I flew back to San Diego late on Sunday evening after classes. As usual, the entire Stitches West experience was a ton of fun and a bit over-whelming. It took me until now to decompress and I don't even know where to begin... okay, at the beginning.
Kris and I met up at the San Jose airport after our flights landed at about noon on Friday. Since we decided to stay at the hotel where Stitches was this year, we did not get a rental car, but Seltsame was so very kind and picked us up to take us to the hotel/convention center so that we would have more yarn money!
We attempted to check into the hotel early. No such luck, so we dumped our bags with the bellman and head straight to the convention center.
First stop - why Blue Moon of course!!
I think we were one of the lucky ones in that there was still a bit of a selection left on Friday afternoon. The Pink Granite and Carbon Dating were the first ones I grabbed - the Nodding Violet was added on Saturday, but I'll get to that later.
Quickly we were off to the Tess Yarn's booth, and found nothing but complete yarn loveliness. Here is the haul from both Friday and Saturday:
This is where things get a little fuzzy on Friday. I think it went something like this...
2. Getting our Victorian Lace Today books signed by the author Jane Sowerby... and somehow some Claudia's Handpainted Sock yarn ended up in my stash:
3. A Webs stop that consisted of purchasing quite a bit of yarn. It's so hard to pass up their discount and no shipping charge!
4. A swing by Brooks Farms yarns:
5. And a purchase at Yarn Barn:
After the Market closed, and we checked into our room, we met up the A Little Loopy gals and knitzalot for dinner at the hotel restaurant. It took awhile to get a table (the hotel was really under-staffed for the event going on next door at the convention center).... but the food, wine and company were quite wonderful.
After dinner, we were both exhausted. Kris more so than I with the time change from the east coast. I worked on a swatch using the newly acquired Bonsai yarn for the IK Tunic and was asleep by 10:30PM.
Saturday was an early rise-and-shine with the start of Kris' all day class (lucky girl getting to meet Nancy Bush!). I hung out in the room for a bit, finished the tunic swatch from the night before, and got ready to head down to the Market for the 10AM opening.
Kris text-messaged me at 9AM. The funny thing about this text was that I had asked Kris the night before if she wanted me to swing by Blue Moon in the morning to see if they had held back on displaying all their stock as there were two colors she wanted that they did not have on Friday afternoon. After the spending spree with both did, she quickly told me no-thank-you. The 9AM message - the two colors she wanted... she changed her mind :)
But I can completely respect that, so Blue Moon was my first stop when the Market opened. I headed straight there, and since they were in the back of the hall I only had to maneuver around two other ladies. They had one of the two colors Kris wanted (the Nodding Violet), and they only had two hanks of that color left. I liked it so much as well, I ended up with one too!
I bummed around the Market for awhile, picked up a couple patterns here and there, and did some catching up on the booths we missed the day before. Stitch Diva had a free demonstration on Hairpin Lace techniques, so I attended that. I then met Kris for lunch, met up with a couple of the A Little Loopy gals and knitzalot where Kris and I were informed that we completely missed the booth that had Cookie's patterns. We definitely had to head there, where, in addition to a couple patterns, I picked up:
I also did some buying on Kris' behalf as she had to bolt back to her class.
Left to my own devices, I systematically walked the rest of the Market, taking note of two booths I most definitely had to take Kris to after her class was over. I went back up to the hotel room for a couple of hours, cast-on for the Bonsai Tunic and put my feet up.
After Kris called to say she was done, I took her to:
1. The Windy Vally Muskox booth where they had many many luxury fibers... that were completely out of my price range at that point. The good news was that patterns were free when yarn was purchased for it. So I did find that I had to have:
2. A booth that had unique shawl and scarf pins:
We did a bit more perusing before the Market closed. We headed to the Stitch Diva booth, and after an impromptu lesson on hairpin lace for Kris we both purchased the looms. I also picked up some 30 gauge wire for knit / crochet / hairpin lace jewelry making:
Our very last stop for the day was at Webs so that we could scope out the yarn choices for the Lotus Smock Cami. Kris made a purchase - I held off because I just might have enough ArtFiber's Golden Chai leftover that would be perfect.
Saturday night we met up with CJ, Seltsame and Christina for dinner at Pasta Pomodoro. We then headed to Purlescence for some visiting and some knitting, before turning in for the night at almost midnight.
Can you believe the length of this post?!? Thank you to all of you who have stuck with it thus far. I have yet to say anything about the two classes I took on Sunday. Let's keep it simple and just say:
The first class was a wonderful class on short-row techniques from Fiona Ellis (the author of Inspired Cable Knits). She brought a few of the sweater samples from the book and they were all just lovely.
The second class was on converting flat patterns to circular ones taught by Gwen Bortner. This class was super informative and definitely gave me the skills (and guts) to give it a try sometime.
The only thing I would consider changing for next year (of course I'm going next year!) is to maybe get to Stitches on Thursday instead of Friday and head home earlier. I was literally exhausted by Sunday afternoon and getting up for work on Monday was extremely difficult.
Now to get cracking on that newly acquired yarn stash so I can justify a trip the Rhinebeck this year!