stitches south

Once again, I developed terrible camnesia during Stitches. So many great sweaters walking around, so many happy faces, and the camera was stuck in my hotel room for too much of the time.

But there were fantastic Fair Isle knitters on Friday! (How alliterative):

And these were just the few I could grab some shaky snaps of before they packed their stuff up! We had 24 completely different projects walk out of class that day. I think this is my favorite part of this workshop: seeing all the different possible combinations knitters can make out of the same pattern instructions and the same chart. Students bring the beginnings of the hat or bag on the needles, having cast on and worked the first few rounds with a dark colored wool of their choice. In class, they choose a set of 3 contrast colors which I have pre-assembled in a wee baggie, plus a 'pop' contrast color of their choice. This time, I brought a pretty wild array of 'pops,' including an acid green that I thought for sure would come right back home with me. No dice: these Southern knitters ain't no shrinking violets! They were all over the acid green, which shows up in several of the above photos.

When we get to walk around and see what we've all done during the day, it's a great process of discovery. From similar elements, very different projects end up walking out the door - and each one is a great expression of the knitter who made it.

But that wasn't the only suprise the South had in store for us!
Check out the knitted and felted flower centerpieces that awaited us on the tables at the Student Banquet on Saturday:

Fully 4 or 5 feet tall, on great thick stems, they surveyed the ballroom with all the aplomb of their botanical counterparts.

Each one was designed by an individual or team from the Atlanta Knitters' Guild. And they are 'anatomically correct,' down to the stamens and pistils appropriate for each species!

And best of all, they get to go on tour as ambassadors of knitting around the country! XRX, the publishers of Knitter's magazine and the folks who put on these crazy shows, are packing them up and taking them to Stitches Midwest in August, Stitches East in November, and Stitches West next year in February. I hope some of you get to see them up close - they are amazing. [The base of each is a weighted bowl, with little green yarn 'grass,' and little balls of coordinating yarn like pollen.]

What a great show and a lovely venue. And I even got to clap eyes on Jane P and her cycling husband Steve, who were on the Vogue Canada tour with me. That, and drinkies with my BFF Fiona Ellis, made up for the rigors of modern travel.



Of course, when I got home...
I discovered the floor had been yanked out from underneath me.