Monday, August 19, 2013

Stitches Midwest!

I'm not usually one to go ape over a trade show, but this one--holy cow! Keep in mind that I've never been to a "Stitches" trade show, but when I walked in through the doors, my chin literally hit the floor, and dollar signs shot out of my eyes. This thing was huge. All the colors! All the yarn! All the doo-dads! (This is the stuff I can really get into.) It all started with a trip to my mother's the night before. Since we were all getting up really early to take the bus, but first had to drive to Delton to pick up friends. So, 5:30am, I am up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, rolled up my bed roll and ate breakfast. When the clock hit 6am, I was in my car, and on my way. I drove to my friend's house, where she was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, looking for her glasses (which were on top of her head, but no one noticed THAT.) I finally went to my car for my extra pair, and handed them to her. She put them on. Another friend asked why she was wearing two pair of glasses. After much laughter and embarassment, she gave me back my glasses, and the last rider showed up. We loaded up the van and headed for Delton. When we arrived in Delton, we unloaded the van and loaded the bus. There were several people on the bus already. I sat with one of my friends, and the other sat up front with her sister. The bus took off and headed for Kalamazoo to pick up more folks. Then the long trek to Chicago, boredom staved off by good, friendly conversation, lots of laughter, bus-door prizes, snacks and sock knitting. We all got goodie bags with coupons, snacks and yarn. SCORE! When we arrived, there was a lady outside with a camera (from the newspaper?) and we all gathered around for a picture. We all smiled and waved! Then we were finally allowed inside. And that's when my chin fell on the floor. I had to drag it along for a little while--wanting to keep my hands free to touch all the pretty yarn and fiber and yarn, and did I say "yarn"? There were project bags everywhere. And yarn. Shawls and shawlettes are coming into vogue BIG TIME and there were dozens, if not hundreds of them scattered all over the place, many made with self-striping yarn that was soft as a baby's bottom. And yarn. My first purchase was a project bag, red, with black and white sheeps on it to hold the coupons and whatever else I might buy. (I should say now that I did bend the credit card clean in half. My hubby is not going to be happy about it when he finds out, and so I'm keeping it a secret for now.) I walked all over the place, the last booth was #933...that alone should give you an idea of how big the place was, and I walked the whole of it--at least 12 times. And then I started bending the credit card. My next purchase was some rosy red and pink sock yarn. Then I found the booth with the Signature Needles. Well, you know that I *had* to have some! I bought a set of size 1 dpn's with stilletto points. I can't wait to try them out, and I considered really casting on the pink yarn, but decided to wait until I got home. Hubby can buy more of these for me for Christmas. They are so pretty! Then I bought a knitting abacus--which is a bead bracelet that helps count your rows. Then I found the contraption that holds your yarn on your wrist, and I bought that, too. Then, a yarn store had a 50% off sale, and I bought some novelty yarn for a shawl. And then, late in the day, I found the spindles. Now normally, I would wait until the Fiber Festival for things sheepy, but I couldn't pass these up. I kept coming back to the booth and drooling over this nice walnut lace spindle. I tried it, and it spun like a Golden. On the last trip through the arena, I finally bought it. Then, while walking around with my friends, I found a Trindleman spindle. I tested this out, and just about died and went to know I didn't escape. After all of this buying spree, I thought..."Gee, I really don't need to go to Fiber Festival....NOT!" and laughed at myself. How silly of me! I need another set of arms for the Trindleman spindle for normal fiber, right? We ate sometime during the day, and shared our goodies, each of us jealous of the others good deals. We ooo'd and ahhh'd appropriately, and smiled about our good fortune. I found some cakes of yarn going for $70. I thought it was a little too much, and told them so. It was sad, because I really did want to make that shawl, but not with that yarn! In the end, we closed the show, and put our purchases under the bus so that we had room to sit down. The sky started to darken, the bus lit up, and we all got out our socks to knit. I didn't quite finish mine, but my friend finished hers up to the kitchner. I finished mine on Sunday. They are ready for kitchner, which I'll finish tonight after I get home from the office, or perhaps I'll take them with me to the hospital while I wait for my husband. Or perhaps I'll start a new project or finish another? Goodness only knows. I just know that I have a lot to do, and I'm going to have so much fun when I retire.

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