Monday, February 26, 2007

Stitches West 2007: Part One (Thursday)

First, I want to say how sorry I am that I haven't responded to all of you regarding the fabulous comments on my scarf. I do sincerely appreciate it when comments are left for me, especially when you tell me how good my knitting is. Thank you!

Next (and what you're here for anyway), I'm going to give you my impressions of Stitches. Most of Thursday was spent driving from southern California (Orange County) to northern California (Santa Clara). It used to be that I hated to sit in a car, but all that changed when I was able to knit while DH drove. Now, I seem to be able to sit for almost any length of time with my iPod podcasts in my ear & my needles in my hands. The weather was horrible about 50% of the 400 mile drive and DH shared some “choice” words occasionally out of frustration, but by the time we got to the San Luis Reservoir all that ended due to the absolutely beautiful countryside that continued through arriving in Santa Clara.

My itinerary for Stitches West was to attend the Market preview on Thursday night, which is where over 250 booths of knitting-related vendors set up their wares to be purchased. Although I didn’t know it when I decided to take a class, but only students who registered for a class were allowed into the Market (vendor area) Thursday evening from 7pm-9pm. This is definitely a HUGE advantage, especially if you want to purchase or even see most of the inventory available from vendors such as Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Also, the Yarn Lady had quite a large bin about 20’ long and 2’ wide absolutely jam packed with bags of yarn at 75% off.

I arrived with much anticipation and the 30 minutes I spent in line at the door waiting to get in seemed more like an hour or two. I was armed with my map of the vendor area & had a general game plan in place of what booths I was going to try & get to that evening in such a short span of time.

My first stop was Blue Moon Fiber Arts so that I could finally personally see this fabulous yarn with all the different choices of colors up close & personal. I was definitely not disappointed but it was tricky seeing everything since we were stacked 3 people deep all trying to do the same thing … get to the yarn! As I started grabbing armfuls of sock yarn, I then remembered that I was on a budget and if I blew all my money at this booth, the adventure would end. So I carefully chose two of my favorite yarns and proceeded to the cashier. The one on the left is Obsidian & the colorway on the right is Garnet. When I got back to the hotel room, DH decided that Obsidian should be used for a pair of socks for him. Even a guy can't resist the power of Socks That Rock!

The rest of the night is a wonderful blur of yarns. I do remember specifically going to the Brooks Farm booth to look at their FourPlay in hopes of purchasing some for a Clapotis (since I may be one of the very few that have never knit one), but decided instead to purchase two skeins of their Acero yarn. The yarn is a fingering weight blend of washable wool, silk and viscose that has a somewhat heathered look and I just couldn't put it down! I’d seen their website many times and liked the yarn, but in person, this yarn is absolutely stunning!

The Yarn Lady is a local yarn store about 30 miles from my house, and although I've never been there in person, I stopped at her booth because I knew she was carrying the new Addi Turbo Lace circular needles. After the frustration I’ve had with the KnitPicks recently, I think it just may be worth the extra $10 a needle to purchase the new Addi needles. I picked up two packets of the 24” cable size 1 US, since that’s what I seem to use most frequently when knitting socks. I was most impressed that the cables have the needle size inscribed on them and this is very much appreciated!

I'd only intended on purchasing needles here, but of course after looking around, I saw the Koigu KPPPM that I’d only viewed online. Since I’d noticed my color palette that evening seemed to be mainly in the burgundy colorways, I branched out and chose blue. After all, it’s Project Spectrum colors currently.

The only other purchase I made that evening was at CommuKnity where they had quite a large inventory of Claudia Handpaint yarn. I had a horrible time choosing which of the fabulous colorways to purchase, but I ended up choosing their most popular, Chocolate Cherry.

Of course I stopped at other vendors that evening for a quick sneek peek, but I was amazed that in 2 hours I probably only saw ¼ of what was there. I couldn’t wait for Friday!

Stay tuned for part two which includes a class, meeting an online blogger friend, a book author & why I love my husband!


Jodi said...

Looks like you had a great time! The blue Koigu is gorgeous -- I don't often see Koigu with much blue in it.

Karen said...

Ahhhh, what a great post!!! I feel like I was there, walking around with you!!! It's kind of sad when I listen to the yarns you mention and it seems I have a few skeins of almost all in my stash. Maybe it's a good think I'm on the East Coast and couldn't go. :) I love the colors you chose though, and can't wait to hear about the rest of the weekend!!

ScrapHappy said...

Love your recap!
CommuKnity is another one of my local stores. I go there occasionally -- it's about 15 minutes away, so not too bad, but it's def. not the closest!
Can't wait to hear about Day 2. :)

Carole Knits said...

Sounds like a great night. You made wonderful yarn purchases, too.

Micki said...

Great yarns (and needles)! I'm looking forward to part two.

abby said...

All of your purchases are soooo lovely! And I haven't done a Clapotis yet either, but I've had the yarn for ages. Maybe I should consider that for the June wedding we'll be attending... Welcome back!

slyn said...

I love all of your yarn and I'm so proud of you for purchasing something blue! :)Can't wait to see more!!

Lynda said...

Oooh, what wonderful yarn purchases!

BTW - I still haven't made Clapotis yet, either... but will, someday!

jillian said...

Beautiful stashies!!

Sharon said...

We may have done the tango at the very crowded Blue Moon booth! :D I, too, was at the Market preview. Flew down from Portland to shop and take a lace class from Galina Khmeleva. I hung out at Commuknitty on Friday morning and also got some Claudia handpaint :) were we separated at birth or what?! anyway, I am enjoying reading your account of Stitches West.

Judy said...

I learned the hard way at the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival that I must visit Blue Moon last. I have no will power when within reach of STR.

Can't wait to hear how you like those Addi needles!

Anonymous said...

Thursday night sounds like a success. You got some great stuff. Can't wait to hear about the rest.

Dipsy said...

Oh yummy, the yarn goodness! What an amazing haul - I really can't pick a favourite out of these skeins that you've shown, they all look so great!