Stitches Midwest: My First Time

Stitches Midwest: My First Time

When I first heard of Stitches Midwest I had no idea what it was and although it interested me, I initially didn’t pay much attention to it and it wasn’t on my radar to attend. Little by little, more information popped up on my News Feed and each bit of information provided me with a more comprehensive idea of what Stitches would be. The more I knew, the more I was intrigued. Soon, I could not get enough of what this show was going to be about. I became more excited the more I learned about it. My mind was made up! I was going to be there this year!

Let’s do it!

It didn’t take much to convince my mom to go along because the two of us are always tag teaming these events, but soon after talking about it with Nate, he said he could maybe take a vacation day on Friday and go with us. My dad was on board too! We decided to make an entire weekend out of it and since it was in Chicago, there was so much we could do!

We left Wisconsin and headed down to Illinois on Friday morning. We had reserved a room right near the convention center so we were only a hop, skip, and a jump away from the event. It was about a 5 hour drive but we broke it up with a little sight-seeing and a stop for lunch. Before we knew it, we were pulling into our hotel and things were about to get real!

We walked into the lobby and the first thing we saw were groups of ladies knitting and crocheting! Just witnessing those sharing the craft had my excitement building! We checked in and first thing we did was to head over to the convention center to make sure we had our reservations for the events in place.

What happens here, stays here!

As soon as we walked into the convention center at the Renaissance Convention Center and Hotel the atmosphere was electric with the excitement from all the fiber loving community! I could not wait to attend all of it! First thing’s first, we got our reservations confirmed. Friday night was the Pajama Party, Saturday: the Trade Show, Saturday afternoon: a Crochet Class with The Marly Bird! We were all set!

We decided to spend the few hours before the Pajama Party grabbing some dinner and doing some shopping. Well, being in Chicago it is NO SECRET that my favorite place to be is on Devon Avenue! Sabri Nihari, HERE we come!! Sabri Nihari is my FAVORITE restaurant for authentic Pakistani Cuisine. After a fabulous dinner of Chicken Makhani and garlic naan, topped off with a mango lassi, we were ready to head back to the convention center to attend my very first Stitches Midwest Pajama Party!

If you have NEVER attended one of these events, you are missing out! I never knew what I was missing until I went and saw for myself! I have to say there is NOTHING like a Pajama Party hosted by a yarn loving community. Before I go further I have to say that I HIGHLY recommend you going to one of these events near you! Be sure to take along your project bag and an adventurous spirit! There is a rule: What goes on at the pajama party, STAYS at the pajama party! This means you will have to attend one in the future to see all the fun of what goes on at one of these crazy parties! And by crazy, I mean, “you will never forget how much fun it is” crazy! It was a BLAST!! Nate and I went and of course we dressed in matching pj’s because..well we are that couple!

I’m such a fan-girl!

One of the highlights of the weekend was meeting Marly Bird! I was so excited to finally connect with her in person and meet face to face! She is as warm and bubbly off screen as she is on screen! She couldn’t be more welcoming and friendly and it felt like I have known her for longer than the few minutes it took for our initial real-life introduction! I had a fan-girl moment, too! I mean come on, it is The Marly Bird!!! Squeee!!!!

Holy Yarn Balls, Batman!

On Saturday, we planned to head over to the convention early on in the day with a late plan to meet Marly for lunch. So off we went to the trade show and OH MY GOSH! I was overwhelmed by the enormity of this event! It literally took my breath away! I walked into the convention hall and had to take a few deep breaths. It was YARN HEAVEN!!! As far as the eye could see, it was everything yarn! *Insert a wide-eyed Nadia with drool coming down her chin* For real though, it was unimaginable for lil’ ol’ me who comes from a small town where the most yarn in one place is at the local JoAnn’s or local yarn shop. It was crazyyyy!

As I started to make my way down the aisles, there were certain booths I wanted to make sure I made a stop at. However, it was easy to get pulled into all the beautiful booths that were bursting with color and fiber! Demonstrations were taking place that were alluring as well! Spinning, weaving, and other crafts were being shown all day! I was taken by all of it! Along the way, I found so many treasures! I bought an Erin Lane Bag and found some amazing Leon Alexander Yarn! Nate gifted me a pair of socks with sheep all over them too!

