March 1st, 2007

Wild, Wild, West

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Stitches West was definitely wild! Getting there and back was – frustrating. My trip out turned into a 22 hour odyssey, while Steve and Nick spent a lovely evening together in Minneapolis on the way home. Did you know when you have to stay overnight due to missing the last connection of the night, your luggage doesn’t get to go with you?

But everything in between was awesome. We had so much fun seeing all of our fabulous West Coast customers and meeting so many new ones. Now, I am sure you are all anxiously awaiting a few pictures, right? I mean, that’s part of the fun of reading blogs – seeing pictures of bloggers knitting, travels, tradeshows, etc. Yeah, well, that’s what you’d be seeing right about now, except for one tiny little problem. No, no, I did not forget my camera, but I DID forget the memory chip. Left it here in my picture printer. Yup, I was about as thrilled as all of you are right now. So unfortunately, there will be no photos of our amazing booth or the line that stretched the length of it and around the corner on Saturday. No shots of some of the really cool projects that we saw or the fabulous people we saw. Nope, nothing.

But there will be a lovely picture of Steve in a day or two with a slighly new look 🙂 Stay tuned and thank you West Coast shoppers!

The one picture I am so unhappy I couldn’t take was that of the Blue Moon booth on Sunday. It was practically empty – there was barely a skein of yarn left. Cirilia and Sarah were shopping in their booth on Saturday just before the show opened and were nearly trampled when the doors opened and throngs of knitters stampeded to the Blue Moon booth. I am in awe of the power of the sock. . . . especially Socks that Rock. Simply amazing.

We had a faboo dinner with Jonelle, Joe and Kat from SWTC on Saturday night. I even scored a copy of Jonelle’s new book – Purls Forever. It’s part pattern book, part story book. Jonelle talks about her family and their passion for knitting and crocheting, as well as each other. The patterns are based on heirloom pieces passed down in Jonelle’s family for generations and have been recreated in SWTC yarns. If you are a fan of SWTC, you will love this book, if you aren’t already, you will be!

A quick apology to everyone who listens to the podcast. We were given the wrong disk last week. It has been fixed and the latest show featuring my interview with Ann Hood is now available to download. This week, we are talking to Betsy Perry, V.P. of Sales & Marketing for Classic Elite Yarns. Thanks to everyone who came by the booth and complimented us on the podcast. We were a bit overwhelmed by how many people are actually listening to the show and reading this blog!

Even though I don’t have pictures from the show, I DO have pictures of some of the goodies I brought back. My first stop was of course, the Brooks Farm booth. Love, love, love them. I picked up three skeins of Riata in this lovely colorway. I am going to use it for a 2nd top down sweater (guess I need to get that first one going).

Next, I scored this cool bag. All handmade. I love it. the lining has a drawstring closure, comparable to the Lantern Moon drawstring boxes. This covers and protects the contents of the bag. I just love the colors. Picked one up for Linda our customer service manager in bright oranges and pinks.

Then it was onto the California Cashmere Company booth. It was a small little booth that instantly blocked out the insanity of the show floor. They had relaxing music playing, a nice oriental rug on the floor and the most beautiful, domestic cashmere yarn, finished garments and kits. All were packaged beautifully. I indulged myself with two skeins of the 4-ply in black. Kirsten and Mary in Customer Service each got a skein of the 2-ply, which should be enough for a scarf.

All of these folks work hard getting us ready for the show, so I always like to try to bring home a few thank you gifts for them. The picture doesn’t do the yarn justice. Just trust me when I say it is incredible!

I do have a one more funny story to add, that builds on my last post. One of the other vendors who we are friendly with called today. He said that as he was going through security at the San Jose airport, he was stopped and questioned about the large amount of cash he was carrying. He explained that he was a consumer tradeshow and the security people (and now San Jose police) asked what kind of show? He said a knitting show. They said “WHAT??????” and then proceeded to interrogate him further and run a check to see if he had any outstanding warrants – unbelievable.

Lastly, in all of my airport and airplane time, I was able to finish knitting another Vermont Felted Bag, but this time in solids. I still need to knit the handles and sew the bag together and then felt it, but the major work is done. I am quite pleased with the colors and can’t wait to see how it looks once it is felted. I had quite a few people ask me what I was making and most were very perplexed by the concept of felting.

I’ve cast-on for the next Ready, Set, Knit! knitalong which is going to be a top-down sweater. I’ve never knit a top-down sweater, but I am fairly confident in the pattern. I’m using Noro Silk Garden in this beautiful colorway.

I just need to get a good head start since I am not the fastest knitter on the planet. Plus my reward will not only be a new sweater for myself, but I will then allow myself to knit the new cashmere!

Off to Jackson’s “Author’s Tea”!



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