Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stitches South - April 2009

I went to the newly established Stitches South in Atlanta last weekend. For the first year of a show, it was well attended and well supported. No one said how many folks were there, but at registration there was a big fat list of classes which had not filled up. But, not so, with those that I took ... Tradition- a series of old-fashioned decorative stitches, taught by Candace Eisner Strick. (You might know her Merging Colors kits and patterns, which we are going to carry on the new website.) That was fun -- knitting swatches of fancy patterns --and, not so fancy as to be out of the reach of the average knitter, but challenging all the same. Somehow I invented a knit stitch during one exercise! I think, though, that it was double knitting ... where one side is one color and the other side is another color? (It was supposed to be striped ribbing but it was beautiful!)

The other class was with Laura Bryant of Prism Yarns. It was called Fake Short Rows, but we asked her to rename it because the end-result fabric is so lovely that it shouldn't have an ugly word like 'fake' attached to it. Very powerful stitch, and her samples were really lovely. I scoured the Market floor and finally bought some Italian (yea!) yarn and some special glass knitting needles (must haves!) and started my own filagree shoulder shawl. Somehow, though, it is not progressing to be quite as lovely as the samples we did under Laura Bryant's nose. I will have to rip and start over again, I guess, and maybe be less adventurous in my design. This one, by the way, could make an average garment into something spectacular!

The Market floor was a little disappointing in that there were not many vendors. Or, perhaps a better way to say it is that there was an adequate number of vendors, but not that shockingly huge display of must-haves at every corner, one vendor better than the next, etc. There just were not that many of them there, and I totally understand and want to make that clear. It was, after all, the first year of the show, and it had to have been hard to make the decision to attend both a new show and a show that would draw on financial resources in these strange economic times. But, I must say, that most vendors seemed to be busy most of the time.

There were a few, as always, who seemed not to be very welcoming to customers, and it really makes you wonder why they made the effort to come to the show, unload all their stuff, fill the booth, and then sit and read or knit and not pay attention to the crowd. Next weekend is the weekend for Maryland Sheep & Wool, one of the largest fiber shows on the East Coast, and several vendors from the west were going to drive up to MD and set up this week, making the most of the two shows being schedules so closely together. The folks who had the glass needles, for instance, (Michael and Sheila Ernst from Oregon) were going up to Maryland. I invited them to stop in Virginia if they had the time, but they haven't called me yet. I'd love to show them my Laura Bryant Fake Short Row capelet on their stunning glass needles.

I made some good contacts for the new website: Kim Dolce, a knitwear designer. Boy, I do love her sense of style. Casual yet elegant. You can see her designs on her website: ... We'll carry her patterns on Uptown Stitches. Also, looked closely at the Hiya-Hiya Needles. You know what I'm referring to ... the very lightweight ones from China. I ordered complete sets of both the smaller and the larger ones, but they are out of stock for a while. I am thinking of carrying those two kits only, plus the replaceable cables, but want to work with them a bit before deciding. And talked to the man with the American Buffalo yarn. That is sort of iffy at this point. It is wonderfully soft, but on the pricey side, and I am not sure if my customer base will take it to heart!

My next post will be about three new sock yarns we are adding to the Wool2Dye4 lineup. One is so much like an old one I used to carry, which I got from a distributor, but which never came in looking like the previous batch. Now, I've got my own finger in the pie, and a little control over the milling process and we have come up with a really wonderful Superwash Merino in a firmly twisted 2-Ply. But, more on that later.

By the way, if you want samples of the three new sock yarns, eMail me with your request (and address!) ...


1 comment:

Knit Witch said...

YAY! What fun!