Monday, March 5, 2012

sewing expo summary

Last weekend was the Sewing & Stitchery Expo, held in Puyallup which is about an hour or so south of where I live.  I've gone for the last couple of years with various friends, and the past two years we've taken off work on Friday to avoid some of the weekend crowds, which we did again this year.  I'm working on learning more techniques of various types and taking more classes, so my sew expo experience this year was two days (Friday and Saturday) with three 2.5 hour classes across them.  I'll go into more detail about what I learned in the classes in a later post - but they were fascinating!

Friday was my main shopping day as my best friend and I wandered the expo together, with a single lunchtime class on "The Biology of Color" as our learning opportunity for the day.  There were so many pretty things to see in the expo hall this year!

Hand-made metal thread stands for using with cones (or spools) of thread.  Flowers aren't usually my thing, but these were just gorgeous, so one ended up going home with me!  It's extremely heavy and should avoid any vibration or "dancing" even when I've got my Pfaff 130 going at top speed, which even my nice metal stand from Superior Threads has had issues with.

I had no idea that drop spindles (for hand spinning) could come in so many beautiful variations!  This shop had lots and lots of spindles of both high whorl and low whorl types, and even some Tibetan spindles (which look very different) in addition to the roving and other accessories needed to spin, needle felt, or knit.  The lady who was running this shop (Carolina Homespun) was very nice and turned out to be the person who taught the "Spinning for Beginners" class that I took on Saturday morning!

This is the total of my "loot" that I brought home on Friday - one of the aforementioned thread stands, a beautiful hand-inlaid wooden box that looks like a quilt block, double-pointed needles and yarn to make socks, a book on spinning, and some fabric for my tumbler quilt.  I've wanted one of the wooden boxes since I first saw them two years ago, so I finally bought one even though I'm not sure what I"m going to do with it yet.  I hope to take a sock knitting class, so I prepared for that by picking up some nice needles and skeins of sock yarn.  The fabric purchases were small, mostly 1-2 pieces from a variety of specialty cloth vendors including hand-marbled fabric, hand-painted metallic fabric, and hand-dyed fabric as well as a batiked dragon set.  They will all be cut into 3.5" tumblers with my Accuquilt in order to make myself a lap quilt sometime this year.

Despite taking two classes on Saturday, the spinning class mentioned above as well as a "Stack it up, Slash it up, Use it up!" quilting class, I did some shopping as well.  I really enjoyed my spinning class, so I ended up with the spindle from that class plus a pretty one, some roving, a wrist distaff, and some small knitting notions.  I added in two new bags (one for spinning and one for knitting), two books (one on handspun yarn and one about knitting socks), and a new light for my Pfaff 130.  Finally, in my quilting class we were given a sample pack of batting from the Warm Company, so that's hiding out in the back.

So, now to keep doing all the things I learned last weekend!  I did a little bit of spinning last night with my new pretty spindle, as well as knitting during downtime in my raid, but I can't do too much "other" stuff at the moment because I only have a week to finish the binding on my niece's quilt before I send it for her birthday!

And to wrap up, a quick Curzon update - he went back to flyball yesterday!  His response to the question "Do you want to go play flyball?" was utterly priceless - high yippy barks coupled with sprinting up and down the stairs until I went with him.  Once we were there he was just full of himself, so excited he couldn't pee before entering the building, and then racing on his flat recalls to the tug so hard I couldn't catch him.  He was even barking *while* he was tugging, which he hasn't really done before, so I'm guessing he was pretty happy!  Before we went home he even got to tug with Desi, an adorable 1yo chocolate lab on our team who's just as tenacious with the tug as he is.  Looks like having him compete in May is going to be no problem - it might be harder to have him *not* compete at the end of March!

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