Well, I was a very bad blogger and completely forgot to bring out the camera yesterday (sorry, Ellen!). I may have said before that I’m not much of a crowds person, and so I have a tendency to just forget important things like pictures in busy settings. I was so distracted by the yarn, and the knitters, and the knitted garments that I just forgot to stop and document. Maybe I should bring Branden next time. He’s a much better documenter; I tend to save things to my mind’s eye instead.

Cat’s class was a lot of fun. She’s a very funny, creative person, and it was great to be able to meet her. There were many beginning knitters in the class, so we didn’t get to as many advanced topics as I’d hoped, but we talked a little about incorporating stitch patterns and general sock design. She has some fun new things coming out in her next book, too. People that push the envelope are just interesting to be around.

Sivia Harding was on hand in the class to help with questions, so I snagged her for a few minutes during a lull and asked about shaping lace. I’ve been dying to see a class or a book on this for quite a while now, and it sounds like she’s working on both! I can’t wait for them to be available!

I headed over to the market during lunch break, and ran into Syne Mitchell of Weavezine and Weavecast. She was doing a weaving demo, and let me throw a few picks on her loom, as well as giving me some good pointers on technique.

There were knitters everywhere. It was easy to tell, because the knitted garments were the kind that only knitters wear. Intricate lace, fine gauge cables, incredible colorwork. I saw at least 3 Bohus sweaters, and 2 Kaunis, as well as a few Starmore patterns. And lace. A lot of lace. It was everywhere, and it was beautiful.

The market was mid-sized, with probably 20 or so vendors. Blue Moon Fiber Arts was there, and it was so nice to run my hands through their open skeins. And oh, the colors! I have to avoid their website in order to resist stash enhancement, and it was even harder in person. I had up to three sweaters planned throughout the course of the day, just from their booth. And then I considered how many sweaters I have in queque, and picked up some Socks that Rock in Tlingit instead:

Another vendor (I forget who) had dyed Tencel for spinning. It was a beautiful gun metal grey, and the fiber is so shiny that it looked like liquid metal. Beautiful.

Skacel was there, with all their addi lace needles on display, and some really beautiful yarns. They also had beautiful spindles, and I took care to avoid getting too close, lest I take one home with me.

One vendor had a really nice selection of glass needles. I was tempted, but I passed. They were beautiful, but I think I’d be afraid to use them. One of the women in my class had a set of KnitPicks harmony needles, and I think I’m going to get a set of their dpns. I’ve been thinking about it for quite a while now, but I prefer to see something in person before buying. They’re beautiful needles, and so smooth! I’m looking forward to trying a pair.

Kakishibui was selling scarves dyed with Kakishibui, extracted from a Japanese citrus, I believe. It’s a cool dye, because it changes color with time and light exposure, darkening and shifting throughout the garment lifetime. It’s a pretty ochre color, with a range that stretches from pale yellow all the way into the darker browns.

I also found my new favorite sweater yarns. Both Black Water Abbey Yarns and Philosopher’s Wool sold really nice, hard wools. I love merino, but when I want a sweater that will wear like iron for a lifetime, these are the wools that I will buy. It’s difficult to find hard wools in yarn shops; I guess they’re not all that popular. But these knit up beautifully, and they are good solid yarns that will last forever. And, to someone that likes to wear sweaters for 8 or more years, that’s a property you can’t pass up. Marilyn (Abbey yarns) will send you a full color card for free, too, so you can get a feel for the yarns and plan your design before buying. I talked to Eugene and Ann (the philosophers of Philosopher’s Wools) for over an hour during the market, and we also sat together at dinner. They are truly delightful people, and I will be happy to buy from them anytime. It’s nice to know that you’re supporting a business that is fair to the farmers, too.

I fell in love with Tencel at Just our Yarn. They had absolutely beautiful lace, made from a cobwebby tencel yarn. It shines beautifully, and looks wonderful with seed beads. I’ve been wanting to try some beading, so I bought a skein (1000 yards!).

Elsbeth Lavold gave a talk during dinner, on her exploration of Viking symbols in knitting. She has done some incredible work, both cultural and knit-related. I should have taken notes so that I could remember every last detail, but I didn’t think of it until afterwards. She is another wonderful person, and a really inspiring designer.

Elsbeth has an exhibit over in the Ballard Nordic Heritage Museum, which I must go and check out (we drive past it to go to the Farmer’s Market every week). They have a Nordic Knitting conference in March that I am thinking about attending, but we’ll have to see how the writing is going at that point. It might be another good carrot. (I might turn into a rabbit at this rate, if I’m not careful!)

Dinner was also really nice; it was kind of strange to see people like Stephanie Pearl McPhee just sitting at a table chatting, and to have such a concentration of great teachers and crafters in one room together. I would have liked to stay later, but it was a long drive home, and I was pretty worn out. Next time I might consider getting a hotel room, and doing two days rather than one.

In all, it was a fun day, and I’m glad I went. I suppose now the question is whether I’ll make it back for next time!