up together. Actually if it weren’t for Ravelry, there would not be a Monday knit night with these incredible women. It was interesting to see so many Ravelry users in one room, and I loved finally seeing Jess and Casey in person (from obviously a distance).

Jess & Casey

The only downside to the event was the cash bar. Obviously nobody told catering that knitters do indeed drink, and so there was only one small bar with one bartender. There was a continuous line for that bar for at least an hour. I felt so sorry for the bartender. After the Ravelry meet-up I met my husband at the hotel sushi bar for a bite to eat to fortify myself for the 3 hour shopping spree I was about to participate in. The area was crowded, understaffed, and slow as mud, but luckily the sushi was quite good. We finished dinner just in time to race to the market area to meet up with friends.

Most everyone was stopping at the Raverly booth first to pick up their Passports (more detail on that in a future post), but hubby went there for me as I raced to the Blue Moon fiber Arts booth. I grabbed a lot of skeins of lightweight sock yarn as I made my way through the mass of knitters in the booth. Since the purchase line was really long hubby waited in line for me while I figured out what I wanted. I think there were 7 skeins of yarn in my hands when I met up with him, but when I saw there will Mill Ends for about $7 less a skein than the regular skeins, I dumped most of the yarn I had and grabbed 3 skeins of it. I handed hubby enough money to make the purchase for me, and then told him I’d meet him at the next booth. Do I have the perfect husband or what?

Socks That Rock (Stitches West)

I ended up with 3 skeins of Socks That Rock Mill Ends (1 skein of lightweight and 2 skeins of mediumweight), and 1 skein of Socks That Rock Silkie in Valkyrie. I just noticed yesterday that the Blue Moon logo is backwards on the labels and there are no colorways written on them so who knows what they are. I guess I’ll just call them gorgeous!

Next, I was off to Purlescence Yarns to purchase the Tulip Baby Cardigan kit. It was a bit more money than I’d normally spend on a baby cardigan, but I believe I’ll be using the pattern over and over again since there never seems to be a shortage of women having babies.

Tulip Baby Cardigan Kit

My final purchase for the evening was at Chameleon Colorworks for a skein of her beautiful Bambino yarn. I first saw her hand-dyed yarn at TNNA and instantly fell in love with the Twinkle Toes, Bambino and Evolution yarns. The Loopy Ewe just added the Bambino and Evolution yarns to her store today, so I suggest you get over there and pick some up. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

Bambino (Briar Rose)

The market was open for 3 hours, but frankly after only getting 3 1/2 hours of sleep the night before, I was too exhausted to continue on and wanted to rest up for my class with Cat Bordhi. I think I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.

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In the ever growing saga regarding my health, (skip this entire paragraph and save yourself the boredom), I saw a wonderful Endocrinologist last week and although I have all the symptoms and TSH levels that show hypothyroidism, she’s running additional tests on my T3 and T4 levels to confirm. She’s also running some other tests to rule out other diseases and such before committing to a fibromyalgia diagnosis. She thinks my last Dr was an idiot for not running additional tests to rule out positively everything else first. I definitely agree with her.

Mystery Stole 3 KAL is the most fun I’ve had in a LONG time and definitely helped me with my knitting mojo. I finished the first clue on Saturday and was semi-sad that I had knit it so quickly since that has left me with 5 days of no MS3 knitting. The only negative part to this KAL are all the yahoo digest messages that seem to be a complete waste of reading. As a matter of fact, it’s only July 5th and there are already 1,400 messages that have been written. Who has the time to read all of that? In my opinion a lot of the messages are from people attempting to knit lace for the very first time ever, and they’re clogging up the message system with whining about frogging for the 3rd & 4th time or asking for help since nothing makes sense, etc. Did these people not read the KAL description which states: “This year’s stole is not recommended for beginning lace knitters, but if you are comfortable with lace techniques and reading charts, you should be just fine.” I think not!

There will probably be no MS3 knitting on Sunday. I’ve signed up for two sock knitting / design classes taught by none other than Cookie A who designed sock patterns such as Pomatomus, Monkey, and Baudelaire, just to name a few. The classes are being taught at Unwind in Burbank, CA which is only about an hour from my home, so it’s fairly close and in addition to finally meeting Cookie, I’m excited to meet other knitters who are as passionate about socks as I am.

