I am still sad to have missed Stitches West this year, but VKL almost made up for it.
I took a class from Laura Bryant called Advanced Design and Construction that was awesome. I have been slowly absorbing the necessary steps to writing a sweater pattern over the last year or so. I have read books, watched Craftsy classes, studied and knit existing patterns, but had never had actual live instruction on the topic. For some reason there is no substitute for that. I got to ask my questions and actually have them answered (rather than have Craftsy teachers tell me, "this class doesn't cover understanding why you should do it this way, it's just what I do.") and now I feel like I can move forward with more confidence.
I took a very interesting fashion lecture about colors and trends for Fall 2013, which mostly just made me understand how much I don't know about fashion and want to study more. I had ideas about current trends that were pretty close to the same as what Anna Cohen said, but she got me thinking a lot about how culture and fashion influence each other.
The free panel, "So you want to work in the knitting industry" was... I wish I had it on tape. I think that it gave me perspective on some of the stuff I've heard before, was entertaining, and was also just a perfect thing to be present for, since I want to let my boss know I'm serious about working my way up.
Oddly enough, I didn't enjoy this weekend as much as I did Madrona, but I feel like I got more personal development out of it. I do enjoy the intimacy of the smaller shows more.
Mom was generous, as always, and got me a case for my interchangeable needles from Chicken Boots, and some Unspun Bun (50/50 Merino/German Angora) from High Desert Fiberworks. Owning fiber animals is something I'd like to be able to do one day, once I have a yard and no longer have a terrier mix dog who wishes she was a cat. Bunnies and dogs that want to eat them don't sound like a good mix, but a girl can dream.
I bought myself some Pure Elegance 100% Mink yarn from Great Yarns. It's beautiful and super soft! I am a bit suspicious that this might be Lotus' Mimi that Great Yarns has relabeled. Either way it is made in China. They made sure to tell me that the minks are brushed, so at least it's a way to use their fiber while they're still living, even if it's under mysterious conditions. Minks are not nice and don't like people much, so the bunny idea doesn't carry over well.
The quality of Chinese yarns is no less than that of yarn produced in other countries, but the more I follow Clara Parkes, the more I like the idea of American production. The yarns at work mostly come from Europe; I haven't had a chance to try very many yet, but knitting samples for the shop and getting paid in store credit is definitely on my to-do list.
The MM booth!
I only worked one day out of the weekend, but I got to spend it with some wonderful girls and meet lots of new knitters. The girls at the shop are the most helpful, non-threatening coworkers I've ever had. I introduced myself to Cirilia Rose and she was super friendly. I know I'm not alone in thinking she has one of the best jobs ever, and now I sort of get to work with her. At least I feel like working for a company connected to the one she works for makes me able to learn a bit more about her/from her. Listening to her speak in the panel was definitely a treat as well. Mostly it made me think about my own self confidence issues and made them seem less like mountains.
Above is what the "leave your mark on VKL" yarn bombing exhibit looked like when I was done with it. Just one of those pink strands was me.
And this is what it looked like on Saturday. Unfortunately didn't get a pic on Sunday, but it got even more intense; someone added a spider and fly to the web.
My Mom came to visit and go to the show with me. After our classes were done we went to Pike's Place for lunch at Lowells.
These Calaveras were some of the coolest things I saw on this trip to the market. They were in a store I hadn't found before, featuring Mexican Folk Art. I don't know why exactly, but I love Mexican art. I love the fine art, the folk art, the music, the traditional dress, the indigenous religions. Just love them.
One day I really want to go back and have the opportunity to do this sort of thing again.
I want to go to Peru as well. Peru should be the new Iceland. That's just my opinion :o)