Yarn Fest 2015 Report

So, I’m back from Yarn Fest, busily doing laundry, unpacking, and dutifully taking photos of my new yarn to note in Ravelry. I have lots to relay and not a whole lot of time to do that, as I’m having to cram all of my usual weekend tasks into one day. Here goes:

This was my first Yarn Fest. It was everyone’s first Yarn Fest. Interweave has hosted other events, such as Knitting Lab, but this was their first multicraftual Yarn Fest. I was delighted that they held it in my own back yard, in Loveland, Colorado. As much as I’d love to attend VK Live or STITCHES or other big knitting events, I’m just not willing to pay the money for the event plus the airfare. If I can’t drive to an event, I’m not going, at least not any time soon.

Therefore, I was thrilled to find out that Yarn Fest would take place right here in Colorado. I also liked the format — a la carte pricing for whatever happened to interest a person. Some people came for the entire event and had classes scheduled all day, every day. Some people were there for days, but left plenty of free time to enjoy the Marketplace or other area attractions, or just to sit and knit. Me? I scheduled classes all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and left after class on Saturday afternoon. That was a trade-off: I missed Linda Cortright’s keynote talk on Saturday night, and I missed out on what looked like some fun classes on Sunday morning, in order to salvage some of the weekend to take care of household stuff in front of what’s going to be a really busy week.

When I checked in on Wednesday afternoon, I received a goody bag so full of things that it took three photos to capture it all:

goody bag extras goody bag reading goody bag yarn

There were three skeins of nice yarn, some patterns, and three magazines, including the latest Knitting Traditions, which I was thrilled to have.

On Thursday, I took Galina Khmeleva’s class on Orenburg knitting. Galina is a walking encyclopedia of Orenburg lace knitting, and the class was fascinating.

Orenburg class

By day’s end, I had enough knowledge so that I could put together a lace shawl or scarf of my own. And I will, because I stopped by Galina’s booth, Skaska Designs, and loaded up on qiviut:

qiviut pyramid

I realize I went pretty nuts, but I had planned to buy qiviut if I could find it in the Marketplace, as it’s becoming harder and harder to come by. To me, qiviut is worthy to add to my long-term stash. Besides, now I have the skills to knit it into something wonderful.

Friday was Math Day. My morning class was Math for Knitters with Kate Atherley, which was very helpful and informative. In it, I found out that Kate had written a book about how to write good patterns:

knit design book

I made sure to pick this up before I left town. I need this book. I have designed several sweaters over the years, the instructions for which exist as a pile of notes with taped-together charts and graph paper, and I’d love to get them in a state where others could enjoy them, too. Now, Kate, how about providing some words of wisdom as to how I can find the time to do this?

In the afternoon, I took Sweater Design with Ann Budd. Ann has a very intuitive way of explaining difficult concepts, so I was not disappointed with this class. Really, I wished I’d taken it years ago, when I first began to heavily modify, then design from the ground up, complicated cabled sweaters.

After class I went back over to the Marketplace. I’d blown my budget (and then some) on the qiviut, but I did end up buying this delightful Mountain Colors yarn from Cowgirl Yarns:

Mountain Colors lupine

On Saturday, I took a class on buttonholes, zippers, and pockets from Nancy Shroyer. This class was helpful because I’m working on a cardigan for my mom, and I really want the button band to come out looking nice. After taking Nancy’s class, I think I can pull this off.

My last class was also with Nancy, on Fair Isle Knitting. We started a headband:

Fair Isle headband

The headband provides a good overview of techniques in stranded knitting, such as two-handed knitting and capturing floats. While I’m not much of a headband person, myself, this was a good teaching tool, and will make a nice Christmas gift.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Yarn Fest. Maybe I’ll stay for the whole thing next time.

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