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Mama, wife, knitter, blogger, spinner, wannabe something or other. That's enough, right?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Stash Enhancement: Stitches West 2018

Let's get one thing perfectly clear: I did something incredibly stupid this year. Or maybe incredibly wonderfully good. I'm not sure yet.

If you've been following along here, you'll know that I'm running Little Man's school's auction this year, which is in two weeks. That means I schedule meetings, I schedule events, I schedule everything......including the big weekend where we spend three days and nights in the gym, putting baskets together and making all the things pretty.

When we were looking at the calendar, we scheduled the auction for March 24th. That was fine. The weekend we spend in the gym has traditionally been three weeks before the event, which would have made it last weekend (the first weekend of March). I looked at the calendar, noted when Stitches West was happening, and scheduled it for the first weekend in March.

Okay fine. A few weeks go by and we were looking at the calendar again and both the former auction chair and I said, "why are we scheduling it three weeks out when we could schedule it four weeks out and not kill ourselves?" and we moved it to the last weekend in February.

During Stitches West.

And I didn't realize it until it had already been made public (in print and online) that the weekend we were doing it was going to be that weekend.

Sooooooo, I lamented that I was going to miss Stitches West this year. I had come to terms with being an idiot.

But something happened.....I noticed that if I played my cards right, I would be able to sneak down to Santa Clara on the Friday of Stitches West and go to the marketplace. It would depend on someone picking up Little Man from school, some printing being pawned off on someone (in this case, Husband did it at work, saving us a bunch of money), and traffic behaving so I could get home at a decent time before I had to go to the gym all weekend.

And it worked. Barely. But perfectly!

So, I went to the marketplace on the Friday of Stitches West. Because I hadn't been planning to actually go, my budget was about half of what it has been in past years (and no, you don't need to know what my budget was). I would also like to say that in past years, my budget didn't include food or travel and I almost always went over. This year, my budget was used on food and I even came in under budget (only by $10 but it was still under).

I had no plans to hang out with anyone in particular (because short notice) but I found Stefanie in the Barrett Wool Co./Never Not Knitting booth and bummed around with her, enabling her quite a bit (because why not?).

Okay, enough, let's see what I bought already!

Two skeins of Home from Barrett Wool Co., a worsted weight wool. These are slated for a Fornicating Deer hat (yes, I know this directs to mittens....but I'm planning to make a hat).

My next purchase came from Oink Pigments. I've had a little notebook for a few months now and I'm keeping it "Bullet Journal" style with numbered pages and no real direction. I have a page where I've been listing yarns I want to try that others have suggested or I've seen somewhere. Oink Pigments was on my list (@skeincocaine on Instagram has had it in her shop and I've never gotten in early enough to get any). So, I was delighted to find their booth and I may have picked up a few things that weren't on my list (also in that little notebook). Really, though, who am I kidding? I had a list and I did get things from my list...but I went a little willy-nilly in the Oink Pigments one does.

This one caught my eye because apparently I want to punish my eyesight with dark yarns. Whatever. This is their Targhee Sock base and the colorway is The Dark Knitnight.

I also picked up their Stitches West exclusive colorway, Cool Beans, also on the Targhee Sock base.

In addition to the two full skeins, I also picked up four "pigtails," which are mini-skeins. Three are on their regular Sock base and one is the Targhee Sock base.

From the top: 4 Play, Purple Reign, and Slime Time (all on their Sock base).

......and Spider Pig on their Targhee Sock base.

I also may or may not have fallen into the Leading Men Fiber Arts booth. They also had a spot in my little notebook of yarns to try (Amber Lindeman of the Yarn Hoarder Podcast is fully to blame for this one). They are delightful people (so were the ladies over at Oink Pigments, don't get me wrong).

Anyway, I came home with things...

This is their Spotlight base, which is an 80/20 BFL/Nylon blend. The colorway is called The Great Sweater Debate. I'm sure there's a story behind it but I don't know it right now.

