Stitches West was a blast! This was my first year attending. Last year, I read about it on blogs and on Ravelry, and I thought “wow, that sounds like fun, but it also sounds so… insular!” It was not insular. There was knitting. Classes. Knitting. Marketplace. Crochet. Impromptu lessons. Spinning. Products of all kinds and shapes and sizes. There were sudden inspirations, and an endless parade of handknits on display on every attendee there!
Many people advise not to take “too many” classes on your first Stitches, and I only partially agree. I bought the “Almost the Works” package which includes 3 full days of classes, plus I attended all the banquets and fashion shows and did two comic book signing sessions at the Yarn Place’s booth. I was a BUSY girl! However, I am the kind of person who only gets more energized the more I’m around other people, so for me, there was no need to withdraw and enjoy “alone time.” By 11 PM, I was tired and ready to unwind, but since I had been knitting all day, I was not nearly as “wound up” as I could have been.
I also handed out several postcards, and wore 3 different T-shirts and my red “trade show” polo shirt with the HKH logo. The t-shirts included one of the Issue #1 cover, one of the postcard image which you can see here, and one of a special, never-before-seen design that Marc did for our Keep the Fleece sponsorship.
These are the baby socks I knit on Saturday in JC Briar’s class on sock design. I knit one during class and cast on for the second. I finished knitting the second sock during the student fashion show on Saturday night. I have no doubt that the next event I attend, I will go to the student show and skip the “pro” show if I can– the student garments were gorgeous and well-made and so creative, far above and beyond what the designers came up with!
On Sunday, I took a sock architecture class with Cat Bordhi. In class, I sat next to a nice pregnant lady, and gave the pair of baby socks to her for her daughter-in-progress.
I came home after the weekend and immediately frogged a project I had been working on. It was a basic drop-stitch shrug, but I was not loving the way the colors showed up, so I frogged it and used a technique for narrower stripes, which I’d seen put to excellent effect all weekend long. When I finally finish knitting it, I’ll post it to my personal blog, since it doesn’t really have anything to do with comic books and knitting.
The baby socks and Cat’s class only have a passing relationship to Handknit Heroes, in that I’m working on a bonus pattern for adventurous knitters. While I’m committed to publishing beginner patterns in the comic, I also like to knit more challenging stuff, and so there will be more challenging knit patterns available as bonus patterns, put out between issues to keep filling your heart with tiny knitty joy.
Thank You for Your Designs!
I love all the design proposals we’ve received from the many talented folks who have sent us submissions! I really wish I were publishing a 32-page comic book that was all knitting patterns so I could fit them all! I’ll be looking them over this week and replying, but I thank each and every person who submitted a proposal. In advance.
No Local Shop? Order Online!
Online superstore Yarn Market will be carrying Handknit Heroes very soon. If you’re in a yarn desert, isolated from a local source for Handknit Heroes, you can now order it. Our Shop Locator was recently updated with Yarn Market (which is in Ohio) and a few other new additions (like Cornwall Yarn Shop in New York and Sit N Knit in Connecticut) from late last week. Remember, every time we send comics out to a shop, we add it to the shop locator, so check back if you’re not sure where to find a copy!
Other Upcoming Events and Shows
I’ve already announced that we’ll be at TKGA’s show in Portland (Oregon) this May, and we plan to be at Maker Faire in San Francisco. This summer, we’re returning to Portland for the very first ever Sock Summit, in August. It’s a few weeks before my birthday, so I’m really looking forward to the event and meeting all the sock enthusiasts (and sharing some great patterns for leftover sock yarn!)
A quick Shout Out from Clairej.
Niteflite bought a copy and had me sign it at Stitches– thanks!
A friend of mine, DJ Cline, is also a reporter, who attended Stitches. It was his first time at a knitting convention. He was completely blown away.
And from the Unrelated but Cool Department: Barry Humphries, who plays Dame Edna, used to knit during football practice as a child in Australia.