I took two classes at Stitches this year. First up Latvian Wristlets from Beth Brown-Reinsel. This was a 3-hour class that explores techniques in Latvian Mittens. Lots of single colors in a round. I was hoping to experiment with colors in the class so I can plan out my Latvian Mitts, a pattern featured on the cover of the last Knitting Traditions put out by Piecework Magazine. I think the colors worked out and it looks like I can mix them up pretty freely. The braids really encourage contrast.
The herringbone braid in the middle is especially nice.
Here are all the colors I used. You were suppose to have 4, but like I said, I wanted to experiment. Judging from my Latvian Mittens book, there doesn't seem to be a rule about how many colors to use, as long as it's more than 2. Yarn is Handwerk's Sock Plus 8, sadly now discontinued. It's stretchy so I have to remember to go up a size when I switch to the stranding bit, then back to smaller needles for the picot finish. I had issues during the class and after so here are some notes I'll be refering to when I actually start the mitts.
Zooming into the above picture, I'd like to point out the lovely half braids near the cast-on edge. There's a two-color braid followed by a single-color braid sandwiched between purl rows. The problem? This is the wrong side. Somehow things got flipped when I went to start the lace portion of the cuff. The picot edge needs to be whipped stitched to a lower set of stitches than I chose, probably would keep it from curling (besides the needle adjustment noted in the last paragraph) and would probably hide the ends tucked in a little better (I can't see them from the inside.
Another class I took was Even More Challenging Japanese Stitches a 6-hour class. I've been collecting Japanese stitch pattern books for awhile now but haven't been able to get into a class with Gayle Roehm (the Queen of Japanese Stitches). She also had a 3-hour class, Challenging Japanese Stitches. Here's a swatch and the start of a tam all showing the stitches she presented (I started the tam in class, but I've frogged it and will restart it in a better yarn). Also pictured are the books I picked up at the market.
I also got a copy of Stitch-n-Bitch Superstar Knitting Go Beyond the Basics. It covers a lot of material and has some pretty cool patterns.
That's it for Stitches West. Now that it's March I get to buy even more yarn using my birthday discount at various LYS's.