The second weekend of the Chicago Yarn Crawl has traditionally coincided with Stitches Midwest, The yarn and fiber convention hosted by Knitting Universe, and this year is no exception. Stitches is scheduled to run from Thursday to Sunday, August 8 to 11, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center and Hotel in Schaumburg. Below is a synopsis of events and goings-on at Stitches this weekend, for both fiber enthusiasts and Yarn Crawlers who choose a change of scenery.
Opening Day guests: To kick off the event, Stitches has invited yarn dyer and world traveler Laura Bryant to share her story behind her colorways and designs at the Opening Day Spotlight and Luncheon. While the event is sold out, Stitches does offer a waiting list for their sold-out events, and the Spotlight without the Luncheon is still available for registration.
Learn-to-Knit sessions: Stitches offers both learn-to-knit and learn-to-crochet classes, free of charge but with on-site registration required. As the classes are located within the Market Place, admission to the Market Place is necessary. The Market Place is open from 10a.m. to 6p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10a.m. to 4p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 for a single-day pass, $15 for a two-day pass, and $20 for a three-day pass. If customers purchase a class, entrance to the Market Place is free.
Market Place vendors: Several Chicago-area yarn shops are opening their doors for both the Chicago Yarn Crawl and Stitches, with booths representing Windy Knitty, Wool and Company, and Gene Ann's. Many independent yarn companies in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and beyond are also represented, such as Signature Needle Arts and Dragonfly Fibers. Some booths, such as Mass Ave Knit Shop, will be having special guests and demonstrations throughout the weekend. Novelist Allie Pleiter will be giving away copies of her new book, The Fireman's Homecoming, on Saturday at the Mass Ave Knit Shop booth.
Class highlights: Many classes still have space available for last-minute registrants, starting as early as Thursday. Inside Intarsia with Anne Berk, Kitchener Like A Pro with Anne Kuo Lukito, and Curvy Knits: Plus-Size Knitting with Marly Bird all still have room for new students. On Friday through Sunday, available classes include Easy Stitches for Impatient Knitters with Edie Eckman, Pizza and Pi with Brooke Nico, Multi-Directional Scarves with JC Briar, Amazing Couture Stitches with Jean Frost, Lace and Loop Scarf with Daniel Yuhas, Entrelac Basics with Gwen Bortner, and Yarn Substitution Made Easy with Carol Sulcoski. To register, go to the Stitches website and follow the instructions on the Classes page.
Pajama Party: On Friday from 10p.m. to midnight, Marly Bird will be hosting a pajama party which includes not only open knit and crochet times, but also games, prizes, and special co-hosts for the party. Registration is available on the Stitches website.
Stitches Midwest is an event not to be missed, especially if customers have leftover money from their Chicago Yarn Crawl budgets for the Market Place. Class registrations are capped to ensure all students have the chance to learn with their world-class instructors, and the Market Place has special events throughout each day in addition to shopping and booth guests. The Renaissance is located near the Meacham Road exit on Interstate 90.
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