In yarn collecting news, my next post should have photos of some new yarn. DH & I refinanced our home and since I made sure we took out some extra cash, I decided that I’m going to celebrate my birthday month by increasing my stash. DH said he was fine with that, but that’s also because he knows I’m the penny pincher in the family and that I’d never purchase too much yarn. HA! We’ll see about that!

In addition to the MS3 shawl, I’ve GOT to post my completed photos of the Handsome Shawl from Victorian Lace Today, the adorable felted bag I gave my niece last month, and the Feather & Fan socks I completed weeks ago. I’m also currently knitting Shedir and a pair of ankle socks for DH, but I’m pretty sure those will be on the back burner Friday morning when the MS3 clue is available. My blogging mojo is still missing though, so for those of you with access to Ravelry, you’ll probably see photos of my completed items there first. By the way, my “name” on Ravelry is GuiltyPleasures. Sounds like a porn star name huh? Maybe I should change my blog name.. any recommendations?

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I know I’ve only been posting about twice a week and I mean to post more frequently, but to be honest, my health has continued to decline. I’m only 37 for heaven’s sake and it feels like my body is trying to do me in. I could bore you with my pathetic list of symptoms and the Dr’s initial diagnosis, but nothings for sure yet, so I’m just attending the various clinics for tests and should have more info in 2 weeks. Don’t worry, it doesn’t appear to be anything serious (like cancer), but I just wanted to share a bit of this with you because until I’m feeling better, I may not be posting as much, and I may not be commenting on your blogs as much.

Since I’d forbid myself to cast-on for socks until Molly’s sweater was complete, and since I’ve been spending some time at Dr’s offices and labs, I’ve been working on these dish cloths from the Mason-Dixon ladies. I am trying to be a bit more conscious of the environment, so these will be replacing my kitchen sponges. I was really never worried about the sponge harboring bacteria since I only used it for a week and then tossed it, but then a light bulb went on. I’ve calculated that I’ve spent about $50 a year on sponges, and since I’m sure they aren’t that great in the landfills, using these dishcloths should help in some small way. If you don’t have the book but want the pattern, you can get it HERE!

Thanks to Dave, he posted something regarding those of you kind enough to leave comments on blog posts. Seems that quite a few of us have been frustrated that we aren’t getting the email addresses of our commenter’s. Everyone thought it was the fault of the new Blogger, but I had issues even with the old Blogger. He was notified by Lavendersheep that the new Blogger did NOT mess about with the ability to reply to comments but that the new Blogger DID mess about with your settings.

If your Blogger email address was public before, you’ve been reset to private. If you edit your profile and check the box that says show my email address, your email address will show up with the comment and restore reply-ability.

Did you see the latest edition of Yarnival? My friend Laura was the editor and she even included one of my blog posts. There are some pretty good articles in there, so make sure you check it out.

Speaking of Laura, yesterday I was able to spend a few hours with her sharing our new yarn acquisitions and completed knitting projects since we last met. You’ve got to take a look at her Conwy socks. I was tempted to steal them, but then my brain kicked back in and I remembered I could probably just knit my own pair. I also purchased this lace weight yarn from her. Neither of us are sure what it is, but it’s almost silk-like and I can’t wait to make a shawl from it. For lunch, we went to an amazing German deli (Mattern’s) to pick up sandwiches and beer, and although there was quite a wait for it, it was well worth it. We took the food and drinks back to Laura’s house and got to sit outside on her patio and enjoy the view, the food, and the company. It was perfect! And where are the photos? I forgot to take them .. BAD BLOGGER!

This weekend I hope to be casting on for my next pair of socks, since I finally finished the Matinee Coat for Molly. My next post will have all the details.

Before I forget … a million thanks to Carole for sharing an invite with me to Ravelry. It’s the perfect thing for me to organize my stash, projects, needles, and such. I also love that I’ve met some new “friends” through it. If you read my blog and you’re in Ravelry, make sure you link me as a “friend” so I can see who you are. If you’re not on Ravelry and you’ve signed up, don’t panic, you will be part of it very soon!

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