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I really enjoy Stitches West. This is the second year I’ve been, and I took it considerably easier this year. I took fewer classes, socialized a bit more, and got to actually spend time with Alex.

Unfortunately, I also suffered horribly from camnesia, which means that, even if I had my camera with me, I forgot to use it. This is the only picture I actually took at Stitches:

These are knitters in the lobby of the Hyatt, near the bar. (You could not get a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa at anytime near brunch time, by the way. I didn’t want one, but there were knitters with me who certainly did. Be told.)

Because of my debilitating condition at the event itself, I shall have to illustrate my experiences with photos taken elsewhere.

I took three classes at Stitches this year. The first was “Entrelac Rocks!”, taught by Anna Walden. It was really fascinating. (This is the class I taught myself entrelac for.) I learned how to do a cable cast on, an interesting welt thingy, and entrelac shaping. Here’s my swatch:

I’ve decided I like entrelac in general. It’s fascinating, not to mention addictive. The one thing I don’t like is having to weave in all the ends if I switch colors every tier.

My next class was “Tradition!”, taught by Candace Eisner Strick. (Have you noticed that many of the class titles end in an exclamation point? I thought that was interesting, too.) This class was worth the price of admission. I loved it. I learned huge amounts and, most importantly, I learned to do a Latvian Braid. Check it out:

From the bottom up, the techniques are Channel Island Cast On, Fair Isle Corrugated Rib, Latvian Braid done correctly, Latvian Braid done incorrectly, Old Shale Lace, and Fair Isle Lice. (Yes, that’s what it’s called.) Besides the Latvian Braid, the big thing that I learned in this class is doing things like Fair Isle and Corrugated Rib knitted flat, rather than in the round. This class was incredibly fun.

My final class was “Fair Isle Tams”, taught by Beth Brown-Reinsel. This was an incredibly informative class, and, by the time the class was over, I was three rounds away from a complete mini-tam. This is what mine looks like finished, but unblocked:

Isn’t it adorable? The shaping that makes the wedges on the top is clever.

Of course, there was more to do than just go learn things. There was shopping. Large amounts of shopping. I was actually pretty restrained. Most of my budget went to Sanguine Gryphon, of course, but a little went to Blue Moon Fiber Arts, as well. (Most of their stock was at Madrona Fiber Festival this year, which was on the same weekend as Stitches West.)

I even cast on a couple of projects:

This was going to be a scarf, but I think I’m going to rip it out and do a cowl instead. Note the Latvian Braid, which I had to take out three times in order to get it right. The yarn is Sanguine Gryphon Codex, in “Swamps of Despair” and “The Questing Beast.” (I love their colorway names.)

More Codex here:

This time, the colorway is “Cloud Atlas,” and the pattern is Fisherman’s Farrow Scarf. It’s a very soothing knit.

I also finished two socks!

Unfortunately, as you can see, they are not a pair. Luckily, both are pretty quick to knit, so I should soon have two more pairs of wool socks. This is a good thing, as winter does not seem ready to go away just yet. We were snowed out of our house last week, which was odd.

All in all, Stitches West was fun and inspirational. I’m seriously considering trying Madrona next year, however.

Next Entry: My Latest Obsession, plus the Spring Kitchen Swap!