STITCHES East 2014

Another STITCHES East has come and gone – seems like only yesterday I got my laundry done after MidWest. Maybe it’s because so much has happened since then that it feels like yesterday: Small Man started middle school and is now riding the bus there on his own (!); U12 soccer season is in full swing so there go the weekends; I’ve been trying to exercise regularly because a) it makes me more productive and b) I plan to live FOREVER; and of course there’s been a bit of editing, designing and new class development. And I’ve finally made progress on getting my old See Jane Knit patterns laid out and ready for upload and sale on Ravelry. More news on that soon…

Busy-ness has a way of distracting one from watching time pass, I guess.

The Highlights

Bear's Smokehouse
Kansas City style BBQ at Bear’s Smokehouse on Arch Street

Having grown up a few hours away down I-91/the parkway and driven back and forth over the Charter Oak bridge to college in Worcester, it’s been interesting coming to Hartford for STITCHES. The city has changed a lot over the last few years, and seems to be doing really well—at least as measured by the number of new restaurants walking distance from the Convention Center. Arch Street Tavern is a perennial favorite, and now Bear’s Smokehouse next door has been added to the list. Mmm…

STITCHES East I Love Yarn Day photo
STITCHES folks with the Hartford Convention Center staff celebrating I Love Yarn Day

I Love Yarn Day (Friday, Oct. 10) coincided with STITCHES East. Many attendees were in class when the Hartford Courant stopped by to take the photo at right, but a few of us teachers, vendors and XRX/STITCHES staff were around to see (and taste!) the ginormous cake made in honor of it.

Silk skirt from Darn Good Yarn
Silk skirt purchase from Darn Good Yarn

Shuttling between classes and various other commitments, I didn’t get as much time to spend on the Market floor as I usually do. But fellow Market Session teacher Kellie Nuss came up with a new class idea as she browsed the Darn Good Yarn booth. Nicole and the Darn Good yarn team have some fantastic products for knitting, crocheting, crafting and wearing, AND they do good in the world. Their products are made from recycled materials, keeping them out of landfill and turning them into things of beauty instead, and they employ women in India and Nepal seeking to provide for their families. How awesome is that???

If you know about my immediate prior work life with Akvo, you know why their mission strikes a chord with me. Darn Good Yarn is participating in Dream Big America this week, a site which gives entrepreneurs a voice (and audience) for their ideas. If you have a few minutes, head there and listen to what she has to say; it may change the way you think about your yarn purchases.


Students in my Thursday Cowl-o-rama! class got to spend their 3 class hours in one of the Convention Center boardrooms overlooking the Market floor. How fun to see it go from bare to beautiful while we discussed the details of yarn, shape, and stitch pattern! Having our own private bathroom didn’t hurt either.

We’ve brought back a new, improved version of the Market Session sample board in order to better communicate to students what these 1-hour classes have to offer. The board sits outside the floor, in the general region of the ticket booth/ registration desk/ front doors. For those of you coming to West, keep your eyes open for it—there may be a few new features to Market Sessions for you to check out!

KLITCH class samples
KLITCH class samples

15 students spent their Sunday afternoon with me, working Through, On & Around their knits. They made it through all 6 techniques, and took what they learned to some creative new places. It’s always a treat to see the variations this class inspires! And class, you have inspired me in return: thank you, all!


Thanks to all of you who spent time with me at STITCHES East, for that matter. Don’t forget to take your 10K Students card with you next time, and check out what’s going on over there at the website now and again. Even if you haven’t yet taken a class from one of us (Gwen, Kellie, Sarah or me ;) you can still sign up for the newsletter (discover our top 10 knitting books!).

Back to work on those SJK patterns now…!