Knitter in the Wild: Stitches SoCal 2018

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the very first Stitches SoCal, held at the Pasadena Convention Center.  Stitches is the convention name for events held across the country by XRX, and are four day events filled with classes devoted to fiber arts, fashion shows, demonstrations and a marketplace. The closest Stitches event to me used to be Stitches West, held in Santa Clara, CA, which always fell during a busy time of year at the day job which made attendance impossible, so I was excited to have an event come right to my backyard.

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Ideally,  I would fill all four days up with classes, but this year I was only able to sign up for one, so I chose the Intro to Double Knitting class taught be Alasdair Post-Quinn.  This class was fabulous! I had never attempted double knitting before, so I was a little nervous about keeping up with the pace, but it turned out I was perfectly fine.  Alasdair’s teaching style was very clear, he took plenty of time walking by all of the students checking our work at critical points, and his handouts were great reference material.  After finishing this class, I totally feel like I could tackle a basic double knitting project with success.  Our class project was a simple square, which we ran out of time to finish completely,  but you still get the gist of the sorcery this technique produces.

Check it out!  Isn’t it magic?  And it totally isn’t hard to do, either!

After class, I walked the marketplace with a friend.  I had a general idea of what I wanted to buy, and I was determined to stick to my budget.  As a result, I mostly just browsed, but found plenty of delightful surprises along the way.  For instance, did you know punch needle embroidery was a thing?  Look at these amazing examples in the booth.

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I need another hobby like I need an IRS audit, but if I had more free time I could totally see myself doing this.

And check out this amazing display of quilt squares devoted to Prince, courtesy of a challenge hosted by Cherrywood Fabrics.  The squares were unbelievable in their attention to detail and craftsmanship.  I was amazed at how good all the squares were.

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My sewing machine is sad that it will never make anything as amazing as those ribbon winners.

When browsing marketplace booths, it’s always fun to see new ways of displaying basics.  These embroidery hoops filled with knitted swatches in the Pam Powers Knits booth were very clever.

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I thought it was a great way to show off the samples of the yarn.

I would love to be able to show all the booths, but the floor was filled and it would make this post way too long.  Here are a few other eye catching or creative displays.

For my purchases, I managed to pick up two things that were on my list and stay within my budget, so I considered my shopping experience a success.  A pattern keeper by Erin Lane Bags and a beautiful wood nostepinne by Kromski.  I have wanted a nostepinne for quite a while, so finding one with such a beautiful finish made me a very happy knitter.

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Overall, my Stitches experience was tons of fun and I highly recommend attending an event if a location near you is doable for your budget.  Next time I will definitely take more classes, as you can’t beat the lineup of instructors.  If a Stitches event isn’t close enough to make a visit a reality, you may also want to check out Vogue Knitting Live, which has a similar format.

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