Bling is very in this year, if the Stitches market floor is any indicator. Some of it is better than others (seriously, few people can carry off the Liberace look). One company that does bling brilliantly is Tootsie Yarns. The real genius of the founder, Virginia Gibbs, is that all garments can be made with one size kit, called an Artistry Box, and the kits are intended to work with common stash yarns when larger sizes are made. The prices of the kits varies slightly depending on the type of fiber in each kit. It is also worth noting that although Virginia does use Trendsetter and Prism yarns, she also adds a considerable amount of her own hand-dyed yarns to each kit. None of the photos on her website actually does justice to her amazing products.
There was a great deal of fiber for spinning / felting at Stitches this year, too. I could easily have spent my entire year's budget on braids of fiber, but showing some self-restraint (it is SO over-rated), I only bought one and got business cards for those vendors who sell wholesale. One of the nicest was Knitty and Color, with some very unusual jewel-tone colors. They also have a Batt of the Month Club, which looks like an amazing deal.
WORTH NOTING - the Allegan Fiber Festival is this weekend. Not only is it well worth the drive to the festival, this past weekend the Food Network featured a restaurant there, The Grill House. It is reputed to have some of the best steaks in the entire country.
Purls of wisdom: What goes sis-boom-bah? [scroll down]
An exploding sheep