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Stitches West
4:25 p.m. - 2007-02-24

I am back from spending two days at Stitches. Not that I take classes or anything, I just spend hours walking around the Market. Yesterday I went with my sisters, meeting up with January when the doors opened. Our timing was pretty good the whole day, with arriving just before 10:00 to find that there were only about three parking places left in the lot next to the Convention Center, but one each was all we needed. When we got inside, there were only three people at the ticket counter, which surprised me, since every year before I have spent a while in a big, long line waiting for tickets. Most people are buying them online, I guess. The doors opened then and in we went. We couldn't find January, so we went to the info booth and had her paged, which was fun, but January says that her name blaring out over the loudspeakers startled her a little. Which makes it funnier, of course. Then we spent the next three or four hours going from booth to booth. As soon as the doors opened, Auntie M and I had raced across the big convention room to the booth that was selling Socks That Rock.

Melissa had read somewhere that at Stitches East, the STR had sold out quickly, so she wanted us to buy some for her on the first day, since she had to work on Friday. We got there and bought five different colorways from the bountiful supply. Today when Melissa and I were there, the STR were almost sold out. Then, bag full of sock yarn, we went to page January, then headed to the far corner. The market was mobbed, but I managed to find a great booth that had a giant ball winder. I have seen a big ball winder in wood with a belt to make it turn (Strauch or something like that) and it cost $91 at one booth. I ended up getting one similiar to the smaller one I already had, and it cost a little more, but I really like it. After that I got some patterns and checked out the books at Yarn Barn (Kansas) but the line to purchase was so long we would have been there forever. I decided to make that my first stop the next day before the crowds came, so that is what I did.

After that, we went to lunch at the colorful shopping center next to the church with the giant statue of Mary, then we drove January back to her car and headed out to find the Japanese book store, Kinokuniya. The traffic on the freeway was sooo thick already in the middle of the afternoon that we gave up that idea and just drove home.

This morning, Melissa and I set out about 8:30, getting to the convention center a little after 9:00. We bought her ticket easily with no line yet (I had a two day pass), then waited in line for the doors to open. The time passed quickly with chatting and watching the ladies go by in their interesting sweaters. I saw a Summer Braids cardigan, that Alice Starmore sweater with the scallop shell design down the front, and an actual Must-Have Cardigan. Mine looks zippier, I must say. Hers was a sad pale greyish color. Melissa got more sock yarn, and I got two Interweave books: Lace Style, and Favorite Socks. We hit the White Lies Designs booth and bought about 5 patterns, then on to Stitch Diva, Melissa's favorite. She got some patterns, then went back to the same booth I bought the winder from to buy herself a swift. It is very handsome, comes apart for storage, and is nice because it works when the skein of yarn reverses winding direction.

We found a booth selling patterns by Cookie A, who designs some our favorite sock patterns on Knitty, not to mention the hilarious photographs of the socks. We saw that she was there in the booth, so we had a nice chat with her. Melissa bought one of her sock patterns. I was a little low on funds at that point.

We went out to lunch at Taxi's instead of the much more expensive Mexicali Grill because I didn't have enough money left. I had fortunately printed out directions to Kinokuniya, so we found it very easily. Now I love that store, but it is not easy to find the knitting magazines when you cannot read the spines of the books and mags, and besides, they stick clumps of them into the shelves at random. You end up having to pull out all the magazines one at a time to see the cover. In spite of this, they had some really nice publications, and I spent some of the money I had earmarked for the bead show, but who cares?

Now I am home, about to go out for barbecue with friends, so life is all good. What a great knitting week. My light fuschia sweater is all put together and I just have to knit the button and neck bands.

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