Stitches West 2016

It is almost time for that magical event called Stitches West, where one can walk through miles of aisles of yarn, and have the choice of nearly any fiber spun into any size yarn, in every shade of color imaginable, and where designers pull out all the stops, and create new patterns.

At A Verb for Keeping Warm, as always, we will have a wide spectrum of naturally dyed yarn. We take the opportunity of Stitches West to celebrate the symbiotic relationship between dyer and designer, and team up with Rosemary Hill (aka Romi), to create a series of exciting, new pattern and yarn combinations.

The most anticipated is our annual Mystery Knit-Along Kit. The colors this year are stunning. New this year! There will be two base yarns to choose from and three color combinations. If you are new to this concept, here's how it works. The kit includes 2 skeins of Verb yarn, a shawl pin exclusively designed for the kit by Romi, and the first clue of the Mystery Knit-Along and a code so you can download the pattern on Ravelry. It comes in a project bag designed specially for Stitches West 2016. I always get a kick out of explaining what a Mystery Knit-Along is to people who have never heard of it before as the concept is quite amusing. It is a knitting pattern that has been broken into sections, and is doled out to you over the course of (typically) 4 weeks. Here's the kicker - you don't know what the pattern looks like when you start! The pattern is unveiled as you knit. There will be a thread in Romi's Ravelry group where you can participate / get support if you so desire.

There will be Mystery Knit-Along Kits available online - for those of you who can not make it to Stitches West. They will go on sale on Thursday at 5pm - at the same time as when the Stitches Marketplace opens. We will post a link, once they are live, to our Ravelry group.

We are releasing two new yarns this year at Stitches West. The first is named Entwined. It is a 2-ply yarn, one ply spun from Merino wool, the other ply spun from silver alpaca. once it is dyed, due to the difference in fiber content, the yarn develops a nubby texture. It is nearly the same gauge as our alpaca-silk-cashmere blend yarn, Floating. And is a lovely juxtaposition, as you will see in our newly hand-knit sample of Romi's Swoon. In this photo, you can see a close-up of Entwined and Floating nestled together in the dyepot.

The other new yarn we are releasing is called Range - 1st Edition. This is our newest California-wool farm yarn. We are so excited to release this yarn!! It feels like we have been working on it forever and a day and can not wait to get it out into the world. Made of Rambouillet wool, we are releasing 4 natural colors: white, silver, light grey, and dark grey. They are stunning. And for the first time ever, this farm yarn has been combed before being spun, so it has a smooth, more polished surface. It is DK weight (5 stitches per inch), so perfect for your next sweater - a pattern for which you might find across the aisle at Cocoknits booth.

Romi has created a new shawl pattern which can be knit in either Entwined or Range. This will also be available as a kit - complete with a shawl pin by Romi, the pattern, and a Stitches West project bag.

There will also be a third kit - featuring a sweater from Romi's new book, New Lace Knitting - the pattern is titled Bright Lights and will feature in Even Tinier Annapurna in Old Vine - a color reminiscent of red wine. Of course, we will have a plethora of other colors to choose from, and will be happy to help you choose.

Stitches West 2016 is an exciting year because Romi and I both published books in Fall of 2015. So this year, it is going to be great fun to have both of our books in the booth - with the accompanying trunk shows. This means you can stop by and see all of the projects in the books in real life. Romi and I will be signing books on Friday and Saturday at 1pm.

You know who else just published a book - and is going to be at our booth ??? Clara Parkes!! She will be with us on Sunday from 11:30-1pm signing copies of her newest book, Knitlandia.

Other than that, we will have all of our usual suspects: Reliquary II, Even Tinier Annapurna, Floating, Annapurna, Flock, and Horizon. And a few fun extras, like Fringe & Co Field Bags, Merchant & Mills scissors, Liberty of London fabrics, etc.

We hope to see you very soon!
- Kristine