Always an education!

Around noon, we met Marly for lunch and enjoyed a little down time while we got to know one another. I was excited to share our love for the craft and a few laughs about the party the night before. It was a nice way to decompress from the overwhelming feeling of being in overdrive from the proverbial YARN-utopia I just came from inside the convention center! Shortly following lunch, she was instructing a class that I attended: Crocheting with Beads. I rarely crochet with beads, but her class made it easy to follow and I am sure I will be using this technique in future projects. I left with such a positive feeling of friendship and look forward to more events together!



Special Thanks!

Once the class was finished, we did a quick once over at the show to make sure there wasn’t anything I missed, and from there we headed home. It was a fun-filled jam packed couple of days, and by the end I was exhausted. Nate and I curled up in the back seat of the car and fell asleep for the ride home, me dreaming of all the beautiful things I was going to make with my new yarn and Nate dreaming of ways to find room in the house to keep it all! Haha! Just kidding, he was probably dreaming of getting home to have a beer because he spent two days immersed in all things yarn, attended a pajama party in matching pajamas and all the while his wife dragged him around 500,000 square feet of fiber arts! That’s what true love is, folks!

Anyway, it was a great weekend all the way around, and one I will not soon forget. Until next year! A special thanks to Stitches Midwest for hosting such a phenomenal event and to Marly Bird and Lindsey from Erin Lane Bags for being such entertaining emcees for the Friday event.

Thank you to Red Heart Yarns for providing the prize yarn that was part of the Pajama Party giveaway, as well as Stunning String Studio for the wonderful set of hooks, and Crafty Flutterby Creations for the beautiful shawl clasp. These few items will be a part of a future giveaway here on YARNutopia!

To all the fabulous vendors who made my very first Stitches event so memorable, thank you so much. I will never forget all the fun I had. Thanks for the memories!




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My Contribution to an Eco-Friendly Fashion Show!

For those of you following my blog posts, I had showcased back in early May, a blog about a recycled halter top that I created using plastic bags. The item was created for an eco-friendly fashion show: Catwalk for Water held on May 7, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. This environmentally friendly fashion show featured “creative and inspiring hair, makeup, and fashion created by area artists. This event was sponsored by Indira Aveda Salon Spa in Chicago. All proceeds benefit their Earth Month Partner – Alliance for the Great Lakes.”

I was contacted earlier this year by a friend who was the driving force behind this Chicago event. She asked me if I could create a piece using plastic bags, and together we collaborated on a vision. Using her guidelines, I created this fun piece that used 70 recycled plastic grocery bags that I cut into “plarn” and crocheted into this wild halter top.

I sent the piece to Chicago for it to be added to an ensemble created by my friend Tracey, owner of Indira Salon and Spa, and used in her vision for this outfit. All items used were recycled, re-used, re-purposed pieces that were put together to make amazing fashion statements.

Many incredible creations were part of the show and it was a lot of fun to be a small part of such a great event even from a distance. The photos from the event show a lot of amazing talent! What a great event for such a fabulous cause that inspires change for our planet and environment besides providing enormous inspiration for creating environmentally fashion.

The ensemble created for the event included my eco-friendly plarn halter top, vintage sunglasses from Fiore in Green Bay, WI, a handmade up-cycle necktie skirt, braided rags to riches Coachella inspired hair both done by Tracey herself. Her entire vision came together perfectly and was worn by a remarkable model who flawlessly showcased all of these items together! She SLAYED! This attire won Best Interpretation of the Theme: Coachella-Art and Music Festival! What an awesome win!

I want to say a special thanks to Tracey and Indira for asking me to take part in this project. It was a great experience to create a piece for this event and expand my talent in such an imaginative way. It was a lot of fun! I hope to do more events like this in the future!

Photos from event were provided with permission by Tracey (Indira Salon and Spa, Chicago Illinois)