Sunday, November 05, 2006

Stitches East 2006

I went a bit overboard at Stitches, but I'm ok with that. For one thing, my birthday was last week, so this was kind of a present to myself. For another thing, this was the first time that I've bought yarn knowing that I had an actual salary coming in, so I told myself ahead of time that it would be acceptable to splurge. I've spent the last 2 years of knitting NOT splurging.

We had a big group: Coleen, Laura, Jolene, Diane, Lolly, Jenna, Suzanne, Erin, Cheryl, Stacey, Midge, and myself (and I'm hoping I haven't forgotten anyone... yell at me if I have). None of us cared for the "no photography allowed" rule. It's not like we're industrial design spies looking to rip off people's patterns. I could understand "no pictures of pieces on display", but no pictures of ANYTHING? This didn't disgruntle me so much that I had to protest by not buying any yarn, of course... but it was an irritating rule.

I had told myself that I'd look around for a while before buying anything. Of course, 5 minutes after arriving, I was walking out of the Brooks Farm booth with this luscious skein of Duet:
Brooks Farm Duet
It has a really interesting texture. It's a single of mohair plied with a single of wool, and it's incredibly soft. They had a wall full of this stuff, and I was tempted to just throw myself on it.

Closer up:
Brooks Farm Duet

After that, we tried a methodical plan of walking down each aisle in order, which worked for a while and then degenerated into a less methodical mish-mash of running around everywhere. At the Mannings booth, I picked up these skeins of Koigu:



My first Koigu! I can't wait to see this knitted up. And while I was on a sock yarn kick, I got my first Socks That Rock at the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth:

Socks That Rock

Socks That Rock

The color is "Watermelon Tourmaline", and it's bright and springy and definitely "me". That was it for my Day 1 yarn purchases. Some of us went to the Downtown Sports Exchange for lunch, since it's right across the street from the convention center. Yes, a sports bar. And no, we were definitely not the only group of knitters. They had Yuengling on tap, so I was happy (and my Caesar salad was pretty decent... the service wasn't the swiftest ever, but it wasn't a bad place).

So, I had already decided that I was going to go back today. I had gotten a two-day ticket, and there were a lot of booths that we didn't look at too closely. Rather than pay $20 for parking near the convention center, I took the light rail in. I'd like to implore MTA to update their website to reflect the actual location of the Glen Burnie station, because it's not even on the same STREET that the website has listed. The signs aren't very visible, and coming from the direction I came from, there were NO signs indicating that the station is somewhere else. Found the station, parked, and as I was walking over to the "platform", I noticed a LOT of people in purple. There was a Ravens game today. You can't imagine how glad I was that I hadn't driven in. Aside from the traffic, it looks like a lot of people park further away from the stadium and walk over; I'm almost positive I wouldn't have found parking in any of the lots around the convention center.

Plus, this gave me the experience of riding the light rail in a car packed with Ravens fans, including one guy in a mask and purple cape. Super Raven, maybe? There were also some people going to Disney on Ice. One little girl (she turned 6 in August, but her mom STILL hasn't given her a party) was asking me about my knitting, and then was telling me about the first time she went to to Disney on Ice, and told me about her favorite princess... chatty kids are too funny.

Yarn buying. I had 4 booths that I really wanted to look at: Webs, Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm, Tess Yarns, and Wool in the Woods. Webs had bags of Elsebeth Lavold Angora, and I couldn't decide yesterday if I needed a bag. I decided overnight: Yes, I need a bag of this stuff.

Elsebeth Lavold Angora

I've used EL Angora before, as the lower 2/3rds of my Jayne Hat. The thought of having a whole sweater in it makes me giddy.

Back at MDS&W, I found Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm almost by accident. It was late in the day, and things were pretty picked over. I did find two skeins of a merino/silk blend that I really liked, but there were ONLY two skeins of it. Luckily, I found another three skeins at Stitches:


Two of the skeins here are $5 half skeins, so I basically have 4 total skeins now.

There were a lot of gorgeous things at the Tess Yarns booth, but I ended up not getting anything. Which was just as well, because then I went over to Wool in the Woods. I'm kind of obsessed with this company, so I knew I'd be getting something. That "something" was 4 skeins of their cotton tape yarn, called "Gypsy"... I loved Rowan Cotton Tape, back before they discontinued it (ARGH), so I'm always looking for similar things from other companies. Plus, Gypsy, MST3K... yeah, I had to get it.



And at that point I decided to leave, since no more yarn would fit in my bag. :)

While waiting for the light rail, ANOTHER chatty kid started talking to me, this one a boy, probably about 10, who was taking the train out to BWI to fly home to Albany. And then his dad was having problems with the ticket machine and asked if I knew how to work the things. I didn't have the heart to tell him that today was the first time I'd ever used them myself. The problem was that the machine was low on change, so if he used a $20 bill to pay, he was going to lose about $3. I ended up giving him 50 cents so he could pay with the change that he had (not that they collect or scan tickets anyway). He seemed to be in full-on frazzled "gotta get to the airport" mode, since when my train showed up, I had to tell him that the BWI train would be the next one... Yeah, that's airport frazzle. I hope he and the kid had a nice flight home.

This, by the way, is possibly the closest to home I've ever been when someone has asked for directions or help with public transit. Probably the best was the couple of times I got asked for directions in London, by people who apparently thought I was a native. The looks on their faces when I opened my mouth and an American accent came out... kind of priceless.

So, that's my haul. I'm good on yarn for a while. :)


Lolly said...

I didn't know you went back on Sunday! I was there too ;)

Wow girl, you totally deserved the splurge. I am so happy that you got so many lovely things. And I am so sorry I missed your birthday! I hope it was a good one!!

Stacey said...

You did really well! It was great to see you!!! It is nice to be able to splurge and not feel guilty for it! Good for you!!

Sarah said...

Excellent haul!
Sounds like you guys had so much fun.
What type of sweater are you thinking of knitting with the EL?

Amie said...

Geez, didn't you buy ANYTHING?

sprite said...

My last FO was a shawl made with Duet yarn. It is totally soft and huggable, but God, does it shed!