Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stitches West 2008

Ah, what to write about Stitches West? I got there around 10:30-ish? Maybe 11:00. It wasn't raining yet, though it started soon after I got into the building and poured for the rest of the day and long into the evening. I got good, easy parking in the parking lot across from the Convention Center. Which was good. I had forgotten my umbrella (or so I thought -- I found out after I returned home that it had rolled under the driver's seat. Grf,) which turned out to be a little wet for me later in the day.

I had a few folk who were going to call me to hook up in the Market, but only one of ended up doing so. Which was fine, I know how crazy the Market can be and how plans change and what-not. Alice, who was a friend of mine from my old Genetech days, called about an hour after I arrived and we hooked up.

By then, I had done almost all of my pocketbook's damage. You see, I fell deeply in love with a shawl from La Lana Wools of Taos. So new it's not even on their website yet. It hung on the back wall of their booth and I was drawn to it like a moth to flame. I grabbed the pattern and spoke at length to the designer. The pattern called for some "tail spun" Wensleydale to sew around the edges as a fringe. A wonderful, natural wool-dripping fringe that the Alaskan girl in me loved loved loved. They sold it by the ounce and cut the yardage you needed. So, I bought the shawl pattern and the Wensleydale tailspun to trim it. I also grabbed a 2nd shawl pattern from them. I did not ask the price.

It was my budget and a little bit more. OH yes. I still feel a little dizzied by it. But it was actually kind of freeing to be "done" so early and know that I would buy nothing more but the alphabet stitch markers I needed to work with the new Cat Bordhi sock book.

Alice got there and we yapped and I ran around getting my Ravelry Passport stamped all over the place. The Passport thing was a great idea! Ravelry printed up these fun passports with pages for vendors who had contacted them and donated prizes. You got a stamp for each booth that had a page in the passport and then turned your passport in to the Ravelry booth. They tore out the page with your name on it and gave you the passport to keep as a souvenir. I didn't win anything in the raffles, but had a great time getting all my stamps. It gave me an additional raison d'├ętre, since I had no more $$ to spend.

I fondled much yarn - it was nice to see the Raven colorways live and in person at the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth. Got some ideas for when I next have money to burn. The WEBS booth tempted me, but the lines were outrageous. The woman who usually is there selling vintage pattern booklets wasn't there - I missed her.

After awhile, Alice and I got overwhelmed and exited the Market to take in some lunch at the restaurant. We went for the buffet since we were both starving. It was nice. Then we dove back into the market for awhile, until Alice was ready to head back home. I really enjoyed my time with her. We made a tentative date to get together again for dinner at her house sometime in the next month or so. I'll have to nag on her. She's one of those incredibly busy corporate-manager types.

After she left, I finished up my passport and turned it in. Shopped around a little more - snagged the stitch markers at the very last and then, exhausted, left to go check into my hotel across the way. Got rained on. By now it was 5:00PM.

I got into the hotel and the rain started REALLY coming down. I was tired and hungry and decided that I really wasn't up to trying to find the coffee shop and yarn store I had planned to go to. Not in the pouring rain - and I didn't know if there would be real food available anywhere. Coffee and a pastry was not what I needed at that time. So, I went ahead and changed into my jammies and called room service. They actually had a pretty inexpensive menu or I wouldn't have considered it. I really didn't want to go downstairs and sit in the restaurant. I wanted to order a movie on the boob tube, knit, and eat dinner on my bed while the rain drummed on my window. That is comforting for me. They had a portabello mushroom wrap sandwich with feta and olives that looked promising at $12. So, I did it. And the kitchen sent me up a plate full of french fries to go with it just because the sandwich looked "lonely" on the tray. Wasn't that sweet?

So, I ate and watched "Atonement" on TV. Which was entertaining, but not great. I knit some on my Lenore sock and ended up ripping it all back out.

The next day, Sunday, I considered... I had gotten a free Market pass but it was only good for one day. So I'd have to pay another $12 to go again on Sunday and I really had no budget left. So I could just go home. My husband was, after all, ill. But he urged me to take the day anyway - it was mine to play with, it was my annual weekend to Indulge Margo's Weird Pleasures.

So, I spent the whole day Sunday thrifting. And I was quite happy - I got a lovely knitting book and some cute clothes and dresses for Rosaline and myself. I got a set of Pyrex refrigerator dishes. And at one of the last places I went, they had cones of industrial threads and some yarns they were selling for 99 cents apiece. I got an enormous cone of a boucle laceweight in "blueberry" that I want to use to make a lace cardigan from. I got a cone of this lovely sparkling golden thread that will be fun to knit along with another yarn to jazz it up a bit - perhaps just in some sections. Huge cones - anyone want any I am happy to share. More than I'll ever use in my lifetime.

They also had what I've been coveting for ages. Anyone who recycles yarn will know what I mean here. You know that tiny thread of elastic that is cobwebby and light that industrially made sweaters have knitted into the ribbing of cuffs? You can't get it anywhere - it's only sold to industries. Well, they had cones of it. CONES OF IT. I bought 2 - one in white and one in brown - to use for cuffs that I don't want to stretch out and for the ribbing in my socks. I might even try putting some in my short row sock heels to see if that keeps them from getting too floppy by the end of the day. I have enough to last 6 lifetimes, I think. Maybe 7. Depending on the knitter.

I arrived home to bring dinner to my hungry husband and daughter who had done really well together and were basking in the hot tub.

And I had an e-mail from Cookie A! I am going to be knitting a sample pair of socks for her upcoming book!! So you may not hear from me much come April. I will be using every spare second to knit - I'm a slow knitter and I will be working under a deadline. Eeek!!!

Hope everyone who went to Stitches had a great time!


Carrie said...

That sounds like so much fun!! Not next year, but maybe the year after that, I may try to earn myself an annual weekend away doing crazy things too :)

lara said...

fun fun fun! exciting stuff. very very cool about knitting socks for Cookie A!

maryskid said...

I love your rendition of the weekend-and the fact that you took the time for yourself. I would have done the same, went thrifting on the second day! I absolutely adore out-of-town thrift stores, and always manage to find something that becomes "souvenir yarn" when unraveled. I am loving that you found cones of the elastic thread. I've come across it in unraveling sweaters and cursed it - but now I'm going to start harvesting it too, what a good idea to put it in cuffs and heels. My big thrift find this past week was a pair of the high end Earth shoes (not the knock offish ones from Walmart) in a mary jane style, a half size bigger than I normally take so I can wear my handknits in bulkier yarns. $5. I also found a delightful cashmere sweater and a pair of black pants that don't need to be hemmed. A good day.