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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stitches West 2012 -- and a giveaway!

Well, that was fun!  But first, a bit of back story...  About a thousand years ago, when I lived in northern Caifornia, and our company was publishing a knitting book for kids, my friend BB and I learned to knit  by testing instructions for it.  Excited about our new-found hobby, we went to a knitting show that had rolled into town called Stitches West.  Talk about sensory overload!  I remember looking around with my mouth hanging open and whispering to BB, "What's she doing???" She was knitting a sock.  On dpns.  Ha!  We walked around for a bit, bought a bit of stuff that I never used and left. 

Flash forward 10 or so years and we're both pretty obsessed knitters, only now she lives in New Hampshire, and I live in Colorado, and we both knit a whole lotta socks.  Since Stitches fell on my birthday this year, I suggested we meet out there, see all our old friends and do Stitches v.2.  Remarkably, she agreed! 

So last weekend, we met out on the coast and got to see all our old coworkers, and eat our way across the bay area.  It was bliss.  On Thursday night, we headed for the Market Preview, where folks who're signed up for at least one class get exclusive admission to the market vendors before the doors are opened to the public.  We were not alone (but we are in this pic, see if you can spot my red Angostura!)

4:45 pm Market Preview Time
(photo from the Stitches West Flickr set)

While we were there, we stopped by the Cascade Yarns booth, and since we were both wearing sweaters knit with Cascade, they took our picture and it popped up on their Facebook page today.  Too funny!

 We did some serious damage at all the zillions of vendors, and still made it out in time for a late dinner.  The market preview by itself is worth the price of a class, IMHO.  It was so nice to shop without having to fight big crowds! 


On Friday morning, we showed up bright and early for a class taught by Cookie A, which was also pretty awesome.  We learned all about reading cable charts intuitively, without having to consult the symbol key all the tine.  It was very cool, and Cookie was a fabulous teacher. 

A little more shopping after class, then we spent the rest of the weekend catching up with old friends and squishing our new yarn.  It was, all in all, a fabulous vacation.

Wanna see what I got?  I hope so, because you're gonna have to wade through all of it to get to the giveaway at the end of the post!

First up was 5 skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the blue graphite colorway.  It's such a pretty dark blue gray, a bit more navy than in this picture.


I found this at the Carolina Homespun booth, where they went waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of their way for me and then gave me a screaming deal on all of it. 

And other than that, the yarn shopping was pretty much all Madtosh all the time for me.  Since I'm pretty much a cheapskate when I buy yarn, and since it was my birthday, I gave myself an unlimited yarn budget for the weekend.  Throwing caution to the wind resulted in this:

It's Tosh Vintage in Mica, which I bought to knit Skelf

And also this: 

Tosh sock in Calligraphy.  I bought a skein of this stuff at Loopy Ewe last month, and then decided I really needed enough to make an Austin Hoodie out of it.  That, my friends is a LOT of teensy stitches in a sweater, but I think it will be worth it.

Finally, I got another screaming deal:

2 skeins of Mini Mochi in colorway #307.  Catchy name, no?  Anyway, I love the first Mini Mochi socks I knit, so I decided another pair would be a good idea, especially for half price.

I had to break up all that yarn buying with some books, just for the sake of variety, and so came home with these:

We were even able to get our books signed by Alana Dakos, who was incredibly nice.  I'm dying to knit at least 3 of these sweaters, and all of the patterns are pretty awesome.

And this, because we all know about how much I <3 Ysolda...


I even got an awesome knitting-y birthday present while I was out there.  BB made me the prettiest project bag...

It's even lined!

That's all I bought for me this trip (not too bad since I wasn't on a budget!), but I had to buy a skein for you guys to share a little of the Stitches love!  Here it is:


That's right, more Madeline Tosh.  This is Tosh Merino Light, a fingering weight, in the Dahlia colorway, and here's what you have to do to make it yours:  Leave a comment on this post before 8 am MST on Saturday, March 10.  Easy peasy.  I'll ship it anywhere you are if you're the winner. 

Okay, one more thing:  When I got home, I got to open my birthday present from Mr. Right.  A new camera!  Which takes pretty pictures, including some of the birthday cake he baked me all by himself:




And a gratuitous shot of last night's epic sunset.  Pretty spectacular birthday, all in all!

