As mentioned previously, I went to Stitches West this past weekend. All weekend long, my friends and I were commenting how fun and relaxing it is to spend time with “our people”, and that is the best description I can think of for how much fun I had over the weekend. It is the first time I’ve ever had the chance to attend a Stitches event, and I thought I’d share my highlights from it, in case any of you wonder whether or not it’s worth the money.
- First, yes, it’s worth the money because it only costs $2o (or less, if you find a coupon) to get into the marketplace for the whole weekend! There are lots of familiar yarn companies, but also lots of indie people to explore. I’ve heard complaints that there are too many big names, but my thought on that is that if you have a particular company you really love, it’s a treat to be able to explore their full line of yarns and colors. Typically, yarn stores pick and choose which bases of yarn to carry, and then colors from within those. If you really want to see the full range, this is the place to do it!
- Yoth (Yarn On the House) seemed to be the most popular booth in the entire place. Every time we passed by, they were selling out entire shelves of yarn, and the next morning, a new stock magically appeared. I had not heard of this company prior to the weekend, so it was a great discovery!
- Being the color fanatic that I am, I was thrilled to see lots of gradient kits on sale in various booths. I don’t know if this is necessarily a trend, but I’m glad to see they’re still popular. Playing around with mixtures of colors is half the fun for me, and to walk past booths with lots of color-coordinated kits hanging on a wall is a visual rush. Neighborhood Fiber Company and Abstract Fiber were my favorite stops for these kits because of their extra-rich, saturated colors.
- As far as designers go, is there any better a pair than Steven Be and Stephen West? “Dynamic Duo” is such a well-suited title for them. In a future post, I will share the photo I took with them, but suffice it to say, they make an entrance and there’s no mistaken identities with them! However, aside from their inclination to dress to be noticed, they have equally fun personalities and are the most pleasant people I’ve ever had the pleasure of asking for autographs. I was very honored they complimented one of my designs, and I will keep the photo forever.
- Apple Tree Knits wins my award for prettiest yarn cakes. I had to revisit their booth a number of times before I could pick which cake of yarn I wanted because the truth is, I wanted them all! It’s on my list to learn how to dye and wind yarn into a cake to look like these!
I knit this little mouse from a Spud and Chloe book a few years ago for my daughter. However, you can see who gets the most playtime with it. I will fill you all in about my fun at Stitches West this past weekend, but thought I would offer up a little Monday levity until I’ve had a chance to collect myself from all the yarny fun.
And if you ever find a week-old kitten abandoned under a tree, take it home, bottle feed it and take care of it, you will have yourself the most fun, affectionate little pet you could ever imagine! My little BooCat, as I affectionately call her, gives me something to smile about every day.
Most of us can’t afford haute couture, but the skill and attention to detail is something any crafter will appreciate. I can only hope that one day I will have developed an equal skill with knit and crochet. Enjoy!
I am honored for a second year to be designing a pattern for Unwind for LA’s 2015 Yarn Crawl. This is one of my favorite yarn and fiber related events, and it is exciting to be asked to design a piece that is guaranteed to be seen by people from all over. Of course, there are specs to the project – I don’t get to simply choose whatever colors and yarn I feel like. It is up to my boss to decide which yarns she would like to promote during the event, and I have to work a design around the colors and yardage I’m given. Of course, this is the difference between working as a fine artist and working as a designer.
I have to admit that the colors she gave me – purple and yellow – did not speak to me at first. Despite the fact they are complementary colors, I didn’t feel inspired to put them together. When up against creative block, I’m always grateful for all the hardworking fine artists out there, both past and present, who produce work purely from inspiration. As I browsed through books and magazines looking for inspiration, I realized that Piet Mondrian’s colorblocking and other color field artists were the perfect jumping off point. I can’t wait to show you the results, but until then, I hope you enjoy browsing through the art that inspired my latest project!
For all of you who enjoy seeing things raised to art form, here is a fun place to browse around. I appreciate that they also provide an excellent definition of the term “fiber art” (scroll to the bottom to read it). This is a very broad term, and I’m often confused about what falls into that category. If you are a fiber artist, you may even want to enter into their Velocity of Textiles exhibition. Enjoy!