Stitches Midwest and an Unexpected Prize

Stitches Midwest was a blast!
 Loads of vendors, great classes, a swanky hotel with orchids in the lobby and an escalator….the best part was meeting our Tech Editor, Ada, for the first time. We've been working together for nearly two years on opposite sides of the country and never got to have an in-person conversation before! She was just as sweet, generous and intelligent as our work relationship led me to expect.

The Friday night Pajama Party with XRX and Kollage folks was so much fun, with The Sexy Knitter and Kollage's Mark cracking us up every couple of minutes. Franklin wearing his NightCap was worth the trip to Chicago right there. Wish I'd gotten a pic for you. Suffice to say, no one combines cute and menacing like Franklin.

Saturday, Gayle Roehm taught a brilliant class on Japanese stitch patterns, with each swatch and chart a little more out-there than the last. You'll be knitting along, and then suddenly dip into the row before, bring out five new stitches, knit them into a paisley, and fasten them over three stitches to the right and five rows up. Or then you'll wrap twice and knit through the back loop on the next row to create two stitches. Then you have to translate knits and purls every row, which was sometimes more brain-twisting than the exotic stitches.  It was so much fun as was everyone in the class (which included Kathy Zimmerman. I played it cool but secretly wanted to bow down before her and ask her to sign my ball of yarn).

When I returned home, I cast on a cowl as a class sampler, just for the fun of working some of the patterns again.

August stitches midwest

Oh, yes, that's Malabrigo worsted I picked up from WEBS' booth. Such pretty colors they had…

August stitches yarn 

Speaking of which, the rumors of a new Malabrigo proved true–it's a worsted-weight superwash called Rios! I picked up some in Carrot. It's a little more twisty than the Worsted, so hopefully will be hardier, but still very soft.

The peanut butter in the sandwich above is madelinetosh sock. They had new madelinetosh DK, but I just wanted the Sock. Yum.

August stitches malabrigo

Malabrigo was giving out samples. Also yum. And, of course, I had to visit Jennie the Potter, Creatively Dyed, Debra's Garden and other KC friends.

 Ada and I basically hung out and partied at the Kollage sponsor booth, with the lovely Erica, designer Irishgirlieknits, and Mark, who was knitting away furiously on a hexagon sock. Mostly we simply could not tear ourselves away from the square needles. I had experienced the wonder of the Square last year, but it was new for Ada, who just couldn't believe how smooth and easy they made the knitting.

August stitches Kollage

And guess what?! Erica gifted us a skein of their new Sock-a-licious yarn and IrishGirlie's Bellingrath Shawl and Socks pattern to give away! 

So please leave a comment on something Kollage-related: which are your fave Kollage yarnsPatterns? Have you tried the square needles? As always, find the little "sign in with typepad" link at the bottom of the comments, or you can shoot me a Ravelry message and we'll count that too: jaaladay on Ravelry.

We'll run this contest through Thursday, and then we've got more to give away, leading up to a big one the first week of September. Good luck!



32 thoughts on “Stitches Midwest and an Unexpected Prize

  1. Sadly, I didn’t get to Stitches. I wanted to go but between the Knit-In and the WI Sheep & Wool Festival, I just couldn’t afford to take another weekend off of work 😦 Sooooo…..I know nothing of Kollage except that Irishgirlieknits had her shawl, socks, and a few other things as part of their booth.
    Although, these square circulars sound intriguing…

  2. I have been longing to try the square needles but haven’t found them in the size I want anywhere. I’ve resisted buying them online because I want the thrill of finding and buying them in person… and it’s a good excuse to continue to shop at new yarn shops! I want 2.0 mm circulars in 22-24″ length, for sock knitting. Maybe I’d better check to be sure they make those….
    Your madelinetosh sock looks super duper yummy.

  3. I have heard that the square Kollage needles are easier on the wrists but have never tried them. I think the reason I heard was the shape makes it easier to grip mumblemumblemumble. I keep meaning to try them but haven’t

  4. Oooh, great news about the Malabrigo superwash. I would like to get my hands on those one day. Came here via Carrie’s blog post today.
    I have to admit I have not used my Kollage Square Needles that often but I love the cable on that little thing.

  5. Sounds like an amazing Stitches. I’ve never tried the square needles, but I have a friend who swears by them. She swears that her stitches are smoother and they don’t hurt her hands as much – even after a marathon knitting session.

  6. Stitches Midwest sounds amazing. Recent elbow surgery prevented me from going. I have heard Kollage needles really help your wrists while knitting and would love to try them. The Kollage yarn pictured above is so pretty and just my color. A beautiful pattern too!! I would love to win.
    Kristi ~ Ohio
    queenbee1958 (Ravelry)

  7. I have actually been drooling over this pattern for the last few days. I would love to knit it up, especially with the blue colorway. I love the Kollage Square Needles. My stitches always look so much more uniform. thanks for entering me in your generous give-away!

  8. I finally tried out the square needles last week at Stitches – very nice and I wouldn’t mind picking up some in the future. I didn’t get a chance to pick up Carrie’s pattern, so I have my fingers crossed for this giveaway!

  9. I tried the square needle dpns at Stitches West. They’ve got a lovely feel to them. I still need to buy them at my lys in my favorite needle size though.
    Looking forward to buying some Kollage yarns so I can knit up my favorite Irishgirlie pattern in them.

  10. I didn’t get to go to Stitches this year (boo hoo for me, yay for my bank account!) but I did see some of the booty that my knitting friends got…I think I must aquire some Sockalicious sock yarn! So soft and pretty! Loved it! I think I also may need to get some square dpns for knitting socks…

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