44 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a great time! Yarn-filled birthdays are always the best. Happy birthday! Mr. Right made one yummy looking cake. :)

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  2. Happy Belated Birthday. What a loot you got from SW!

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  3. Ahhh happy birthday. Looks like you had loads of fun. I really should hunt out a knitting show like that on this side of the pond, I just missed the only one I know of.
    Can't wait to see what you make out of that little hoard. Have a fab week Xxx

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  4. Sounds like you had an amazing birthday. Have fun with the new camera. Can't wait to see what you do with that yummy yarn. I'm desperate to win that yarn. It looks delicious.

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  5. Sounds like a fantastic birthday - that sunset shot is incredible! And how cool that you got to catch up with old friends and do yarn shopping :)

    I love all the yarns you bought, the colours are just my style so I can't wait to see what you make with them.

    Jealous of your cake too ;)

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  6. Sounds like a pretty fantastic birthday to me! Glad you had a great time. :) And thanks for having a giveaway. :)

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  7. I've never been to one of these knitting or fibre events, but now I've met someone who is not only accepting but encouraging of my interests he has suggested that any time I want to visit a show such as this i should just say the word and we will make arrangements to go, so it is one of my hopes for the next year or two.

    Until then I would like to say I hope you had a marvellous birthday and ask if you will drop my name into the virtual hat.

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  8. Now that is a birthday celebration! Oh and I'll have you know, I've been staring at the first photo for about fifteen minutes and I swear, I can't see you - I think I do but then I can't find BB so it's better than a "Where's Waldo" photo... lol.

    Madeline Tosh is a most phenomenal yarn, isn't it. I was given a skein once by someone who didn't know the value of what they had, even after I explained it to them... then I promptly cast on before they had a chance to change their mind and I was in heaven!

    Thank you for thinking of us while you were enjoying Stitches West - and I'm crossing my fingers for that beautiful skein to be mine... it told me it wants to be a shawlette and I promised I would. I'm PprmntMochaMama on Ravelry if I'm the fortunate one to make it's dreams come true.

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  9. Mmmmm... Strawberry cake.

    What a great way to spend your birthday! (I just had a birthday too, btw, and that Tosh Merino Light is just my color! hint... hint...)

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  10. Hey P, great wrap-up. It was a totally fabulous weekend with screaming deals to be had. I think it should also be mentioned that you purchased 10 skeins of yarn for me too, such is your generosity.
    I know it's a little unfair of me to try to enter this giveaway too, but seriously people, I saw the skein in person and it is FABULOUS!

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  11. You have now made me even more desperate to try and go to Stitches! That really does sound like the best trip ever. Of course meeting up with old friends along the way is perfect. You also bought some amazing yarn! Have loads of fun with the new camera : )

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  12. I didn't have much of a budget at Stitches Midwest this past fall...and I did a lot of damage. Somewhere I have photographic evidence of what I purchased. Probably on the blog.

    I think my weakness was Miss Babs and Zen Garden...seriously bought a lot of that.

    I think I did participate in some Malabrigo love, too :)

    Anyway, Bob knows I love yarn and sock yarn and fiber...so winning would be grand. Then again, I don't win things so I'm not going to hold my breath :)

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  13. That is one seriously beautiful bounty from your trip. And I'd love to win that skein. I think I'd spend at least a week just hugging and stroking it before I even begin to think about what to make with it!

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  14. I love your birthday cake!

    Please enter me for a chance to win this lovely yarn! Thank you!

    craftink on raverly
    sophia.komninou at gmail dot com

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  15. Oh Stitches looks like it was a whole lotta fun!

    I have only used Madeline Tosh once... it was quite lovely. Your choices are great... and I love the daliah. :-)

    Very nice for the Earth to give you that sunset and for Mr. Right to give you that beautiful cake. Happy Birthday!

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  16. The yarn show really does seem like a fab day out - I'm quite jealous! :D

    That yarn is a fantastic colour too, one of my favourites in fact.

    Looking forward to reading more about what you make and seeing more photos on your blog. Happy Birthday too!

    (Save me some cake!)

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  17. What a great post! I've never been to a Stitches event but I'm planning on going to Stitches Midwest this year. I love seeing your pictures from the event! All of you Madeline Tosh is amazing; I especially love that Mica color. And happy belated birthday!

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  18. Sounds like a really fun birthday! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  19. So much fun, so much gorgeous yarn! Love the pictures and that birthday cake looks divine! Count me in for a yarn giveaway, it's gorgeous.

