Stitches West was my first knitting convention. I'd been to conventions before, but they were for my job as an Instructional Designer. At those I usually dilly-dally around the EXPOs in search of booths that give out Dove chocolates and high-tail it out of there when someone tried to engage.
This experience was the exact opposite. For a yarnophile, the market was bliss. There was so much to squish and nuzzle. I'd twist a gorgeous skein in the light to bring out the undertones: seeing the blues in a grey, or the golds in an orange.
My imagination was going haywire. I couldn't stop thinking of the possibilities; I'd hold two skeins next to one another and plan a brioche poncho, but then I'd pull over a skein of a cashmere blend and slightly drool thinking about a fisherman's rib pullover.
I learned a lot. I chatted with the incredible knitwear designer Elizabeth Doherty about Top Down knitting, a concept I was not familiar with. I bought three of her patterns, and although I'm intimidated TO THE MAX with how complex one of her cabled sweaters looked (16 pages in size 10 font?!) I'm looking forward to the challenge.
It's humbling to go to an event like this. Just when I think I know everything, someone will guffaw "I can't believe she didn't alternate skeins." After a quick google-search, I'll realize I've been knitting slightly striped sweaters my whole life. (I'll do a post about this concept later once I've tested it more.)
So much to learn. So much to knit.
Here are the yarns I got for two different sweaters: madelinetosh Longrider DK in Toner Cartridge (top) and magpie Swanky DK in Alloy (bottom). I spent two hours winding these up while watching the Oscars last night. My forearm is pretty sore.
I'm making gauge swatches for two different patterns tonight (apparently I must swatch) and will update with the progress.
For now, just humbled, happy, and inspired.