For future reference of myself and other yarn enthusiasts, here are my notes from Stitches West 2009, while my head can still remember the context of all my scribbles, etc.
Patterns: White Lies Designs (.com) “Celebrating Shapely Women” had some really lovely tops/cami’s. Sadly, I am more on the lithe than the shapely side by their definition, but one of their cami’s would look really great on me over a sports tank. Maybe if I used really small needles and laceweight?
There was another place that my local yarn buddy has patterns from with a longsleeve or shortsleeve tunicky sweater, but I don’t have the link now. I’ll edit this site into this post or the comments later.
Accessories: Oregon Wood Worker had lovely tabletop swifts. www.yarnswifts.com and I got a great deal on a ball winder, so I won’t have to keep borrowing!
Laceweight yarns: Mountain Colors Handpainted Yarns has Winter Lace Silk feels REALLY nice. 1200 yard hand-painted skeins. Locally/online at Purlescence, Marin Fiber Arts, and maybe Yarn Barn.
Shekinah’s Alplacas (.com) had laceweight in the 3 natural alpaca colors (light tan, medium brown, and dark walnut). Amusingly, each skein is labeled with the name of the individual alpaca from which that fleece was shorn. The non-laceweights weren’t as soft. They’re semi local in Gilroy, CA.
Lisa Souza (lisaknit.com) has, among her handpainted glory, Baby alpaca laceweight handpaint. I bought some light golden-peachy-cream, very subtle. Like a cloud.
Note correction: beige/peach/sage multi-toned silk/linen was from Anzula (etsy). Keep an eye for this softness in future, as opposed to the Fibranatura linen laceweight, Flax, which felt very very scratchy and I didn’t like the colors I saw there that day.
Valley Yarns had 2 lines of laceweight on fairly cheap cones, solid colors, 2/14 Alpaca Silk and Colrain Lace. These felt ok, and if I needed solid colors for a big project on a budget, I’d seek these out.
Tactile Studios had a Tussah Silk Laceweight in Algae, sorrel, kelp, and ginkgo colorways. NIIICE colors! Mrmmmmm, Tussah silk…. They also had a 40/60 Superwash Merino/Linen blend that I liked for feel, which may or may not have ben laceweight.
Brooks Farm Yarn Primero is an incredible soft, nonscratchy mohair laceweight.
There were some studios where everything was soft, and I will be ordering from them someday when I’ve used up my stash:
Miss Babs(.com), of the many Ravelry ads of beauteous handpaints. Her miniskeins of 2-ply sock superwash seem like a fun way to multicolor a project that calls for anything close to that weight. Also, many pretty multibrown+X mixes!
Verb for Keeping Warm was wonderful. The natural dyes had a lot of softer handpaint colors, less bold or dark, that would be gorgeous and possibly more office-wearable than the more crayola handpaints. I particularly liked Magic Bean and Tidepool.
There was a stand with reasonably-ok-soft handdyes that were very affordable and included colorways I like and don’t find very often: coloraturayarns.com I spent most of my Stitches money at this booth and can’t wait to use the 3 colorways I bought here (madscientist/soft olive/greys, autumn, and a sort of peachy seaside sunrise). Pics will go on my flickr as I start these projects. Mainly DK/sport/WW with some boucle. Wish they had brought Aranweights, but I’ll check with them online when I finally get to needing that.
Finally, the specific yarn lines that were soft at booths where not everything was particularly soft or beautiful:
I found a few replacements for Noro-like beauteous color banding that were cheaper: Universal Yarns Inc has a Classic Shades line that is also softer. Wisdom Yarns had Poems Sock (meh, ok feeling), Poems (ok) Limerick (WAY softer than Noro), and Sonnet (wool silk, lovely feel, great colors). Brooks Farm Yarn Solo Silk (50/50, 400 yards) was very like a skinny version of Noro in handpaints.
Creatively Dyed had 3 very soft lines: Baby, Soft, and Flavor. The rest were also beautiful but not so soft.
Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine was a nice-feeling fingering. Really, baby alpaca is like chocolate. It makes just about everything better.
unwindyarns.ca had a Sheep Into Rainbows Fingering Handpaint that I quite liked.
If I decide to look for a good multibrown worsted again on the cheaper-than-handpaints, I’m seeking Universal Yarn Inc.’s Classic Worsted Tapestry. I don’t think that’s going to be this year, however.
I am set for yarn for the year, I think. At least with cash. Trading is still fine, of course, as long as I’m still actively using up what I have.
OK, that’s everything, I think. I will definitely attend next year!