Stitches Midwest was a blast!
 Loads of vendors, great classes, a swanky hotel with orchids in the lobby and an escalator….the best part was meeting our Tech Editor, Ada, for the first time. We've been working together for nearly two years on opposite sides of the country and never got to have an in-person conversation before! She was just as sweet, generous and intelligent as our work relationship led me to expect.

The Friday night Pajama Party with XRX and Kollage folks was so much fun, with The Sexy Knitter and Kollage's Mark cracking us up every couple of minutes. Franklin wearing his NightCap was worth the trip to Chicago right there. Wish I'd gotten a pic for you. Suffice to say, no one combines cute and menacing like Franklin.

Saturday, Gayle Roehm taught a brilliant class on Japanese stitch patterns, with each swatch and chart a little more out-there than the last. You'll be knitting along, and then suddenly dip into the row before, bring out five new stitches, knit them into a paisley, and fasten them over three stitches to the right and five rows up. Or then you'll wrap twice and knit through the back loop on the next row to create two stitches. Then you have to translate knits and purls every row, which was sometimes more brain-twisting than the exotic stitches.  It was so much fun as was everyone in the class (which included Kathy Zimmerman. I played it cool but secretly wanted to bow down before her and ask her to sign my ball of yarn).

When I returned home, I cast on a cowl as a class sampler, just for the fun of working some of the patterns again.

August stitches midwest

Oh, yes, that's Malabrigo worsted I picked up from WEBS' booth. Such pretty colors they had…

August stitches yarn 

Speaking of which, the rumors of a new Malabrigo proved true–it's a worsted-weight superwash called Rios! I picked up some in Carrot. It's a little more twisty than the Worsted, so hopefully will be hardier, but still very soft.

The peanut butter in the sandwich above is madelinetosh sock. They had new madelinetosh DK, but I just wanted the Sock. Yum.

August stitches malabrigo

Malabrigo was giving out samples. Also yum. And, of course, I had to visit Jennie the Potter, Creatively Dyed, Debra's Garden and other KC friends.

 Ada and I basically hung out and partied at the Kollage sponsor booth, with the lovely Erica, designer Irishgirlieknits, and Mark, who was knitting away furiously on a hexagon sock. Mostly we simply could not tear ourselves away from the square needles. I had experienced the wonder of the Square last year, but it was new for Ada, who just couldn't believe how smooth and easy they made the knitting.

August stitches Kollage

And guess what?! Erica gifted us a skein of their new Sock-a-licious yarn and IrishGirlie's Bellingrath Shawl and Socks pattern to give away! 

So please leave a comment on something Kollage-related: which are your fave Kollage yarnsPatterns? Have you tried the square needles? As always, find the little "sign in with typepad" link at the bottom of the comments, or you can shoot me a Ravelry message and we'll count that too: jaaladay on Ravelry.

We'll run this contest through Thursday, and then we've got more to give away, leading up to a big one the first week of September. Good luck!


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