Tag Archive | KITHKC

Knitting in the Heartland, Part 2

I have not been a student for many years. Like, a lot. More than…ten. Maybe more than 15. So when I signed up for Franklin Habit’s Photographing Your Fiber class at Knitting in the Heartland, I was excited but also a little nervous. And with it being photography, something I’ve played around with but never officially studied, I was afraid I’d come across as the newbie I am. I didn’t know what to expect as I packed up my camera, manual, and sample projects. Would I be expected to take photos for his review?? And if so, would they suck?

Well, it turns out that all my worries were for naught. The class was wonderful, Franklin was delightful, and I learned SO MUCH. I even learned that I already knew stuff about photography–important concepts about lighting and composition. It’s more the technical side of it where I need the help, and that’s where this class helped the most. It was lecture-style, not enough time for hands-on work, but I kept the camera in front of me so that I could scroll through the menu and find all the settings as he explained them, and pulled out the manual during the short break to find out more. I was so excited to learn about the White Balance setting and aperture and shutter speeds and how all those things actually affect the photos! Part two of the 3-hour class touched on less technical things like props, tools, and models. He talked a lot about getting creative with what you’ve got on hand rather than buying expensive tools, since that takes money you could be spending on yarn. My favorite bit was the light box demonstration. I totally need to build my own now.

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Really, it was the perfect beginning photography course for me. It taught me just enough to start playing with my camera more, to experiment with all the different settings and just have fun with it. And then later on down the road, when I feel comfortable with those things, I can look into a next level course. I enjoyed it, and him, so much that when the class was over, I dashed to the vendor fair and grabbed a copy of his book, “It Itches”, so that I could have him sign it for me, which he did graciously.

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And then I accidentally stopped at another booth that was selling wrist rulers, because the black one I have is the tiniest bit too small and also it’s hard to read the black. Therefore I really needed the 17″ gray version. At least I didn’t buy more yarn!

 

Knitting in the Heartland

This weekend is Knitting in the Heartland, a weekend-long conference that happens every other year and is put on by the Sunflower Knitters’ Guilt. They usually have a big-name keynote speaker who also gives classes. This year they have two big instructors, Edie Eckman and Franklin Habit, and Franklin was the Keynote speaker. I had so much fun the last time around that I signed up immediately, and last night the Knitting SIL and I joined my work knitting buddy and her friends for the Keynote. Franklin did not disappoint!

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His speech centered on five important women in his life, and the shawls he designed in their honor, and his speech was funny, often in very dry way, but also touching and thought-provoking. It made me think about the people who have inspired my creative life, and whether I can be that person for someone else. I really enjoyed listening to him, but I also loved just being in a big room full of knitters! You can’t go wrong with a room full of knitters, am I right? You look around and see all these gorgeous handknit items and there’s no wondering if they made it themselves: you know they did! And we could knit while he talked and nobody was judging us or thinking we were being disrespectful or not paying attention because they all KNOW. They know that we knitters are so clever that we can use our hands and our ears and our brains all at the same time. Whew. Yeah. Good times. And that was just the appetizer, because honestly, as much as I loved Franklin’s talk, the vendor fair was the main course for me.

I beelined for Show Me Yarns immediately. I’d seen a couple of special show-only items on Instagram that I really wanted, and I’m proud to say I was the first one to their booth, where I immediately snatched up a gorgeous matching set of project bag and sock yarn, made especially for KITH. This booth was my favorite two years ago, and my favorite this year too. They had the yarns I wanted the most, gorgeous colors and the self-striping sock yarn that is my obsession right now. And they’re such delightful women too, so funny and happy to joke around and have a great time with their customers. I was more than happy to give them the bulk of my yarn money last night. Their Etsy shop is on a break right now, but you should totally check back with them. I love them. That’s all.

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Then I grabbed more yarn, and basically didn’t stop for about an hour. It was terrible, or do I mean wonderful? Yeah. Both. Mostly wonderful. And I saw fun fun stuff. Nerd Girls Yarns was awesome, as always. Not just the yarns, but her displays too.

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Isn’t that Captain America shield so cool?? And the Wonder Woman shawl is the crochet version, which I hadn’t seen in person. I still like my knit version better, but the crochet version was beautiful too, very drapey.

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And I saw these sock hangers, which I thought were SO COOL!! I mean, look at them! You could totally hang your socks in your closet! If I didn’t have such a small closet, I would be all over this idea. As it is, my socks will have to stay in a drawer.

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Whew, it was such a fun night. I just get such a high from being around so many neat people who understand why knitting is so important, people who love it as much as I do.

What? You want to see the yarn? Well. Okay. I mean, I’m not going to do individual photos because that would be too many and too long and I’m almost embarrassed as it is to do a group shot of it all. But since you insist, here you go.

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I KNOW. It’s a lot. And it’s all seriously gorgeous. Most of it (top row) is from Show Me Yarns. The purple/gray and blue/purple are from Nerd Girl Yarns, and the orange/pink/green and purple project bag are from Supernatural Yarns.

And now I just want to wind yarn and knit all day long and all day tomorrow and all day for the rest of forever. That’s not unreasonable, is it?

