Sunday, August 22, 2004

I don't need I? (Stitches Report)

We are back from Stitches, and I think we're a little worse for wear, but it was wonderful. I spent about three times what I wanted to on yarn, but that's ok. (Anyone want to buy a bracelet? Huh, huh? Come on!)

The day started at our very nice, but hard to find, hotel. Very nice continental breakfast; I had a waffle to try to stock up some energy for the mad dash. We arrived at the convention center almost exactly on time, ten o'clock; by the time we bought our tickets, the line to get in was almost gone. By 11:30 we had not made it through the entire market, as planned, but we were close. I had purchased one pattern book that I had been wanting for a while from Dale. It has this pattern in it:
and it has a lot of other beautiful things too. I love it when that happens! Totally worth $12!

Teri's class had gotten out early, so she came in and found us. We hit the concession stand for lunch, and watched the style show while we ate. It featured two new books from XRX and the pieces in the new Knitter's. The new magazine looks pretty good. Maybe I'll buy it, but I have enough projects, which we'll get to later.
The four of us after lunch: Me, Gwen, Suzie, and Teri (left to right):

At 1:00 there was a needle felting demonstration we all wanted to see, because we'd never seen it before. We were utterly enthralled; as Suzie said "It's like...magic!" And it was. The woman demonstrating said she had a kit to sell with everything you need to make a little teddybear, or whatever, and when she asked for questions I asked "Where is your booth?" And off we went to continue looking around.

We made it down the last aisle, finding a vendor who carried Zephyr, which would be a suitable yarn for our Madli's Shawls, but I knew a lot of people use Zephyr for lace (because it's gorgeous!) and I wanted something unique and unusual. I had been through the entire place, and had only seen one real option. So we started to go back through again, and we found a booth we hadn't really seen before, and it had lovely alpaca laceweight in beautiful colors. The lady there, Linda, said that it would take a pound of it to get 1100 yards, which didn't make a lot of sense to me, since a worsted weight I was looking at somewhere else was 1100 yds/pound, and alpaca is supposed to be really lightweight, I thought. So Gwen and I each bought 4 ounces worth (because I incorrectly remembered that that was what we needed - we really needed 8!) but I think we'll have enough. If not, we'll just make our shawls shorter! Or contact our new favorite Alpaca farm: Pajolo Farms in Austin, MN. This is my shawl yarn:

Funny story: as we're waiting to pay, we noticed these little plastic resin paperweights with Alpaca poop in them, called "Pooperweights". Isn't that disgusting, but in a really funny amusing way? So we were talking about it as we were standing there. Apparently, when I was busy signing my charge slip, Linda, the propietor, gave my friends a look to say "should I?" as she dropped a "Pooperweight" into my bag. Very funny, Linda. And did I notice that my four ounces of alpaca weighed more like a pound? No. I didn't. Not until we ran into Mary Ann and I reached into my bag to show her my yarn did I notice my little "gift". Thank you, Linda. It was a source of much amusement. I will cherish it as well as Alpaca poop in plastic resin can be cherished.
This is Linda putting YARN in my bag, while I sign my credit slip:
See those little shiny round things near the front of the desk by the plant? Those are "Pooperweights". I know you want one too. Too bad, you can't have mine.

We finished going through the market again, this time making our purchases. I bought this: Hemp yarn for a sweater from the Summer Interweave 2004, only $35. Pretty, pretty! And unique, too!

One pound of silk/cotton blend from Webs: $15. How could I pass that up?
For now, I plan on using it for the Mandelay Medallions from a few Interweaves ago. Do you see a trend? Gwen also bought some sock yarn, and Suzie bought some yarn and a pattern for a shawl. Actually, the pattern was free with the yarn purchase. There were a lot of deals like that. The needle felting kit was $19.99, and while it was worth it, I had already spent more than I should, and it's ok to leave some for next year.

Finally, around 3:30 we decided that they could stick a fork in us, because we were done! We loaded our plunder in the trunk and took off. Around 6:00 it was time for a rest stop, and we decided to stop at a Wendy's for dinner, too. About half way through Suzie finally asked what I know I was thinking: "Can we get our stuff out of the trunk?" I had been thinking about my yarn in the trunk the whole trip, and I just wanted it nearby. So we got it all out (except me. I just got out one ball of the Alpaca, and the Pooperweight). We placed the Pooperweight on the dash, as a mascot of sorts, and off we went, petting our yarn all the way. Here are some pictures of my view from the trip:

This is the Pooperweight on my dash:

My yarn, as it sat on my leg:

So maybe we're crazy. It's like a new pet; we don't want to be away from it, but over time that feeling subsides. I'll probably bring the shawl to work on at work tomorrow, but maybe I'll be able to leave it at home and work on something else. I'm debating about the Pooperweight - I just don't think everyone would understand my having preserved Alpaca droppings at my desk. They already think I'm crazy enough.

I didn't get home until around 10:00, and I was exhausted, but I still did this:
It's turning out well, but I need some pointy-er needles. Maybe it's time to try those new baleen needles, I think their tips are thin, and they're flexible, too, that might help.

So overall, I was very happy with the trip. I spent a LOT more than I wanted to, but so what? I don't need I?


Teri said...

Pooperweight? I have to see that in person. Are you bringing it on Wednesday? I'm bringing all the groovy stuff I acquired at Stitches. We can have our own little Show-and-Share. Minus the Blue Hairs and their Red Heart of course.