I also came home with some mini-skeins from them, both on their Show Stopper base (75/25 Superwash wool/Nylon):

The top colorway is Moonlight and the bottom is London Fog. I bought them for possible contrast cuffs/heels/toes (or maybe just cuffs/toes because the way I do my heels doesn't necessarily lend itself to contrast colors, though I've certainly seen it done). I matched them with the full Spotlight skein but I don't know that they're necessarily going to be paired with them. We'll see. The mini-skeins run about 92 yds each. So, actually, I could get a pair of socks out of the four minis. Maybe. Or not.

I also took a little stop in Little Skein in the Big Wool booth, upon hearing about them on a weekly basis during the Knitmore Girls Podcast.

This is their House Sock base in the You Gotta Give 'Em Hope colorway, which is a Harvey Milk quote. If you're unfamiliar, Harvey Milk was the first openly-gay elected politician in California history (he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors), and was assassinated in San Francisco in 1978. Little Skein in the Big Wool is a San Francisco based company, so it all makes sense.

While Stefanie and I were meandering along, we came across a booth that caught both our eyes because we could see Harry Potter something something in the booth......the booth was the Forbidden Fiber Co. This is a company I am not familiar with, prior to Stitches West. They are also not listed in the Ravelry database (yet), so this yarn was entered as a personal yarn. Whatever. I'll fix it when the time comes.

This is Nargles on their Gluttony Sock base, which is an 80/20 Superwash Merino/Nylon base, 435 yds. These are totally my colors. There were plenty of other ones that thought about coming home with me (and I'm pretty sure at least one skein came home with Stefanie in a different colorway). I may have to get more of these. They have a Harry Potter club that is calling to me...

I also fell into Stunning String Studios again this year. Last year, I came home with five brightly colored sock yarns (230 yds/skein). This year, I came home with some worsted weight, destined to become a sweater for Stormageddon:

These are all on their Legacy Worsted base, which is a Superwash Merino, 215 yds/skein. So, I'm really close to the yardage for the size sweater I'm planning to make.....worst case scenario is that I have to order more yarn. I think it'll be okay, though.

Now, of course, I didn't just buy yarn. There are other things to be had......and I may have had a few other things.....

I'm not going to lie: I do not swear by my Lo-Lo bar. I love my Lo-Lo bars but I do not swear by them. However, I've been using my little travel size ones (the mini ones that are super small) and while I like them, the smell can be overpowering. It's not offensive, just strong. So, I was looking for something milder and came across this one. It came home with me. I was actually tossed between about three of them. I had extra help as I ran into another knitting acquaintance, Jeannie, who worked at my LYS before it closed. Between her and Stefanie, we decided this one needed to come home with me (and Stefanie got her own).

And, of course, no trip to Stitches is complete until I find a project bag or two (or three)...

This one I found in the Never Not Knitting booth. She has them available two ways: a kit for you to sew yourself or one that's already sewn together. I don't sew so I got the completed one. It's a tiny little bag, perfect for my wallet, keys, and phone (and nothing else, really, as it's not that large - though there is a pocket inside). It's not my style but I fell in love.

In addition to that, I also found these:

New Sheeple bags from Erin Lane. They're both Sheeple Quotes from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. One is a sock bag and the one with the see-through section is a viewfinder bag (I think). I think if Slipped Stitch Studios had been at Stitches this year, I would have gone over budget.

So, I managed to stay under budget and I didn't buy too much in a willy-nilly manner. Okay, maybe a little. But I can always make socks with sock yarn :)

I should have two different stash posts today and I'll hopefully be back tomorrow with my Year of Projects update.


  1. Love you, girlfriend. Oink Pigments was so fun. I thought Anna was the owner but it's someone else, yeah? Love Forbidden. I'm probably going to hoard my Vault 713 for awhile. And I have your last vendor stuck in my brain. I may hit them up for some yarn.

  2. Leading Men is going to be at Stitches United...Cannot wait! May go after school on Friday..thinking of taking a selbu mitten class...

  3. Oh you make it so hard to keep up on my cold sheep pledge! I'm heading to Fiber Fest at the end of the month and I've promised to keep the shopping light, but I might not be able to keep that pledge. I love the "you Gotta give them Hope" and "Purple Reign! Plus that first bag is a great shape, I'd go for the finished project also since I have a couple of bags cut and not finished already!