Stitches West, Day One

Here was the plan: Wake up at 4:00 AM. Hit the road by 5:00. Reach Santa Clara Convention Center by 11:30. Get badge from the registration desk, ogle the pretty yarn in the Market, pop by Abstract’s booth for the Knitmore Girls Meet ‘n’ Greet, have lunch, enjoy first class, check in at hotel, hit the treadmill, have dinner, and go to bed.

I woke up at 3:00 AM. I considered going back to sleep, but I knew that I would just be groggy an hour later. So, I got up. I was in the car and on the road just before 4:00. It’s strange out there on the freeway at that hour. It was pretty much me and the truckers. And, since it was cloudy, it was very, very, very dark.

Around 6:00, I stopped for breakfast and a stretch. An hour later, I stopped again to top up the gas tank and get a bottle of soda. And then it was straight on through to Santa Clara. Well, except for the part where I got on the wrong freeway. Actually, it was the right freeway, but the wrong direction. It was okay – I got turned the right way within minutes. And spent the rest of the morning humming, “Do you know the way to San Jose?”

After two episodes of CogKnitive, one episode of Here’s to Ewe!, and four and a half episodes of the Knitmore Girls, I arrived at the Convention Center around 9:30. There was a crazy line for the Market Ticket booth. I found my way up to the registration table, where they inexplicably had one person working. One extremely patient person, I must say. I got my badge and headed back to the exhibit hall, arriving just a few minutes before the 10:00 opening.

And then I spent all my money.

I set myself a budget for the Market. I took it out in cash. When the cash was gone, I would be done. It took all of about an hour and a half. I browsed Blue Moon Fiber Arts, but didn’t find anything I absolutely had to have right away. I still have a $50 credit with them, which I’ll be using on the website sometime soon.

Next stop was Lisa Souza‘s booth. Two skeins of laceweight (2520 yards per skein, people. And fantastic colors.) and three bumps of roving hopped into my bag. Now I just need to learn to spin those.

I poked around quite a bit, getting turned around regularly. I eventually found my way to the booth shared by Little Red Bicycle and Femme Fatale Fibers. Really great colorways from both of those ladies! I picked up one skein of sock yarn from each, plus two packets of stitch markers from Lizard Toes. And then I stumbled into the Skaska Designs booth, where a skein of amethyst-colored merino/silk laceweight demanded to go home with me. I think it might grow up to be a Faux Russian Stole, or maybe Olga’s Indiski Shawl.

Stitches West Goodies

And that was that.  I had spent all my cash except for $8, and tomorrow’s spinning class has a $7 fee for materials. So, I headed for a table to eat my lunch… and discovered that I had left my canned chicken salad and crackers in my car. Whoops. I rested for a bit, then heard a familiar voice behind me asking, “Where’s my mother?” A glimpse of fuchsia curls, and I knew it was Jasmine. I got to meet Jasmine and Gigi, who are just as adorable in person as they sound on their podcast, and they were giving out goodie bags!

Knitmore Girls Goodies!

I can’t speak for anyone else, of course, but they couldn’t have picked better colors in that Regia for me if they’d tried.

After that, I went out to my car to drop off my goodies and retrieve my lunch, and then it was time for Tradition! with Candace Eisner-Strick, where I learned to make this:

Swatch from Tradition! Class

Check out those Latvian braids! Candace is a highly energetic, spirited, fun teacher, and class was a blast. I’m going to have to try that Channel Island cast-on for a pair of cuff-down socks sometime.

After class, I headed for the car and found my way to the hotel. Despite sending me a reservation confirmation email last week, they had lost my reservation. But they had a room open, and I had the print-out of my original reservation, which gave the room rate. Since the convention center’s Internet is not free, I was off-line all day, but my hotel has free wifi for guests, so I’ve been catching up on Facebook and Twitter and blogs (and finishing that episode of Knitmore Girls). Tomorrow is another full day, but at least I’m not planning for it to start at 3:00 AM.

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