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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!

~Nadia

 



 


This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!! ~Nadia

 

My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos when I move away.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.

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We’re tying the knot with yarn!

On March 4th, 2017, while traveling through Europe, Nate surprised me with a spontaneous proposal in the Amsterdam Schipol Airport. As we were heading to the bathrooms (haha!) he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!

He was shaking, I was shaking, I was crying, and of course, I said YES! We’ve been talking about it for some time now and all the plans we were making were leading to this exciting event.

It was very fitting that we had this private moment that included the two of us, my brother and my mom who was able to capture these lovely photos.


No matter how tired we were from all the traveling, our joy carried us through our 13 hour layover where we ventured into Amsterdam city for a celebration dinner.


Upon arrival back to the United States, and of course after letting my close friends and family know this exciting news, we started making immediate plans for our wedding.


We are looking ahead and planning an early 2018 wedding celebration. We recently had some engagement photos taken and made our formal announcement on our personal social media accounts. We now wish to share it with all the YARNutopians!




Photo credit: Fuad Azmat (My daddy!)

As we journey ahead in the next year planning our event, we are excited to tie in elements of our cultures and OF COURSE, elements of crochet! I am going a different route on my dress, as many have already asked me if I was going to crochet my wedding gown, but I am absolutely 100% going to incorporate other small details of crochet for this special day.

I’m excited to share this year-long journey with my amazing YARNutopia family and I will be creating tutorials of fun elements that I plan to use on the big day!

I am excited to hear suggestions on crochet projects that you have used for your special events! I’m always open to hearing, so please feel free to share your ideas!! This will be a fun way to share this together!

Please join us in sharing our joy and happiness as we move onto this new and exciting chapter of our lives!

Love,
Nadia and Nate