Friday, February 22, 2008

The Stitches West Experience


Let me say it again.


I just got home from Stitches West (and going out to dinner with Hubster), and I'm still in awe. I'm also tired, but not sleepy. It's the perfect night to work on my ledger and knit.

This was my first year going to Stitches, and it was HUGE. There were over 250 vendors, all of them dispensing enough drugs to keep any knitter high for a year. Yak. Qiviut. Camel. Cashmere. Merino. Kid Mohair. Wool of all breeds. Water buffalo. American Bison. Alpaca. Cashgora. Pygora. Books. Notions. Yarn. Yarn. YARN. I could go on and on, but I'm beginning to glaze over just thinking about it.

I met Karen of KaratStix, one of my treasured vendors (and now a treasured friend) at the front desk. It turns out we both got there early and kept walking past each other. It's so easy to walk in circles there and not know it, even when you're using a map. I saw familiar names and new ones. Karen kept me in check by not saying a word, merely by being there. I didn't want to binge and make an ass of myself in front of her. I do that enough by merely breathing. If you're reading this, Karen, I would love to see you before next year. :)

I got a really cool new notion for the shop which will go in the update on Tuesday. We both made valuable contacts - she got some vendors interested in her work, and I got vendors interested in selling through the shop. I'll probably be carrying some yak (I did binge a little and bought three skeins of yak down for socks - oh geez), some alpaca from two guys who are trying to break into the business and want to work with me in trying out new things and ways to market their products, and these notions which, if you all like them, I'll definitely be carrying. Oh... and there's also a custom glass worker who makes these incredible glass things. We each bought this cool new ball thing to keep your yarn in when you're knitting (it's big enough to put a sock project in with the yarn when you're traveling, too), I got some new sterling stitch markers, the yak, some yarn from Lisa Souza Designs, and one of those nifty notions for myself. I don't think I did too bad at all. I also got my picture taken with Karen, but it's HORRIBLE - I look like I don't have a lower jaw and my gut is hanging out. Oh crap. We had lots of fun looking at everything, blabbing, gossiping, fondling yarn, gossiping, eating lunch, fondling more yarn... and get this: Windy Valley Musk Ox had vicuna and guanaco. I wanted it so badly - until the guy told us the price. For a very small skein (200 yards, I think ), it was $250. Yep, you read that right. They're extremely rare and difficult to get. Oh. My. God. Better than sex, those two. I forgot which one was the more expensive, but neither was cheap. You get what you pay for. Maybe for my birthday. Or Sunday.

If I had to say anything bad about Stitches, it's that there's too much. Me, the Queen of Excess, saying that? Yes. It was so crowded in the earlier part of the day that it was difficult to get close to some of the booths to see what they had. It was laid out well enough - it's just enormous. I'll definitely go every year from now on, but I think I'll split it up into two days. Karen is going all weekend. She's got the right idea. Even if you go into the same booth, chances are that you'll see something different. The weather tomorrow is supposed to be wicked - one of the biggest storms we've had this winter. I'll be packing your orders (yes, it really is working - a couple of you had problems, but we found out that it wasn't Hubster's code, it's PayPal itself) and watching the storm through the window. I love storms, especially the rainy part. It'll be a perfect night to knit, and it will also be gone by the time I walk through the prison on Monday.

So that's it. I've got new stuff in and will get as much up as I can on Tuesday. I won't talk to you again until probably Monday night. We may lose power tomorrow night, and we'll be gone Sunday.

I want to thank all of you who waited so patiently for the code to be fixed. It's much appreciated. Mark was up all night last night and got an hour's sleep before he had to drop me off at the show and go into work for a meeting. I know some of you haven't gone through the rest of the check-out procedure; please do so at your earliest convenience.

Oh... there is something you can do for me. Those of you who have talked with Hubster or just want to wish him a little cheer, please send him an email. Tomorrow (Feb. 23) is his birthday. I feel like a toad - I completely forgot. If you can just drop him a "Happy Birthday, you old bastard!" or some such thing at:

I would really appreciate it.

Thanks, everyone. :)


KnittyGirl said...

I am glad you had fun!!!!!!!
Tell Hubster HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Bezzie said...

I grew up in "Windy Valley"!! (Palmer, AK)

It's over already? For some reason I thought it was this weekend. Dang time flies! Sounds like fun tho.

Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

Hey Bez,

Yep, it's all weekend. It actually began Thursday for the students and opened to the public on Friday. It closes Sunday. With the storm about to hit full-bore, I'm glad I went yesterday. Today is purchase-packing day.

Anni said...

Belated happy birthday to Mark. Stitches sounds amazing. I'd love to go one day. I would have to go with an empty suitcase in order to bring all those purchases back to hte UK. Sounds fantastic.