Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stitches West 2014

This past weekend I attended my second Stitches West event. Last year I was able to spend a few days at this yarn-lover's paradise, but I was only able to get away for one day this year. Lauren and I left Sacramento really early Saturday morning and arrived in Santa Clara with plenty of time to spare.

Interestingly enough, I went to Santa Clara University for four years and never had the desire to attend Stitches West until after I graduated. Luckily though, Santa Clara is only a two hour drive from Sacramento so it was a pretty easy trip for me to make.

As soon as the market doors opened, Lauren and I calmly rushed over to Plucky Knitter to raid their "One Hit Wonders" bins. I snagged four skeins of fingering weight yarn, though I have no idea which bases they're made from nor do I know exactly which colorways they are. Oh well, they were only $15 apiece so I couldn't be too picky. I plan on using three of the skeins to knit a Color Affection shawl. 

After visiting Plucky Knitter, we decided to window shop before purchasing anything else. I'm so glad I did this. I came to Stitches West without any real plan of what I wanted to buy. After walking around all of the booths I realized which colors I loved and which brands I kept coming back to.

I definitely wanted to find yarn to knit up a Honey Cowl, so that was a top priority. I really like the feel and softness of Miss Babs Yowza! Whatta Skein!, and I found the perfect color...Floyd! I originally wanted to knit a red Honey Cowl, but this hot pink is just awesome! I've already started my cowl and I'm so happy with my choice of yarn and color.

After admiring all of the booths, I realized that I really wanted to knit a green cowl. I had a specific shade of green in mind and I was determined to find that perfect color. I found my green yarn at Kitty-Rabbit Kreations, and although I wish it was a thicker weight yarn, I love the color so much that I'll make the fingering weight work.

Last year at Stitches West I tried knitting with Square needles. I loved the feel of holding square shaped needles and I thought that my tension was more even when using them. Although I enjoy knitting, I'm not the best and I don't knit very frequently, so I thought I just needed more practice with the traditional circular needles and didn't purchase any Sqaures last year. Since then I've thought a lot about those needles and how much more enjoyable knitting was. I vowed that I'd buy a set this year since I couldn't get them off my mind. I bought Square circular needles with a firm 40 inch cable in size 8. I'm currently using them to knit my Honey Cowl and I love them; I'm so happy with this purchase.

This year I also participated in the stitch marker swap that was organized via Ravelry. Because I only had one day to shop, I didn't spend as much time hunting down and stalking swappers during market hours, but I did have fun trading with fellow swappers at the scheduled meetup in the evening. But more about the stitch marker swap in another post :)

All in all, I love Stitches West and I really hope I'll be able to go again next year. I discovered that I'm currently loving jewel tone colors and I'll always have a special place in my heart for cowls.