So this weekend was the 5th Annual Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival in Mars, PA! It was amazing! This is the first time I've ever attended the festival and I was not disappointed in the very least. Not only did I take some really interesting classes (especially since I am at a adv. beginner knitting level), but I got to meet knitters and crocheters from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York! And best of all - I fondled ALOT of yarn!
I took 4 very interesting classes. I hadn't planned on taking any classes - but then I got there and thought, why not? Saturday, I took the Duplicate Stitch class taught by Ellen Oehlbeck (TKGA Extension Master Knitter) and the Knitted Heirloom Rugs class taught by Rose Ann Hunter. Both were very interesting. I absolutely LOVE the duplicate stitch and will likely use it often now that I know how to do it. (I only got 1/2 of my name completed during the class.)
We didn't really make a project in the Knitted Heirloom Rugs class as much as we made a teeny swatch of knitting with fabric and a swatch of a confetti rug which is knitting with yarn and small strips of fabric (2" long by 1" wide) placed between the knit stitches. Here are my teeny samples:
On Sunday, I took the Illusion Knitting Class taught by Cynthia Spencer of Stitch Your Art Out. We learned how to combine knitting and purling in the same row & then alternating colors by row to create a striped effect when looking head on or a hidden pattern when looking from the side. I could not get a decent picture of the swatch so that you could visualize the hidden pattern. But trust me - it is there.
I also took the Mitres Class taught by Jane Bigelow of A B-ewe-tiful Design. In this class, we learned how to create mitred squares (diamonds) and triangles. We were just beginning the second diamond when the class was ending. It's a very easy technique but can be a tad fiddly and if you knit slowly (as I do) can take a long time to knit - but well worth the beautiful and unusual pattern it creates. You're looking at the Right side of my work. I'm using self-striping sock yarn (Knit Picks Felici) so that I get a great visual effect to showcase the mitres. Since it is worked with a size 6 needle, the yarn is a bit floppy looking right now. It will look more precise after blocking (at least that is what the instructor has promised me! ). I got to meet (and stalk) the awesome Robyn Chachula of Crochet by Faye (and Knit & Crochet Today) Fame! Of course, I could not resist dragging her and a random knitter into the main hotel area for a quick pic. Thanks for being such a sport, Robyn!
(Oh and FYI: Those of you who take my picture - please take it from my right side, at an angle, and higher up or else I look 20 pounds heavier with 6 chins like in this photo! Seriously - could I look any heavier in this picture?! For clues - look to my profile pic on the right which was taken at Thanksgiving. And NO, I have NOT gained 20 pounds since then. It's all in the angle, baby! LOL! Thank you to the knitter who was kind enough to take this picture for me - I appreciate it!)
I HAD to take some pictures of the festival market place. Some of the pics did not come out :( and after taking a few, people thought I was a bit crazy for snapping pics of booths, so I stashed the camera and bought some yarn.
These Angora bunnies from McMahon Fiber and Rabbitry were amazingly calm given that they were surrounded by over 1,000 knitters, crocheters, and fiber artists who were all drooling over their soft, luxurious fur! They were selling these cuties complete with bunny cage for only $75 each! -A TOTAL steal if you are a fan of Angora!
These needles were SO adorable, I just HAD to snap a quick pic! These were at the Soup to Knits booth and the lady at the booth gave me the, 'Why are you taking pictures of my wares?' look, so I only took one picture. I am smitten with the little sheep topped needles in the middle!!
Then I stopped by the Bagsmith booth where they were showcasing these GINORMOUS knitting needles and crochet hooks of the same size! I think the demonstrator said these were a US Size 50! These needles will set you back $50+ a pair! So cool!
I think this next yarn was at the Misty Mountain Farm booth. I just thought this yarn was unique. It's hard to see - but the shimmers are gold fleck in this hand-dyed yarn! So beautiful.
There were so many vendors - 51 booths of fiber fabulousness!!! But I only bought one item from one vendor. I bought this beautiful superwash merino hand-dyed sock yarn, 'Calypso,' from Creatively Dyed Yarn. It is absolutely gorgeous and my crappy camera does not do it justice! The colorway is called Durian.
At the very end of the weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had won a Chinese Auction held by Hog Heaven Rescue Farm, an animal rescue for hooved animals. I won this glorious bag kit for the 'Ole Bag'! The kit was generously donated by Glory-ous Knits and Gifts of Watsontown, PA. The kit is a $75 value!! It came complete with the bag pattern, 6 Hanks of Cascade Yarns 109 Tweed LE in Pink, Blue (electric blue in color), Green, Blue (periwinkle in color), Yellow, and Red (more of a magenta if you ask me) colorways and packaged in a cute Asian-inspired gift bag.
I had so much fun and cannot wait to take what I've learned and put it to good use!!