A Fangirl Goes to Stitches South

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Hi everyone! Jess here, Gwen & Kellie’s assistant. Your friendly neighborhood knitting experts have asked me to take over the blog today and post about my experience attending Stitches South 2015, so here I go!

A fangirl goes to Stitches South

In case you’re not familiar with the concept, Stitches is a weekend knitting extravaganza put on by XRX/Knitting Universe. Stitches South 2015 was held in Nashville, Tennessee (Music City USA!) at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. This hotel is a gigantic resort with an atrium right in the middle – including plenty of greenery, flowers, and even a river (complete with a riverboat) right in the middle of it!

You can see the view from this picture I snagged from Kellie’s Instagram:

A photo posted by Kellie Nuss (@kellamina) on

The hotel also houses a convention center, which is where all the action took place. Classes, market sessions, fashion shows, pajama parties, and show and tell are all part of this wonderful weekend. I didn’t have the opportunity to attend those parts of the event because of family obligations, so I asked my friend Lisa to tell me about her experience. Here’s what she had to say about the classes:

All 4 of the classes I took had amazing content with teachers whom I respect as experts. Even the most ‘basic’ classes I took gave me huge “ah-ha” moments! (Lisa)

You know we’re all about “ah-ha” moments here at Two Sides, Two Points, so that’s what we want to hear from knitting students!

Last but not least, let’s not forget the vendor market!

When I walked into the Market on Sunday, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of it all. And it’s no wonder: there were over 120 vendor market stalls inside. I made one long trip all the way around and then went back in to shop. There’s such a great variety presented at a Stitches market – local yarn stores to indie dyers, fiber farms and more. There was everything from fleece to yarn to stitch markers & bags. Truly, something for every person, and every budget.

I didn’t buy a lot but what I got was special to me, each for a different reason. I tried out new-to-me dyers, bases, and shops. I got a skein of Malabrigo fingering from one of my local yarn shops, Haus of Yarn in Nashville. I haven’t made it downtown to visit them yet, but at Stitches I got to board their mobile yarn bus (yep, really!) and make my purchases. I also bought a skein of Black Bunny Fibers sock yarn, from a yarn store called Sip Sip Knit in Minnesota. The store and dyer were both new to me, and I love the colors in the skein. And finally I visited the booth manned by Adela’s Yarn store in Florida, and I purchased some HiKoo CoBaSi (made by Skacel, one of our EduKnit sponsors!) to make myself a summer top. The blend of cotton, bamboo, silk and nylon is new to me, too!

Here are my spoils:

Photo Apr 26, 6 26 20 PM

But of course, the best part of ANY knitting event is the people! Knitters are good people – which we all already know. I had such an amazing time at Stitches, even though it was only for one day, because of the people I spent it with! I ran into a knitting friend of mine on the market floor and we had a chance to catch up while we shopped.

When I first got to the event I zoomed right on over to Kellie at the information booth and got to hug her, which was a definite highlight of the day for me. (It’s funny to most people, but as a Virtual Assistant I don’t actually get to see my clients in person very often!) Meeting her was such a treat, and in case you’re wondering, she and Gwen are both just as amazing in person as they appear to be through their writing on this blog. I met Gwen for lunch, which is also a rare treat. I loved having the opportunity to sit with her over good food with good conversation, especially since we were joined by two other experts and friends of Two Sides, Two Points – Sarah Peasley and Stacey Trock. (And yep, they’re both super amazing and friendly in person, too!). I even got to meet some of Gwen’s students at the end of her class, and they told me some of the hilarious anecdotes from the weekend.

The thing is, knitters are just nice, and that makes it a real pleasure to attend any knitting event. I walked past the Skacel booth and was delighted to find that Rob, my contact person for Skacel where it comes to EduKnit sponsorship, is completely approachable and friendly. Just like Sarah, Stacey, and all the “famous” people in this industry I’ve ever met – in person they’re just like the other knitters of the world: NICE. Whether you’re a knitting expert like Gwen and Kellie or a fangirl like me, Stitches is the place where we can all come together and bond over our shared interests.

It’s amazing how something as simple as a pair of sticks and a ball of string can bring people together in such a big way, isn’t it? Just like we form fabric from single stitches, we have a chance to form friendships that can last a lifetime, all thanks to the people who put on knitting-themed events. So for that I owe a big thanks to the folks at XRX, and I hope they keep bringing Stitches back to Nashville for years to come!

Did you attend Stitches South this year, or another Stitches event? How was your experience?

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