Wow...it's been a long time since I've posted. There's been a lot going on, with the highlight being Stitches East. Once again, it was excellent!
I missed the opening session; I just couldn't get my act together to leave early enough in the morning to get to Baltimore by 10:00. So rather than stress out about it, I took my time packing and arrived too late for the opening session but in plenty of time for lunch (and to do the homework for the first class). I barged up to the registration booth, totally ignoring the group of women who were standing nearby. I didn't occur to me that they might be standing in line. When it dawned on me that I might have cut in line, I turned around, apologized, and motioned for one of the women to go before me. She declined, then introduced herself as Fiona Ellis. Quite the auspicious beginning!
All of my classes were excellent, especially Pattern Customization with Gwen Bortner and Color for Knitters with Laura Bryant. If you can get to a Stitches convention, try to get into these classes. They will definitely change the way you think about knitting and definitely change the way you think about color.
There was some minor stash enhancement, both purchased and through door prizes, but I'll post pictures later. I won a very nice backpack at the Friday night fashion show. It's the Bella Sorella bag and was offered by Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm. Complete with cell phone and water bottle pockets on the outside, it has numerous pockets on the inside, as well as a "hidden" zippered pocket on the back to store valuables. The straps are curved and well-padded and fit comfortably, even when the pack is filled with yarn, books, and needles. This bag might very well replace the KnitPicks KIPer bags. My only complaint is that the fabric is a bit floppy, but I can live with that.
I finished the Clapotis shawl, wore it on Saturday, and received several compliments on it. I love the way it drapes and hugs my body. I've decided I don't like the mohair content so much; too much shedding. That just means I've got to knit another one! Such a hardship...
The other thing that I picked up at Stitches, although I wasn't aware of it at the time, was a very nasty cold. Yesterday was spent battling a fever and trying not to cough up too much of my lungs. The fever is gone today, but I'm wiped out (hence, no photos).
All in all, my Stitches experience this year was good, even if a bit surreal. How can a knitting convention be surreal (other than getting high on fiber fumes)? Simply juxtapose it with scheduling a scary doctor appointment. As you might remember, I've periodically complained about being exhausted and being in a funk. This is, I think, related to the nodule on my thyroid that developed four years ago, after a bout of De Quervain's thyroiditis. During the last year or so, the nodule has doubled in size. The biopsy results at the beginning of the month were inconclusive, prompting the endocrinologist to refer me to Johns Hopkins for a second opinion, or as the confirmation letter states, a "surgical consultation."
That, coupled with the fact that they will be doing additional blood work and another ultrasound (to check the lymph nodes in my neck), leads my version of Hysterical Mind to jump straight to the conclusion that I've got a dread disease and they'll be removing my thyroid faster than you can say "Jack's a doughnut." In reality, a very small percentage of this type of nodule ends up being malignant. The appointment is next Friday and it should be interesting, to say the least. We're going up to Baltimore the night before, to stay with our friends James and Gina, which will make this whole process quite a bit more pleasant.
And of course, all scary things are made less scary by some good knitting. The suggestion line is open: What would you take to knit at a scary doctor appointment?