Sunday, November 2, 2014

STITCHES East 2014 ~ Hartford, Connecticut

I was fortunate to be asked back to assist the XRX team at Stitches East, which held in Hartford, Connecticut.

The weather there for the most part was decent. This was the view outside the hotel window.
Cake the Elephant is somewhat of a celebrity.
He has his own Facebook page! I enjoyed
coffee with him a couple of mornings at
the registration desk.

Benjamin Levisay, CEO of XRX
publications, which hosts the
Stitches Events, is also host of
the Fiber Hooligan Podcast. He
allows me to assist with a group in
Ravelry, a page in Facebook
and Twitter. Also the final portion
of each podcast called.
  State of the Hooligan.
Here Cake gives us tips for
upcoming episodes!
This was actually taken at Stitches Midwest in Chicago.
I felt that I got to spend a little bit more time with
the dashing Franklin Habit at Stitches East (short of
sitting alongside and knitting with him, as is my dream)
so I'm including him here. He presented his 'Weldon's
Practical Magic' to the Hartford audience, which I felt
was thoroughly enjoyed by all. 

Jane Slicer-Smith, author of
Swing Swagger Drape,
published by XRX, traveled
to Harford from Australia.
Steve Malcolm, host of the It
Takes Balls to Knit blog,
traveled to Hartford from
Vancouver, BC. He must
be on his knees here, he's so
much taller than me!
Robin drove in from
Schenectady, NY, is a
faithful listener of
Fiber Hooligans and
Yarn Thing with Marly Bird.
She is the FIRST person to
recognize me, I believe, that
I didn't have to identify myself
to and include a bunch of tactless
name dropping.
Anne Berk, is an awesome
teacher and recently published
author, from our old neighborhood
near Portland, OR. She has
developed a method of
intarsia knitting her husband
which is the name of her book!
This is Brooke Nico, who designed the cardigan I'm wearing. If I ever owned a garment that
was 'lucky' it would be this one. I was wearing it the first time I met Benjamin Levisay and
he recognized it as her design from the (then) recent Knitters K100 magazine. She also has
a new book, featuring her genius lace designs. called Lovely Knitted Lace.
There was an opportunity to meet some of the
authors that XRX has published as soon as the
market opened. Here is Elise Duvekot,
Myra Wood and Betsy Hershberg.
At the other end of the same table is Laura
Bryant and Gwen Bortner.

Marly Bird has allowed me to pester her beyond all reason for over a year
 and has let me monitor her Ravelry Group, Facebook Page and Twitter,
 plus her Newsletter. She says I'm helping but sometimes I gotta wonder....
Pure coincidence that she caught me wearing the new Derby from
Buffalo Wool Co (one of the sponsors of her podcast,
Yarn Thing with Marly Bird) and she was wearing a great hat as well!
I LOVE YARN DAY took place on Friday while Stitches East was happening. This picture of the Convention Center Staff
was published in the local paper.
The Convention staff were so involved in the
fun of Stitches, that this sweetheart wore her
own crochet work to greet folks on the last day
of Stitches East 2014. 
Part of all the fun at each Stitches Event is seeing what
Lily Chin's costume is at the Student Banquet and Fashion
Show. At Stitches East 2014, she came as Marie Antoinette.
Complete with guillotine and mortal neck wounds. The
majority of her gown was machine knit, as there was probably
no way to complete this entire ensemble by hand in the
two months since Stitches Midwest in Chicago.

I went with a shopping list for this event. I had to check my bag
so I left lots of room by bringing completed gifts to giveaway,
then filling it with such goodies as Erin Lane Bags, these two are
special editions. The one on the left is a Kristin Omdahl fabric
introduced at Stitches East 2014 and the right is a Marly Bird
bag, created as a collectible for this event. The skein is Kristin's
Bamboo So Fine in the PURPLE that I had to have more of!
I think this is the majority of the accumlation I brought home. The hat from Buffalo Wool Co, mentioned before, and a skein of yarn to make another hat of my own pattern. Books, bags, my skirt from Darn Good yarn and it's yummy bag, probably a new project bag, and the Namaste BYOB I've craved since hearing them on the Fiber Hooligan podcast.

The last day I was there in Hartford included several hours with nothing better to do than be an obnoxious tourist. Some of the ladies I spend a lot of time working alongside came up with a wonderful plan to see the Mark Twain House, not far away from the hotel. So, two pictures I like best from that:
First, we had to pose with Lego Samuel Clemmons.
I did say 'obnoxious tourist, did I not?

This view of the Samuel Clemmons' home is this, with the atrium. (No one is allowed to photograph in side the house.) The veranda that the family was photographed on many times there on the right. From that location the home of Harriet Beecher Stowe is seen although of a bit of a distance, close enough to borrow a cup of sugar but far enough that the children could be children and not disturb the neighbors. There wasn't really time to see Harriet's home, but we did visit the Interpretive Center, where you could purchase souvenir knitting needles or quilting tools. Imagine that! 
I hope you enjoyed this post of my first excursion to Stitches East and Hartford, Connecticut. There was a quote of Mark Twain's that I saw that seemed absolutely true to me at the moment I saw it while I was there, and I think it will be the perfect conclusion to my little picture story.

'Travel is fatal to prejudice.'

Seeing another area and wondering how people function, live, work, enjoy life is always an eye-opening experience as well as hearing different accents in the way people speak. However, in a fun event like Stitches, where everyone is as giddy as you are about the inspiration they are seeing and learning about, we're not so different after all.