Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Knitting Guild Association Conference

I was up bright and early Saturday morning. And not just so Andy Rooney could get his breakfast and morning shot, either! ToolMan and I went out to our usual Saturday morning breakfast and I got a much needed haircut. Believe me, I needed that haircut; I was having many more "bad hair days" than good ones. I started to feel like these guys look.

Afterward, Toolman dropped me off at the MAX station so I could head off to Portland Convention Center for The Knitting Guild Association Conference on Saturday. I hopped on the train, stuck my PDX KB and Ravelry buttons on my shirt, pulled out my knitting and settled in for the ride. I did overhear some ladies talking about the show, but didn't see another single knitter along the way.

After checking in at the registration desk to get my name tag and goodie bag, I went into the Marketplace so I could case the vendors until classes let out at noon.

While there were a lot of great vendors, it wasn't as large as I expected. All the "usual suspects" were there: Knit Purl, Northwest Wools, Ernst Glass, Village Knitting and Spinning, Crown Mountain Farms, etc.

And some of our very own PDX Knit Bloggers had their booths open. I found Gail holding down the fort for Abstract Fibers. Susan has been holding out on the Wednesday night group; she had fibers and colorways in there that I'd never seen before. Go over to her website and check the "Asia" colorway; it's beautiful!

And directly across from her was Portland's most unique LYS, Yarnia. It must have been hard to explain how Yarnia works; but they did have a video playing on the television showing how you pick out the plies and their machine winds them together for you to make your very own custom, one-of-a=kind, no more like it anywhere yarn.

I tried to keep track of time, but before I knew it, I heard Duffy calling my name! Her class had let out and she tracked me down so we could do lunch together. She had a classmate with her, Sarah, and we hopped on MAX for the short ride back across the river to Old Town/China Town for a dim sum lunch.

We must have been hungry because we practically devoured everything on our table! Fat and happy, we headed back to the Convention Center. They had tables in the concourse reserved for knitters and crocheters and who do I find sitting there when I return? None other than the famous, Magic Judy! I grabbed a glass of iced tea and sat down with her a bit. Cat Bordhi stopped by to say hello (to Judy, not me!) and Chrissy Gardiner came to sit with us while wolfing down her lunch. All too soon, it was time for classes to start again so everyone headed out. My tootsies needed a rest, so Karen kept me company and eventually Kathleen showed up and we hit the vendor floor again.

We stopped by Chrissy's booth; that's Kathleen showing off some Little Feet kits from StitchJones; Kathleen wrote the patterns! Behind Kathleen, in the bins, are some of StitchJones rovings, too. Chrissy has some beautiful, well written patterns on her site; that orange stole is simply gorgeous, it's a shame the picture doesn't show how beautiful the lace pattern is.

As we wandered around, we found more StitchJones yarn! Here's a display full at Naked Sheep's booth.

Then we found our own Dawn Seymour's booth. Dawn had this booth with her sister, who is a weaver. Sis wasn't there, so we fondled her woven bamboo scarves; they are simply luscious! And we laughed over how Dawn can take Silk City Fiber's Bambu 7 and turn it into that simply gorgeous Stormy Sky sweater on the mannequin, while all I got out of it was the Bamboo Sweater From Hell. That's why SHE has a Master Knitter Certificate and I do not.

I loved this brown shawl/ruana that was on the mannequin in front. Right now, the pattern is only written for knitting machine, but Dawn says they are converting it to hand-knitting; I hope it's soon, because I have just the yarn for it in my stash.

I know I said I wasn't going to buy anything at TKGA, that I was saving my money for OFFF. And I meant to do that; really, I did! The last booth we visited was Newton's. Unfortunately, they had a big sign saying, "All Yarns $5, All Cashmere $9, All Happy Feet $10, All Cones 1/2 price." It was a bad sign. (Pun intended.) Also unfortunately, they also had a shill working the tables. Kathleen and I dubbed him "Evil Yarn Boy", to which he responded will just a little too much glee! He was ever so helpful in suggesting combinations of yarns that could be knitted together. Not!

In my weakened state, having my immunity worn down by all the yarn and fiber fumes, I bought three skeins to use for scarves for myself. I never knit for myself, but doggone these are mine! All mine, I say! Really, I wouldn't have bought these if Kathleen had been able to resist; but once she gave it, it was no use. So, I'm blaming this purchase on her.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


  1. Great pics Bobbie! Sorry I missed you all yesterday; I was at the dyepots. Just went to the convention center this afternoon at tear-down time to pick up my stuff from Chrissy's booth.

    Hopefully some of my sock yarn at the Naked Sheep booth sold. I came home with almost everything I brought to Gardiner Yarn Works booth! (sniff) Apparently people wanted sock and lace weight, not worsteds. I'm trying not to be depressed.

  2. I say we blame the Evil Yarn Boy since he kept putting different skeins in front of us just about every two minutes!

    Btw, the green chenille/rayon blend are looking mighty nice together.

  3. Bobbie -- You bought yarn? What happened to "I will only knit from yarn I spin once my stash is gone?" Oh... I get it... you didn't say where exactly that line is drawn...

    Sharon -- I know at least one person who left with Stitchjones yarn from Naked Sheep. Don't be depressed. Keep dying! ;)


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