Monday, January 15, 2007

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

Even though it seems like I was gone for about a week, I managed to get home less than 48 hours after I left. I snagged a seat on an evening flight last night which got me home around midnight. Going through security at the San Diego airport, I ran into Sally, owner of my LYS, Close Knit. I asked her what she thought about the show, and she regaled me with tales of wonderful yarns from small companies that I had totally missed (probably because they were in small booths and I wanted to stay out of the way), including a bizarro possum yarn from New Zealand. Apparently the possums there are an introduced species and aren't anything like the nasty possums we have here (I wouldn't be to excited about knitting from Oregon possums...). The yarn looks normal in the skein, but when you knit with it, you get a really cool halo effect.

I asked her how business has been, and she said they had a great fall and winter. I was happy, since I often worry that there are more shops in Portland than can be sustained. She said that a lot of the yarn companies are complaining about sales being down, and people keep talking about the knitting "boom" being over, but what struck me when I was walking around the show floor was how many different yarn companies were there. Of course there are all the big names, but there were tons of small dyers and spinners as well. The big guys are probably complaining because there is now so much choice, they don't have the market cornered like they used to. The downside of the knitting boom is that everyone wants a piece of the action. The market is getting more and more flooded with products, and it's going to take more and more ingenuity to stay ahead of the game. For instance, Skacel had some cool felting kits (as in actual felt, not felted knitting) as well as new pointier Addis to compete with the Knit Picks needles. Louet had some hand-dying kits. Everyone is trying to come up with the next fun new thing for people to do.

Since my last several posts have been photoless, I've got pictures of some of the stuff I picked up in the past couple days to try to make up for it. Here are the books I got at the book-signings:

I paged through them last night at my hotel. The Vicki Howell book is mostly stuff from the Knitty Gritty show so I've seen it before. There were a couple neat things, like a reversible-cable baby blanket from Lily Chin. The Annie/Drew book, on the other hand, totally wowed me. I wasn't expecting much, honestly, because the idea of knitting for dogs doesn't quite do it for me. But there are a ton of amazing sweaters for guys in there that I just love. Plus that Drew (aka The Crochet Dude) is kind of a hottie! I'm really glad I got a chance to pick it up, and the price just can't be beat...

Next up is some gorgeous stuff I got from Farmhouse Yarns:

On the left we have Roxanne's Mohair (50% mohair, 50% wool) in the Sugarplums & Butterscotch colorway. Next is the yarn that caught my eye when I first walked by their booth - Cotton Blossom Yarn (85% cotton, 15% rayon) in Dusty Rose. That last lovely hank is Farmhouse Silk Blend (34% silk, 33% cotton, 33% wool) in Harvest. These were three yarns that she needs more patterns for, and I am all too happy to oblige!

I also got some of the new Vicki Howell signature yarn, put out by Southwest Trading Company:

The pink stuff is called Love, and it's bamboo & silk. Yummy! I have to admit that I am not a big fan of SWTC's bamboo yarn - it seems like it's really scratchy compared to, say, Classic Elite or Blue Moon's bamboo yarns. This yarn, however, is like buttah. So soft! The green is Craft, which is organic cotton and milk fiber. This one feels really nice, also, although it is much more of a workhorse-type cotton and isn't going to win any softest yarn competition (don't get me wrong, though - it is very nice).

And here are the lovely little thingies I picked up from the Glampyre Knits booth - stitch markers and fridge magnets:

I feel a little bad that she gave these to me (probably before she knew I was just a designer and not a shopper), so I'll try to make it up to her by telling you all to go buy one of her patterns. And look for her new book, Fitted Knits, which will be coming out at any moment.

Okay, this is the last thing I'm going to say about the show, I promise! I picked up a copy of the March '07 Creative Knitting at the Plymouth booth and got to see my new design in there for the first time. It's the Girl's Wisdom & Happiness Sweater, so if you get CK, look for it (the actual sweater in the photos was ably knit for me by sample knitter extraordinaire Lisa).

Now what do I talk about? It seems like I've been such a lame-o blogger for so long, mainly because the only things I knit are design projects that can't be shown on the blog. Next week I'll be off for another week with the knitterati, at Cat Bordhi's self-publishing retreat. I'm feeling a little bit lame, since I'm supposed to be working on the book that I'm intending to self-publish. I have an outline done, but that's about it. If I end up home early, it's because I got kicked out of class for not doing my homework...

I have also been remiss in not publicly thanking my Harvest Sock Swap Pal Amy for the awesome package she sent me.

There's a cool pumpkin bag, which Sydney went totally nuts for, and it was filled with some Lorna's Laces, some Mielenweit, a couple cute tree ornaments, some gorgeous stitch markers, and one completed Embossed Leaves sock out of Trekking XXL. I've been wanting to do this pattern but never had the time to pick it up (story of my life, eh?). We'll see how long this poor sock languishes before it finds its mate! Amy also included a bag of gummi pumpkins, but the kids and I inhaled them in like five minutes, long before they could've sat for this photo. Thanks again, Amy!

Finally, I'll leave you with a picture of poor Kika, tolerating Sydney's attentions yet again. She's a great cat, if only she'd stop peeing on our comforter!


Blogger lexa said...

I had that problem with my female cat when she was a baby. I had an apartment when I first got her and her brother, and they wouldn't leave the living room for the longest time. I had the box in a corner in that room. I moved it into the hallway around the corner, and she took to peeing on the comforter that I had over the fouton. I moved it back, and she was fine. I gradually moved it about an inch a day til I had it out in the hall. Then they started going through the apartment and sleeping with me in the bedroom. She started peeing on the comforter on the bed. (This was a big pain cuz I had to take the laundry to my mother's place.) I had to get a disposable box for the bedroom because she couldn't be bothered to go up the hall to use the other box. (This was not a large apartment.) As she got bigger she got better, and I was able to get rid (thankfully!) of the bedroom box. Cats can be terribly lazy. If she thinks the box is too far away you may want to get a second one til she gets older.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I totally love SWTC Love, too- I finished a design for them in it (a tank with a ribbony thing around the waist) just before the show. The yarn is to die for!

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad you had a great time! I'm so excited to see the new Creative Knitting, too! People here just don't "get it" when I explain that I knit samples for you. Now I'll have something to show them!


8:05 PM  
Blogger Bagpuss said...

Don't feel about Glampyre, I bought two of her patterns last week, so hopefully that will ease the guilt - she is so cool I would love to meet her. Glad you had a great time.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Ah yes, the kitty pee problem! Been there! Have you had her checked out by the vet? Mine started going in funny places. Once she had a bladder infection. (pretty easy to diagnose that. She was trying to pee every 2 minutes!) Anotehr time it turned out she had congestive heart failure. She felt bad and was trying to tell me!
As a final note, you might want to get an enzymatic cleaner for the comforter. Regular soaps don't always get ALL of the smell out. Kitties have sensitive noses....

7:53 AM  
Anonymous sprite said...

Glad to hera you had such a great time. I was pleased to see you listed in the Knitscene I looked at yesterday at the store. (I have to go back to pick it up after payday!)

11:10 AM  
Blogger Tina in Wonderland said...

I got the March Copy of Creative Knitting in my mailbox this afternoon and I just had to let you know the little cardi is adorable! I love the Chinese characters on the pockets, the whole thing is just beautiful! I wish my girls were still little enough for that pattern but they are 17 & 18. Hmmm, I do have a little 8-year-old niece, though.

6:19 PM  

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