I seem to be spending a lot of time in the Chicago area. I was there yesterday for YarnCon, and I'll be there again in May when I teach and vend at the new Hands On Retreat.
YarnCon was fun, easy and interesting. So fun to see the crowd skewed towards younger knitters. You know, we knitters always tend to wear our wares at these events. At Stitches and other established knitting events, you tend to see age 50 and older women wearing lovely shawls and fair isle sweaters that show off their years of knitting experience. But at YarnCon, you see 20 and 30 somethings wearing funky hats and colorful scarves made in wild handpainted yarns and with innovative stitches or quirky patterns (like space invader scarves and guassian hats).
The event was easy for me because it was just one day and not far to travel. It's certainly a lot easier to do than the typical 2 or 3 day fiber festival, although it was a bit of a challenge to unpack the car and be set up in an hour. My husband tagged along to help. He's a trooper, but it would have been more fun if one of my knitting buddies could have come along. . . They would have appreciated the booths of the other vendors. There was handpaint everywhere. I didn't shop though. Too busy. That's a good thing.
I have not yet blogged the other Chicago event that's coming up for me. I am so excited! I'm going to be both an instructor and a vendor at Hands On, which takes place in near Midway airport in May. I will be teaching both knit with wire bracelets and "Mitten Masterplan." I really love knitting mittens. I've developed a class on designing your own mittens that I've taught at my local yarn shop and now I will be teaching at this new retreat. Although it is a brand new event, Hands On is a mitten maker's answer to the Sock Summit, and I feel so lucky to be teaching there!
I tend to give away as gifts or donate most of the mittens I make, so I don't have many mittens on hand for Hands On,but I've got until May to make some more. I'd like to have a variety to show my students--super simple to difficult, colorwork, texture work, children's and adults. I'm very, very excited about a pair of gloves I just designed. I have just one glove done, so I'll hold off from posting pictures, but they are going to be beautiful. They are made with leftover angora from my Dust Bunny sweater, so they are soft and elegant as well. I can't wait to finish them and show them off.
Well, this is a bit of a rambling post. If you have any interest in mitten knitting. Check out the Hands On site. If you are interested in attending, sign up now! Registration began Friday night and some classes are already sold out. They are not maintaining a waiting list, so book now!