|Jess Forbes /|
Beautiful Uruguayan yarn
I am my wife's regular companion at Stitches West; we enjoy making a weekend of it. Although husbands and boyfriends make up a very small percentage of the ever-growing yarn and fiber crowd at Stitches West, I attend willingly and feel uninhibited, totally at ease.
|Blue Moon Fiber Arts /|
Many people are surprised to learn that I can converse decently in the language of knitters. I know what a "skein" is; know the difference between tweed and alpaca yarn; and understand the importance of matching "dye lots". I try to stay current by reading a variety of knitting blogs and perusing my wife's knitting magazines. Photographing all of her finished projects for Ravelry has given me great street cred with knitters, too.
|Cheryl Oberle /|
A colorful, knitter-friendly
Also, there's my friends from A Verb For Keeping Warm ~ Kristine Vejar and Adrienne Rodriguez ~ who've grown their naturally dyed fiber and yarn website into a warm and spacious brick-and-mortar, which has become a haven for knitters and fiber artists close to home in Oakland. Then there's Michael Wade, part of the AVFKW family, who is creator and host of "Fiber Beat," a podcast about knitting.
|Sacred Laughter /|
Original glasswork art
by Robin Senour
|Michael Wade /|
"Fiber Beat" podcast
creator and host
While looking at some beautifully designed Jean Frost sweaters adorning the Knitter's Magazine booth near the front entrance to the Marketplace Hall, I recognized Rick Mondragon, the magazine's editor. I asked him about the future of Stitches West and he smiled excitedly, telling me that it's become the biggest of the four regional Stitches (the others are Stitches South in Atlanta; Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, Ill.; and Stitches East in Hartford).
"We sold out the floor this year," Mondragon told me, adding that Santa Clara is signed to be host site for Stitches West through at least 2014.
We look forward to returning to Stitches West next year and the year after that ~ and the year after that.
Here are some of the visual highlights from my visit to Stitches West 2011:
|Jean Frost-designed sweater as featured in|
|Socks with style / Colorful socks designed by Cookie A.|
|My brush with greatness / Michael and Ali MacGraw.|
|Mary-Heather Cogar / designer, models her|
Xeriscape scarf from Rainy Day Goods at the
Ravelry.com meet up in the Marketplace.
|Kira K Designs / Original hats, scarves and gloves|
by Kira Dulaney, Oakland, Calif.
|Yarn Pop / Bright Flowers project tote.|
|Visiting the A Verb For Keeping Warm booth,|
which enjoyed great foot traffic and featured
colorful naturally dyed fiber and yarn created by
|Colorful, hand-painted yarn sweaters from|
The Sanguine Gryphon.
|"Fiber Beat" podcast creator and host Michael Wade greets visitors|
at the A Verb For Keeping Warm booth.
All photographs by Michael Dickens, copyright 2011. All rights reserved.