Posts Tagged ‘Stitches West 2013’

The day is "dawning"....breakfast and the knitting market are calling!

The day is “dawning”….
breakfast and the knitting market are calling!

I began waking around 4:30 a.m. without the dog or cats to help…just excited about the new day ahead…friends and yarn were on the horizon. I must confess I really am not the best hotel person…don’t like them for lots of reasons. I laid low until 6:00 a.m. …did not want to include my great roommate Karen H in my wake-up world. The truth of the matter is I kept sneaking peaks at my iPhone to see who was up and what was going on.

It wasn’t long before Karen and I were both up and talking…sorting out the day when the text messages from the group of 10 others starting flowing. Who was up…what time to meet for breakfast…should we meet in our hotel dining room. It was all too funny! My sister Betty (from Fremont) joined us for breakfast at the hotel…she and I had planned to meet for the day…and we added this breakfast delight to our plate!

Breakfast done…we all moved onto Stitches….what a great entrance for me. Right off the bat, I saw one of my old Skein Lane knitting friends Alice (we are now FB friends)…that was the beginning of more wonderful “reunions”! One of the unique joys is that we are all so happy to meet….and yet we want to keep it ever so brief….the market is waiting!

Betty and I spent 5+ hours on the market floor. Many of you may not know that I really hate to shop except when it comes to knitting….I can get so lost in it. I saw many old friends….was inspired by many knitted items and hardware type stuff….and walked away with a couple of new things. I know….we all know….I did not need a thing….but that doesn’t matter. I am a knitter and we buy for further creation!

Some of my favorite stops along the way of 191 booths were Village Spinning & Weaving….John always has a huge line in his booth; Belisa Cashmere…..a wonderful vendor from one of my three homelands….Australia; Cabin Fever and Sheldridge Farm…..Lyn (Cabin Fever) is one of the Gemmel sisters of top-down knitting design …… these two companies have recently merged together. I bought here….yarn and pattern for lovely long vest. In another booth…Dan Doh Knit and Crochet Designs  I found a V-neck sweater design that I had to have.  Okay….how many sweaters do I really wear because I am generally warmer than the average person….but it is  V-neck and I can knit it in cotton.  We then stopped at the FoxyKnits where I bought a lovely shawl pin. I love to see Knitterly at Stitches….this shop from Petaluma has the best yarn choices, customer service….and great charm abounds! Of course, we stopped by MaggiKnits again…wanted to show Betty the many choices an I wanted to revisit.

We then headed over to Fickle Knitter’s booth….Michelle and Kimberly not only showed lovely yarn and garment models…but entertained us with a dance. IMG_2591

IMG_2593There were several vendors that I did not spend time with and I wanted to…..Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods. This vendor has such interesting novelty accessory offerings….I could get lost in that booth for at least an hour…maybe that’s why I didn’t…felt like we needed to keep moving. I can hardly believe I didn’t stop in at Lisa Souza Knitwear and Dyeworks..…Lisa has wonderful hand-dyed yarns…I’ve knit with many…..I’ve been a customer of hers since my pre-retail days and her days of selling at Live Oak Park in Berkeley. Her booth was busy when we walked by and my plan was to return….but I got finally got the “knitter glaze” of being done with seeing too much….loving it but could not comprehend anymore. It was then time for Betty and me to move out and head for home. Another vendor that I missed was A Verb for Keeping Warm. Their booth was in the last aisle and my head was turned the wrong way. Ugh! Luckily, this is a local shop for me and I will visit there soon.

Wait…..there’s more.  I got to see two of my favorite peopleMelissa Leapman mid-day Friday…she had taken a break from her teaching and came to booth #713 – Leilani Arts to help out….this booth was directly across the aisle from MaggiKnits. Yeah for me….I love her teaching and designing skills….and best of all I think she is such a great person. I always love to see her and she was the last Stitches person I saw that day. In the middle of the afternoon I was able to chat with Lorna Miser….another lovely person…teacher and designer.

In case you didn’t get to see the photo album that I posted on Facebook Sunday….here’s the link!

Truth be known….I really did entertain the thought about going back to Stitches on Sunday. I do love yarn and the world around it! But….I stayed home and tended to the garden.  Now back to knitting!

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Carolyn's Vision - MaggiKnits Large Cowl

Carolyn’s Vision – MaggiKnits Large Cowl

I had so much fun this weekend  (You can see Skein Lane’s photo album here!) …I hardly know where to begin. I loved working in MaggiKnits booth….the product is great and so were the customers. One of the first things I saw was the Sleeveless Dip Vest….I immediately called Karen K (of my Skein Lane knitting  circle) saying you need to see this…it has your name written on it. She came, she saw and we will see her wearing the vest soon. She knits with lightning speed.

It was so great seeing so many old friends from my Skein Lane retail days….some were customers…some were vendors…some were associates. There were so many but the names that come to my mind at the moment include Yodi and her friend Alice. Yodi had such wonderful things to say about our Skein Lane days together…it made me remember one of the reasons I wanted a Skein Lane community…I was inspired by my Grandma Alta’s love of community….she spent much time with her quilting groups/friends.

In the middle of the afternoon a person that I thought I recognized came into the booth with a couple of her friends. I’m thinking that it is Candi Jensen…and by golly it was. Candi and I met years ago when we took the same shuttle along with Barbara Scott from the Portland airport to the Portland Stitches Conference…must have been 1990. I remember that I had so much fun…my first Stitches conference and I was over the top with enthusiam..and knitting purchases. Candi’s and my path have crossed several times during the following years which included her visiting Skein Lane retail. Barbara Scott is a dear friend of one of our knitting group dear  friends – Jean Canon….Barbara has visited Skein Lane knitting workshops over the years…I am always so honored to have Barbara, a master knitter,  in our presence.

As I was writing up the sales receipt for one of Candi’s friends, I notice that the name is Debbie Macomber…I ask, “Are you the author?” And it was. Debbie has written many novels with a knitting theme….one of her first with a knitting theme was about a yarn store on Blossom Street. I googled it tonight and I was amazed at how many novels that Debbie has written over the last 30 years….who knew?!

The market closed at 6 p.m…..I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t tired. I headed over to the bar to meet up with my knitting friends…most from the Friday morning knitting workshop. Eleven of us then moved on to our dinner at Piatti. The group has been dining here for several years when they have attended Stitches. In previous years I was either working the Stitches show or I had family obligations which prevented me from joining them. This year was different…I joined…it was such a lovely evening….the restaurant even had a gluten-free menu for people like me.

Okay….this wraps up Friday at Stitches. Tomorrow will be all about Saturday at Stitches.

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California Craftini – The Pre-Stitches Edition.

Check out what Kimberly has to say about the Stitches West Event coming up this weekend.

Kimberly….thank you for the “warm up” for us to be in the highest of spirits for Stitches. I remember my first Stitches Event in Portland…probably 1990 or so. I was so excited…had such a good time…had to buy a suitcase to bring my treasures home.

There’s one more vendor I want to add to the list of “must sees”. I am a MaggiKnits fan…I knit her garments….I sell her yarn and kits…and I will be working her booth on Friday. Come by and check it out!

I think I slipped on Facebook today and said that I might go shopping on Saturday….I will certainly be at the show….but I shouldn’t do much shopping…my knitting stash could be called my “retirement”.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Stitches…a fun, energetic, creative time.

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