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  20. You are one lucky girl! I love the cake, it looks very yummy. And all the yarn is beautiful. Dare I ask if we will see the completed sweaters this year?

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  21. Ooh! That birthday cake looks so yummy. +1 to Mr Right ;)

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  22. It was my first visit to stitches west this year, and overwhelming is definitely the right word! I'm glad you had a good time! I (almost) managed to stick to my budget, but did end up with some mini moochi too :) Mine will become the entrelac panel on the front of Tenley Park.

    Also, is that a llama head?!

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  23. What a great time you had and happy birthday! All your MadTosh looks incredible -- it's truly one of my favorite yarns. I especially love your Calligraphy! Thanks for the giveaway -- fingers crossed!

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  24. That sounds sooo fun! I wish I could have gone. One day! I'm jealous of all of your yarn purchases...Madeline Tosh goooodness. Sounds like you definitely had a happy birthday!

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  25. It looks like a great birthday! Mine is this month and winning this would be wonderful! Debbie H

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  26. I'm so jealous of your trip! I don't think we have anything like that here! And I would love to enter your givaway!

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  27. Happy Belated Birthday! Looks like it was an awesome one! I don't know what had me drooling more, all the madtosh or that yummy looking cake : )
    I just got Coastal Knits too. I'm thinking of making the Rocky Coast Cardigan out of some Cascade eco - that of course is in my stash. Ya know, yarn diet and all : (
    Thanks for the giveaway (extra thanks if you give it to me... pretty please?)

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  28. Happy birthday! I'm so jealous that you got to go to stitches west! I have been wanting to go for so long now. It looks like you picked up some yummy yarn though.

    BTW, that sunset pic is gorgeous!

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  29. What a great haul! So many beautiful yarns! And I'm so jealous that you got to go to stitches! Thank you for the great giveaway <3

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  30. sounds like a grand time. I got to go to stitches east for the first time this year and it was awesome. Happy birthday...Mr Right is a good guy:)

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  31. It's been years since I made it to Stitches. That market definitely calls. Love the strawberry topped cake! (Noreen1009 on Rav)

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  32. Cool. I've never been to a yarn convention, but you make it seem like so much fun. Great-looking yarns.
    Oh, and happy belated birthday (the cake looks so yummy).

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  33. I have to admit I had to wipe the drool from my mouth. Can a person salivate over yarn? Well this person just did! What beautiful skein of yarn. It is such a luscious shade of purple. I haven't heard much about Madeline Tosh yarn but it looks as though I need to remedy that!!

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  34. All that yummy yarn! I've never made it to Stitches, maybe someday...

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  35. Ooh, that Tosh looks delicious... I'm drooling.

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  36. A very happy birthday to you! Coastal Knits is on my wish list, but considering the number of books I own that I have yet to knit a project from, I'm firmly sitting on my hands and NOT ordering it. Someday...

    It sounds like you had a really wonderful time -- congratulations!

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  37. Happy Birthday! Looks like you had a wonderful time. I've been to Stitches East a few times. I'm hoping to get back this year.

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  38. Looks like you had lots of fun! And on your birthday too, you lucky loo ♥

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  39. That looks like a fantastic time---I adore the picture of you and BB with the Cascade sheep, hee. I'm glad your sock class was fabulous, and your birthday presents-to-self? Most excellent. I looove all the colours you chose, and everything looks so wonderfully squishy. Also wonderful? That cake by Mr. Right! Go him, with the gorgeous strawberry arranging!

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  40. Happy Birthday and I hope you enjoyed all of that cake and the super scrumptious-looking yarn!

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  41. Yarn, old friends, fabulous food...sounds like a wonderful birthday vacation. I love everything that you bought. I love that cake. Lucky girl!

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  42. I want to squish all the yarn you bought! And the alpaca stuffy.

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  43. Happy birthday! Lucky you, sounds like a wonderful experience you had! I´d love to go to a yarn convention, even more with a knitting friend. I also had birthday recently. I had a brunch, where my knitting club turned up and started knitting and I got lots of yarny goodness and a sheep-shaped yarn rack!

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  44. Ooh, that cake looks absolutely delicious! And so many pretty yarns! It's always nice to throw caution to the wind once in a while, and a birthday is such a perfect time to do it! I hope you had a wonderful day :)

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