Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stitches West '09 - the rest of the story

The nice thing about blogs is that if you need to leave them for awhile, they just sit there and wait patiently for you to come back. (The blog readers, now that's another matter.) Cats however, if left for a week, even in the care of someone nice and sincere, have issues. Serious issues. Forgiveness is still pending.  I'll keep you posted.

So where was I?  Having entirely too much fun at Stitches West. More fun than I've had in the longest time.  I took a class in designing cables taught by Fiona Ellis, and missed out the opportunity to take classes in double-knitting and knitting continental style because the classes filled up much faster than I'd expected.  I tried knitting with square needles and learned about sock knitting machines from an enthusiast. I visited with friends I met last year at Stitches, like DidiTracy, and Wendee. I met some great new people like Christine, Michelle, and Laura.

And I did do a wee bit of shopping:

That, from left to right and then top to bottom is, a pair of sock blockers from Chappy's Fiber Arts, a couple skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Louet Gems fingering from Discontinued Brand Name Yarn, Madeleine Tosh sock in "Jade" from Webs, two skeins of Hazel Knits in new colorways "Blacklight" and "Lipstick 1984" from Bobbins Nest Studio, some Cascade Fixation from Rumpelstiltskin, and a skein of worsted wool from Creatively Dyed. Phew!

I'm very pleased with what I bought, I think I did I much better job of navigating the marketplace than I did last year, when it was all just completely overwhelming. But that's not all I got, just all I bought.

The night before I left to travel to Stitches I was frantically calmly packing my suitcase and tying up a few loose ends when I got a surprise phone call from my friend D.  Now I'd already received a great b-day card from her, and an email, but phone calls are nice too.  She informed me that a couple of her old friends from her glass-blowing days ran a business selling their glass beads, jewelry and other work and that apparently they were going to have a booth at Stitches West. Okay, any friend of D's is a friend of mine - great!  But then she went on to say that in honor of my 40th birthday, she had arranged for me to have a $40 credit at their booth! Oh wow - do I have the bestest friends or what???

So on Thursday evening at the market preview I went and introduced myself to Mingo and Asho of Glasscapes.  Their products were so amazingly gorgeous I knew I was going to need to come back and spend some quality time making a decision. And on Saturday afternoon, after over 30 minutes, I finally did:

A beautiful glass pendant and two stunning buttons. (Ruler included for scale). I wore the pendant when I went out Saturday evening, and had Mingo and Asho's business cards in my back pocket so every time someone commented on it...you get the idea!  I don't know what I'll use the buttons on, they are similar enough to be used together but so outstanding I think it'd be great to use just one as an accent at the top of a line of plain black buttons, or solo on a hat. We'll see!  (And thank you so much D!  Wonderfully thoughtful and far too generous!) 

But I got a lot more from the trip to Stitches West than what you can see in these pictures.  For just those brief days, I was completely surrounded by people who shared my level of interest in knitting. Not just a few people, not even a few dozen, but maybe a few hundred.  This, for a long time solo knitter like me, is a fairly heady experience.

Is it any wonder I'm experiencing a bit of difficulty in returning to my regularly scheduled programming?


Mia said...

Sounds like you had a great time - and that necklace is an awesome gift too! Nice to see you bein' good to yourself too - enjoy the loot!

Angela said...

That Hazel Knits Yarn Looks yummy!

Pat said...

What a great gift. Lovely.
I am panting with anticipation over Stitches South in April.

Knit with it said...

It was so much fun to see you again. :)

Sheepish Annie said...

Wow! The wooly goods are enough to make me weak in the knees, but the glass wares put me right over the moon! What a wonderful and thoughtful gift...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the event. You take all the time you need to get back into the swing of things. It's perfectly understandable!

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

Wow! What nice things you bought. Love those buttons and what a nice birthday present to yourself. Yes, we missed you and won't cling to you like the cats. :) xxoo