A trip out of our frigid valley and into a warmer climate where I can relax outside and enjoy a glass of icy lemonade has made the National Needlearts Association Winter Trade Show a high point of my year. This year, Mariana and I traveled to Long Beach, California to indulge in yummy yarn, connect and re-connect with fibery friends, and learn all we could about new-to-us techniques and fun ways to engage all of you!
As always, I was amazed by the change as I traveled from Hayden to Los Angeles.
We stayed with Mariana’s parents in Culver City, a little over a half-hour from the convention center. They are lovely folks, and I’ve never regretted my choice to take French over Spanish more in my life. The primary language spoken in their home is Spanish, and I found myself just relaxing into the lyrical rhythm of the conversation – even when I had no idea of the subject. Their polite and welcomed translations cemented my resolution to begin my Spanish language education this year!
The first day of the convention, we went early to Long Beach and relaxed outside, knitted and enjoyed the scenery on the harbor by the convention center.
Later that day, we registered and went to our first classes. Mine was with Cat Bordhi, and she taught us seven super skills to instantly improve our knitting. As we knitted away and lost our focus, we began to chat with our neighbors (as knitters have been known to do). Instead of raising her voice, Cat rang a little bell. The bell was a ram’s bell, and was given to her by Bethany Aurin, a Steamboat local and friend of Sew Steamboat!
After class, we went to dinner and ran into yet another knitter, a sweet waitress at PF Changs who never even dreamed there could be a knitting conference. We sent her home, thrilled and inspired to knit and find other knitters at a local yarn shop.
The next day, I learned ten empowering edges from Chris Bylsma and then enjoyed a pleasant couple of hours learning about quick small knits to enjoy with new friends with Angela Davis.
Don’t you love them? Aren’t they great? Who wants to join me in making a whole flock for the tree outside the door of the shop? I can’t wait! YARNBOMB!
I had to leave the class a bit early to join Mariana in line for Sample It, an hour of almost crazed shopping. This year, I found amazing items I’ve been wanting to check out like the new ChiaoGoo Twist Red Lace Needles. Watch out for my review!
The final day at the show, I had one more class with Melissa Leapman (Stashbuster Magic – we’ll be making our own stashbuster magic later this year) and then we hit the floor of the show! Rows and rows of vendors greeted us, and we split up to cover the whole thing. We chatted with vendors, played with yarn, and checked out the newest needles and books. A high point for me was receiving a pair of the new Addi Sock Rockets. Mariana is getting some in, and my first impression is that if you like knitting socks, you should get a pair. I’ll be doing a more in-depth review later this month after I’ve used them for more than thirty seconds.
One of the things I really noticed this year was, despite the fact that everyone was in competition, the feeling on the floor was almost celebratory. People were genuinely smiling and having a good time, whether they were working the booths or walking the floor. I think it’s the yarn fumes. They permeate everything and just make life better.
The Knitting Week in Steamboat
Ask the Pros – Thursday, 4-6pm – Sew Steamboat: Now you can ask a pro the next time you have a “how do I” sewing, quilting, knitting or crocheting questions. The pros, Gayle and I, are available to assist you with whatever projects you are working on, including class projects (at no charge). Go ahead, ask a pro! Cost is $15 (Free for students with questions about a class project). Come on down and get those questions answered!
Sit ‘n Stitch – Friday, 4-6pm – Sew Steamboat: Mariana and Gayle create a fabulous atmosphere for conversing, learning and needlework of all sorts, so come on down and join us!
Yarn It! – Saturday, 10am-12n – Mountain Brew: Come on down to Mountain Brew for a yummy beverage and tasty treat while knitting and chatting! ***Quick note – I will finally be here this Saturday! It’s my birthday weekend, so come help me celebrate!
Knitting at the College – Monday, 1-3pm – Bristol Hall 2nd Floor Lounge at CMC: Join these fun folks to knit and laugh and have a good ol’ time. I swear, I’m going to make it someday….
Crochet for Kids – Monday, 4-5pm – Sew Steamboat: Get hooked on crochet! Play with your friends while learning this amazing craft and creating cute projects. We’re going to have some fun! This is a 7 week class. Cost is $85 for the series. Call Sew Steamboat at 879-3222 for more information and to make a reservation for your favorite young friend.
Learn to Knit – Monday, 5-7pm – Sew Steamboat: Learn how to knit, purl, cast on, bind off, increase and decrease – all the tools necessary to make a pair of fingerless mitts and a hat! Week 1 of 3. Cost is $75. Call Sew Steamboat at 879-3222 for more information and to make a reservation.
The Metamorph – Tuesday, 5-8pm – Sew Steamboat: With this brand new pattern, we’ll knit up an easy and incredibly flexible cowl! With a simple row of buttons, this cowl transforms itself from a dramatic hood into a moebius. Along the way, we’ll learn two-color brioche knitting, keyhole buttonholes, and Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off. Week 1 of 2. Cost is $75. Call Sew Steamboat at 879-3222 for more information and to make a reservation.
Knitting Group – Tuesday 6pm – Yampa Public Library, 310 Main St., Yampa: All levels are welcome. Bring yarn and knitting needles. For more information call 970-638-4654.
The Metamorph class starts next Tuesday, and I couldn’t be more excited! This fun cowl flexibly swirls around your neck and warms you up with its thick layers of brioche knitting.
Also, I’ll be working at Sew Steamboat on Wednesday afternoons through March, so if you want, come on down and say hi or knit with me for a bit! I’d love to see you!