Stitches Midwest 2008

The Trip:   Because I had a doctor’s appointment I did not want to reschedule, we didn’t make it onto I-35 until 5:00 on Wednesday.   We drove to Tulsa, stopped for coneys, jumped back onto I-44 and made it to Springfield around 10 PM.   After a good night’s sleep, we got up, had breakfast and were rolling out of town by 10 AM.   We had some really wet spots driving through Missouri.   There were times we had to slow down to 30 mph just to see the road.   One bright spot and this will give you a chuckle, were the hand-cleansing machines in McDonald’s in Cuba, Missouri.   They have two of these machines, one waist level and one lower.   It looks like a cave and the instructions tell you to place your hands in the very back first.   That’s where you get a squirt of soap.   Bring your hands to midsink range and the water comes on and then bring your hands to the front where the automatic dryer comes on.   We thought these sinks were so cool that we talked about them at Midwest.   On the trip back, I only remembered that the McDonald’s at Cuba was clean and a good bathroom stop.   It wasn’t until I walked in that I remembered the sinks!   Ok, I digress…where was I?   lol  After an unscheduled detour in St. Louis we sail past all the cornfields and soybean fields in Illinois.   Once we hit Joliet it was city all the way.   We stayed at a hotel in Schaumburg and it seems like we rolled into town about 6ish.   I’ll do a separate post on the food we had in Chicago at a later time.

Both Marjie and I thought Midwest Market opened at 9 am.   We fiddled around not wanting to be there until the usual crowd had made it thru the doors.   We got there at 9:30 only to find out Midwest doesn’t open until 10.  lol  Oh well…..since we purchased our tickets online we had a separate line which was much shorter than the other line.

These are a couple of shots of knitters waiting in line.

I have to compare.   Stitches East 2007 was the first Stitches event I’ve attended.   Stitches Midwest 2008 is my second event.   Hands down I prefer Midwest.   I avoid huge crowds.  It really bothers me to be in a close press of people.   I’ll seek the outside of a crowd every time.   East was a very large event.   The crowd would get so thick at times that you couldn’t get into some booths nor could you walk easily down an aisle.   At Midwest there was a crowd but it was spread out and I didn’t have any instances where I felt closed in.   Keep in mind we shopped both events on Friday not Saturday.   I hear on Saturday Market day busses come in with hundreds of people.   Ew.   I’ll keep shopping on Fridays!  lol

I also heard from several different knitters we spoke with that this new venue in Schaumburg was hands down better than the facility in Rosemont (where previous Midwest events had been held).  I can tell you the Schaumburg facility had adequate restrooms, two concession stands that had salads, wraps, sandwiches along with snacks and beverages available.  East had one concession that offered burgers and fries, snacks and beverages and the restrooms were not as numerous.

We were at Market day from 9:30 until 4pm.   I’ll do another post on the fantastic Earth tennies too.   Those shoes are FANTASTIC!!  Anyway, here are some of the goods I bought:

This is a kit Marjie and I both bought.   It’s by Strickwear (Candace Eisner Strick) and this is Love is a Many Mitered Thing.   It’s a shawl with graduated color changes in addition to the mitered sections.   The picture in the kit does not do justice to this shawl.   The model garment was in the Caribben Sunset colorway (which is what I bought).   The color graduation is much more dramatic than the blues shown in the picture.   The concept is this:  you wind your skeins into 3 balls of yarn.   You knit with 3 strands at one time.   At different points you drop one strand to start another strand of a different color.   I hope that makes sense.   lol   They have shawls, blankets, scarves and other items I can’t recall at the moment.   The yarn is specially dyed for Candace.  (Side note:   When I told Margaret about this item she jumped on it and will be carrying these kits at Gourmet Yarn.   Yay Margaret!!!!!!!!!!)

The next item is also a kit for Christmas Stockings.  I first saw these kits in a knitting magazine a few months ago.   I know I fell in love with them but never followed through to order.   When we saw these in a booth at Midwest, Marjie and I both jumped.   The vendor had a huge see-through bag packed full of these kits.   Marjie sat down while I bag-sit and started digging to find the various kits.   These are called Judy’s Colors and the kit includes the pattern and yarn.   Some kits are for more than one stocking.   The more intricate the design the higher the price is but wow are they worth it!!

Here is what I came home with:

It’s not in traditional Christmas colors and that is what appealed to me.   Again, Margaret jumped on this too and these yummy stocking kits are on the way to Gourmet Yarn.

These are the other yarn purchases I made.   The first skein is Andrea by Schaefer.   It’s 100% cultivated silk and a laceweight.   Many months ago I was in Loops in Tulsa and saw the Andrea Reversible Scarf model.   I fell in love immediately but they only had 3 skeins of the yarn and in colorways that didn’t speak to me.   I bought the pattern and then began my search for the Frida Kahlo colorway.   There was one vendor at Stitches from California.   They brag they carry the largest selection of Schaefer yarns in the country.  I believe them.   They had 3-4 booths and one long wall was nothing but Schaefer yarns.   The prices were a lot higher than we normally pay here but they do have a fantastic selection.

The second picture in aqua and lime is from our beloved Brooks Farms in Lancaster, Texas.   Karen, Marjie and I have a deep affinity for Brooks Farms fiber.   Anytime we go where Brooks Farms is attending, we buy.   Karen had asked us to find her something at Midwest.   I am not exaggerating when I say this.   Marjie and I walked up to their booth and this colorway was right in front of us.   I touched it, grabbed my cell to call Karen.  I said I’m looking at the most beautiful aqua and lime colorway at Brooks Farms.   Karen asked how much yardage and price.  I told her and she said get 3.   lol  I had no doubts she’d love it.   She and I are most often attracted to the same colors.   I bought 2 skeins.  It’s silk and wool.

The third picture is of some 100% silk I picked up at The Yarn Barn booth.   It was a good buy.  It will become some throw or wrap.

The last picture is of some sock yarn I bought.   This isn’t labeled and I can’t recall the vendor’s name right now.   But this is the softest tweed yarn I’ve ever touched!   They had some gorgeous colorways in their booth.   Since coming home I’ve read many comments on Ravelry about this booth and the consensus is everyone loved it.

One word to the wise, when you attend an event like this, a small case on wheels is the only way to go!

Ok, that’s it for the purchase side of the trip.   I’ll do posts later on the food.  I’ll do the commercial post on the Earth tennies too.   Bye for now!!

Lexi says:  I’m so glad my mama’s home that I am staying by her side every minute she is home.   I even let her sleep with my paws under her shoulder.



  1. 1
    Carolyn Says:

    What an awesome trip….and fantastic haul! Can’t wait to hear “the rest of the story”! 🙂

  2. 2
    mg Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions! Judy’s Colors came a couple of days ago and I so want to cast-on! Strickwear should be coming in a week or two!

  3. 3

    Nice blog…Thank you very much.

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