Stitches West 2016

Posted by Kristine Vejar on February 12, 2016 0 Comments

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

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Gathering at Stitches West 2014 - A show debrief...

Posted by AVFKW Staff on February 25, 2014 0 Comments


This past week, me, Kristine, and Sarah, packed up a portion of the store into two small vehicles and drove them down to the Santa Clara Convention center for the annual Knitting and Crochet Expo called Stitches West.  We had a heck of time packing the cars but finally late Tuesday night, we were mostly packed.  Too tired to pack anymore, we decided to come back early the next morning and finish up.  However, to Kristine's surprise, she received a request for a photo shoot of her and the store on Wednesday morning for an Oakland Magazine article.  How could she say no?! So I finished packing her car and my wee truck.  

We brought our yarnBrooklyn Tweed, and most of the yarn from Quince & Co. AVFKW is one of the few stores on the West coast to carry both Brooklyn Tweed and Quince & Co., so it was a treat to showcase them for the Stitches West attendees; most whom have only seen the yarn online.  This year we had three booths, the most we have had yet at Stitches West.  One reason for the additional booth, was because we won a free booth for winning the most beautiful booth last year.  We took full advantage of the space and laid it out with our favorite patterns, yarn, two trunk shows, an author signing, and Romi's larger display.  

Cactus Flower by Rosemary (Romi) Hill

This year, like two years prior, we shared the booths with shawl designer, jewelry maker, and author, Rosemary Hill, who owns Designs by Romi.  Romi had all of her patterns, shawls and many beautiful shawl pins on full display and for sale.  To make the occasion even more special we created two shawl kits for the show.  One of the shawl kits was a mystery shawl which included two skeins of AVFKW yarn, an exclusive shawl pin made by Romi, the first clue for the pattern, and a souvenir project bag.  We displayed last year's mystery shawl kit, Cactus Flower, to entice.  The second shawl kit was for a limited edition yarn we called Rumor, a naturally dyed, super soft single, 70% superwash merino and 30% silk with Romi's Fuchsia Nouveau pattern.  And as a treat for those that could not make it to Stitches West, we had a limited number of mystery shawl kits available online; we called it Virtual Stitches.  


Rachael Herron, local author and knitter, held a book signing at our booth. She featured her books Cora's Heart and Eliza's Home and a preview of her new book Pack Up the Moon.  It's was a pleasure to host her and hope to have her in the store for a reading in the future.  We are so happy with her continued success and expect to see more!


One pattern we featured prominently was Huelo Dunn's San Pablo cowl knit in various yarns.  People loved the pattern and had lots of fun choosing colors from, Horizon, Quince & Co.'s Owl, and Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter.  It's a great pattern that features three yarn colors, and the versatility to be worn more snug by wrapping it twice.  

Photo by Jared Flood - Rook by Kyoko Nakayoshi

Brooklyn Tweed's Wool People 6 trunk show, along with the patterns tantalized and inspired new projects made with Shelter and Loft.  We are grateful to have the trunk show also available at the store through the weekend.

Photo by Carrie Bostick Hoge - Brise Cardigan by Hannah Fettig 

The Quince & Co. Knitbot Linen trunk show hung next to a mirror for many to try on.  The comments we heard were very positive, mentioning the linen's elegant drape and compatibility with California's moderate climate.  We sold out of the Knitbot book, but hope to order more for the store.


Kristine and I set up the booth all day Wednesday and all day Thursday with the help of Jeanne, Sarah and Auban.  Thursday night is the show's preview and we prepped for a lot of people.  Sure enough, Thursday night was very lively, with most of the Mystery Kits snatched up fast.  Friday was another big day, with lots of folks inspired by the CocoKnits sweaters and cardigans out of Horizon, like the stunning Number 9 pattern. We love CocoKnits designs and were excited to be showcased in her booth. We are lucky enough to have her teach at the shop monthly and carry her Knitter's Blocks.

Saturday and Sunday were steady and we saw a lot of our friends and loyal customers.  We owe a big Thank you to Grace Kang for helping out at the booth, she loves Horizon and shared her enthusiasm easily. AVFKW staff that helped out at the booth includes, Sarah, Mckenzie, and Chris; without them we could not make this show happen. Amazingly, our Brick and Mortar was kept open regular hours the entire weekend by Vivian, Karen, Chris, and Mckenzie.  The AVFKW team is truly awesome!  On Monday morning, the staff helped us unpack and put the store back together again and assessed inventory at the same time! Wow! They rock!



Another exciting announcement: we have fresh stock of Spincycle and The Plucky Knitter yarn. They both had booths at Stitches West, so if you missed them, stop by the store and check it out.

Last but not least, a huge heartfelt thank you to Michelle, Kristine's mom, who took care of Cleopatra and Calliope while we were away.  She also had dinner waiting for us when we got home! She came all the way from Northern Minnesota to help and we appreciated every minute.

Thanks again to all of our fellow vendors, customers, new customers, and designers for all of your support, we continue to flourish with your support!

Cheers,
Adrienne Rodriguez

 

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Stitches West 2014 - Santa Clara, CA

Posted by Kristine Vejar on February 18, 2014 0 Comments

 

It's that time of the year again!  
The yarn has been dyed and labeled ready to hit the showroom floor.  
This weekend we will have three booths of luxurious items waiting to go home with you.  
We will be in the same location as last year with booth numbers 1034, 1036, 1038.  

Patterns and Samples
Designs by Romi will be showcasing her patterns and a new mystery shawl made with our yarns, Annapurna and Floating.  The mystery shawl pattern, yarn, bag, and shawl pin will be available as kits in limited supply, so come early to get yours!  And for those of you not able to attend, we will have a Virtual Stitches West, where you can buy the kit online!


American Made
This year we have dedicated a portion of our space to American made wool yarn, which includes, Brooklyn Tweed, Quince & Co. and AVFKW's lovely, locally grown and dyed Horizon yarn line.

Trunk Shows! 
Brooklyn Tweed Trunk show AND a Quince & Co. Trunk show! Wow! How can you miss that!

Book Signing
Special guest, Rachael Herron, will be signing and selling her new book, Cora's Heart at our booth!
Look for her: Fri 11-4, Sat 11-6, Sun 12-4

See You Soon!
We always have a blast visiting with customers and sharing our new products,
so please make time to say hello, we would love to see you!

Here's a link to buy tickets with a discount: https://www.knittinguniverse.com/W/TIckets

Cheers!

Adrienne Rodriguez

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