Days, weeks, even months I had been looking forward to Stitches West. A huge yarn extravaganza in Santa Clara with about 350 vendors, classes, people, parties, joy, happiness, and what have you. And did I say YARN?
Stitches West can be many things, depending on the experience you seek. Will it be a wild party? A shopping trip? A learning experience? Meeting up with old friends? Making new friends?
To be honest, I did not feel too well during the weeks prior, but I thought being there would take care of all that and put me in a good mood. After all, it’s YARN! What’s not to like about it, and how could it not put me into a good mood?
Once there, I fell into the category of efficient consumer. In and out!
Entering, the ticket lines were really short, the line for getting into the most hallowed of halls a bit long but moving at good speed. As soon as I crossed the threshold, I was overcome by the immensity and the crowds, feeling like I could actually pass out.
Nice people, not the crazy Black Friday crowd where one has to fear for one’s life as seen on TV. All very polite, just a lot of them.
With a handy map and Stephen’s helpful legend personalized for me the night before, I ignored my surroundings. Goal-oriented, I headed to the first booth, then the next, and the next, and the next. But what was going on, no one was where we had marked them to be? Had I entered the Twilight Zone? I started feeling woozy and disoriented, and overcome with it all.
I had to get my bearings if I was to make it through and actually buy some yarn. From last year I remembered Dragonfly Fibers and headed in that general direction. Eureka! I left their booths with the first two gorgeous skeins.
There was a problem that kept on repeating. Many of the various colorways of the indie dyers were already in my stash at home. My taste had not changed all that much from last year, so I kept on picking up the same color and putting it back because I knew exactly where on the shelf I would find it at home.
I tried the map again. And this time I figured it out. When I’d googled the Stitches West map I made unfortunate assumptions. So what I was holding in my hands was a map from 2013.
After a trip to the information booth and a new, updated booklet with map and all, I was on my way again. In no time I found The Verdant Gryphon and, with my next purchase complete, headed to Western Sky Knits and then on to Miss Babs, as usual the most crowded booth at the whole affair.
The above yarn is more squeezable than charmin toilet paper. And below see another sock yarn, it was a red kind of day.
After that, I took it easy. Went to the beginning and headed up and down the aisles just like I do at the grocery store. Then ate a snack I’d brought along and tried another up and down aisles. I felt like a personal shopper because I had promised a friend I’d look for a good black and purple, heavier than fingering yarn, with a tight twist.
Armed only with reading glasses for close-up yarn inspection, the world was a blur around me.
My Miss Babs loot: very, very modest.
And continuing with the red theme:
Without being facetious, it was basically the same shit as last year. No new yarn discoveries. I learned that indie dyers have a hard time getting a true black or a lovely purple.
My favorite yarn purchase is a color called Big Apple that I am renaming Bloody Valentine. These will make socks for me.
There are not enough ways to look at these colors, but I try.