Stitches Midwest recap (or why I love Chicago)

I am unlikely to get very much done this week, which is unfortunate from a workload standpoint, but on the other hand, I am still riding such a buzz from my weekend at Stitches Midwest. I have a soft spot in my heart for Chicago: one of the first trips I took with my husband (way back when) was to Chicago, and I have connections with so many wonderful knitters who live in and around Chicago. When you factor in seeing “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” at an impressionable age, why, there is just no end to my love for the Windy City.


arriving at O’Hare

I was fortunate enough to be asked to teach at Stitches Midwest, which is held in a Chicago suburb called Schaumburg.  I probably shouldn’t give the impression that only people from the Chicago area come to Stitches Midwest: I met knitters from all over the place, from St. Louis to Wisconsin to Boston and more. My classes were filled with enthusiastic, knowledgeable knitters who love the craft (waves to Emma!). They were a pleasure to teach and all three of my classes had such a great vibe.

buff wool koigu

Buffalo Wool Co. yarn dyed by Koigu

Fabulous yarn, fabulous people, the sense of community and enthusiasm that fiber festivals bring…..I came home physically exhausted but mentally energized.



IMG_5597 cropped

Every Stitches the inimitable Lily Chin knits and/or crochets herself an original outfit that she wears to the banquet. Check it out:


(I tried to grab her cookies but the box was empty.)

One of the most beautiful things I saw was this sweater, designed by my pal Brooke Nico, in Trendsetter/Lotus yarns — the newc cruelty-free mink yarn that is so delightful:


The pattern is knit from the top down in one piece. It works beautifully as a layering piece — and you can find the pattern in Knitters 112 which will be out shortly. I am already rooting around my stash to find some laceweight yarn, although I might splurge on some Mimi since it is such an exquisite yarn to work with.

And you know by now how much I cherish all the industry folks that I’ve formed friendships with. Some of the smartest, nicest and most talented people you”ll ever want to find anywhere, plugging away in an industry that doesn’t always make it easy to stay in. Here is my mini-Gallery of Selfies:


Franklin Habit & me


Jeannie Randolph of Fiesta, Benjamin Levisay of XRX and me


designer Kristen Rengren & moi


Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky & me

I’ll be teaching at Stitches East in November, so please sign up for my classes!


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