To Market: All the Yarn

Okay, are you ready for this? Maybe you are. Maybe you’ve been to markets at knitting events before. But this was my first, so I was a bit overwhelmed. Walking into the room, I saw yarn everywhere. Knitters were swarming certain booths, so I avoided those. Nerd Girl Yarns was the first booth I saw, but it was packed. I just walked for a while, absorbing and touching and admiring. The yarns were all gorgeous, hanging in long hanks or piled in neat skeins. Plus there was fiber for spinning (is that called roving? I’m not up on all my fiber vocabulary yet.) and there were project bags galore. There were shawl pins and tool kits and a few stitch markers, and one booth had a long table of books too. It was just SO MUCH.

Going into it, I’d thought I’d just buy a project bag, maybe stitch markers. I really didn’t think I’d buy yarn, or if I did, it would just be one skein. I know, I know. Are you done laughing now? I’m telling you, I didn’t know what I was getting into! The first time I got in trouble was at a fantastic booth called Supernatural Yarns. They had a long table with piles of project bags in all sorts of nerdy fabrics, like Doctor Who and Harry Potter and superheroes. I liked the Harry Potter ones; they were pretty tempting. But I was really on the lookout for Wonder Woman. Lo and behold, guess what I found: IMG_5674I admired her yarns too, which were gorgeous colors with fun pop culture names like Voldemort and Elsa and You Go, Glen Coco. IMG_5658All the pretties! All the happy knitters!IMG_5659But it was still early in the game, so I resisted. I needed to see what else was out there.

Around and around I went, and there was so much yarn calling my name. One booth had piles of bright primary-color skeins, deep reds and blues and vivid yellows and oranges, but the crowd at that table was so thick I couldn’t get close. I admired other project bags, touched more yarn, tried to make some sense out of it all. A couple of yarn stores were there, but I really wanted to support the indie dyers. By this point, I knew I’d be buying yarn, and I knew I wanted some Nerd Girl yarn, so I circled back to her booth. IMG_5660The crowd had thinned, thank goodness. I poked around and knew I’d found a winner when I saw this blue/white/gold skein named Take the Crown. A souvenir both of the event AND my Royals winning the World Series last year! Perfect! IMG_5667Wandering around more, I found myself going back to the TreasureGoddess Yarn booth a second time. She had a ton of pretty yarns, but I couldn’t get this one out of my mind. It had to go home with me too. It’s called Avast, Ye Wildcats, which I think has something to do with some Kansas university, but I don’t care about that. It’s purple, gorgeous purple.IMG_5670That was all I needed. That was plenty. One bag and two skeins? Sure, that was enough. But I couldn’t make myself leave. I kept circling the market, and realized I was still thinking about another project bag I’d spotted at Supernatural Yarns. It had classic Disney villains on it and was dark and purply. I found myself in that strange fugue that probably happens to most knitters in times like this: “Oh yes you NEED that it’s okay it’s a souvenir it’s a special event go ahead it’s all right just BUY IT.” And I had no one to talk me out of any of it! So yes, I bought the darn bag. IMG_5672As if that weren’t enough, here’s the other side: IMG_5671I mean, come ON! Perfect, right? Right. Sigh. Somehow, en route to pay for this, I ended up with another skein of yarn in my hand. IMG_5668It’s merino DK called Don’t Call Me Nymphadora! Love it. Love the colors, love the name, love the feel.

After that, I had to be done, right? I’d done more damage than I thought I would, definitely more than I should have done. But on my way out, I had to go by that one booth, that one with the rainbow skeins and thick crowd. And wouldn’t you know it, the crowd had thinned at that booth too. This was Show Me YarnIMG_5657Soon, even these people left, and it was just me petting all the yarns, the pretty pretty yarns. IMG_5661I wanted the pink, and the green. I liked the rainbows, but they were sock yarns. There was a lovely purple I was eyeing, but I kept coming back to this red, a color way called Purdy. Then somehow I was caressing a black and white skein called Elephant Rocks, and man, these girls were good. “Oh, those look gorgeous together!” they said. (They did.) “They’d make this gorgeous hat, let me show you the sample!” (Hat? My ears perked up. I do love hats. And having a reason to buy the yarn? I love that too.) They couldn’t find the sample but showed me the pattern on Ravelry, and it was indeed something I think I would like making. While they were writing up the sale, I found myself playing with the purple again, and one of the girls pointed out a cowl/mitten set on display, said I’d get one of the patterns for free with the purchase of the yarn. Gosh darn it. I asked if I could call her a bad name, and she said yes, if I bought the yarn. I bought the yarn. (But no, I didn’t call her a bad name…out loud. Seriously, all three ladies at that booth were marvelous. I had a great time chatting and joking with them.) So there I was, adding three more skeins to my KITH shopping bag. IMG_5666Sighhhh. Can you blame me? I was alone and defenseless.

The next day I made zipper pulls for my new project bags. IMG_5677IMG_5678And I wound two skeins of yarn. Today is opening day for the Royals, so in their honor, the Take The Crown yarn was the first to be cast on. IMG_5682I’m using my favorite cowl pattern, River Deep Mountain High, and it will be for me.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go figure out which child I need to sell to pay for all this yarn!