25 February 2007

Reporting Back

Well, I'm back from Stitches West and it was wonderful to see everyone! I'm afraid I am sans pictures for two reasons: 1) no cameras allowed in the hall, and 2) my husband wanted the camera to take pictures of his new toy. Check it out on his blog! Festool USA sent him a spiffy new wood joinery toy to try and write about. He was so excited!

So, no pics. *sigh*

Let's see what I can remember in the blur, though! Upon arriving Friday, I stopped by the Full Thread Ahead booth and gave Hollis an infusion of more shawl pins. I was able to meet her husband, kids and parents there. They all gave me a friendly welcome, but I have to say that her father particularly stole my heart! Then over to see Nathania at the Purlescence booth. She was ravishing as ever! I had forgotten to put one of the pins in her box when I shipped them off (oops), but at least I remembered to bring it down. :) She and her partners had had a special Sharks colorway dyed. It was awesome! And Nathania's partner, the ebullient Chloe, was wearing one of my skull pins. It was fun to see it as an ornament - not used on a shawl. They both looked a little dazed, but oh so happy to be in their element! Next door, the famous Cookie A. had her gorgeous socks out, but was nowhere to be found, so I merely looked, drooled and reminded myself that I don't really like knitting socks anyway, so I really didn't need to increase my sock yarn stash. *g* Then off to say hi to Cheryl Oberle, who is honestly one of the kindest, loveliest people I have ever met, besides being incredibly talented. Really, if you ever get a chance to meet her, grab it! I just adore her.

On to Toots LeBlanc, where I met Michelle in person. She is an amazing knitter! I later was able to meet her business partner/brother Carl, and her sister. They are just the kindest and nicest people you could imagine. I was looking at her angora blend yarn and joking about #1 Son's 4H rabbit project - I wanted him to get an angora bunny, but he wanted a different breed. She then said to tell him that if he did an angora rabbit, she would buy the fur (fleece?) from him. How completely cool is that?! So now he is just walking on air, he is so excited to be embarking on his own little business.

Next, it was on to say hello to Annie and Lisa in the Interweave booth. Lisa was knitting an amazing stranded project with gorgeous bright colors. Yum! They both couldn't have been nicer and more welcoming. I stopped by Lisa Souza's booth to say hello and then over to Sheila Ernst, where I got to meet her husband, Michael. How cool is that? Who should be passing by at that point, but Alison! She gave me a big hug and then I got to see the proof copy of her new book! It looks great and I can't wait to see it in print! And of course, I finally got to see Holly again. It's been a year, and even though we talk on the phone and by email, it's not the same as experiencing her wry wit in person. She is just the absolute best. Really. You don't meet people like her every day! And she designs cool felted bags, too. :)

After that I was off to see Ann Rubin of afghans for Afghans. She is an amazing whir of activity. I can't believe anyone can have so much energy! I had the privilege of being her roommate Friday night. She is just one of the most fascinating people I think I have ever met: someone who understands the inequities in the world and sees all the ugliness, but goes out day after day to try and make a difference. She doesn't seem to tire or get discouraged. I don't know how she does it; I have enormous respect for her. And she was the Knitter of the Year! Go Ann! :)

Saturday, I spent the morning trying to see everything I had missed. I stopped by to say hello to Marilyn at Black Water Abbey. She designed a gorgeous felted bag for afghans for Afghans and was selling the kits. It is a work of art! She was almost out of the celtic pins I designed for her. Then I had to stop by the Lacy Knitters Guild booth to see if Eugen Beugler (of Frost Flowers and Leaves fame) was in residence, and he was there! I am a huge fan, so of course I had to gush all over the poor man. He showed me two new scarf designs of his that will be coming out soon. His work is so elegant!
Next up, I found tons of gorgeous laceweight yarn at the Yarn Place booth. Wow! She doesn't even have half of it up on her site. Along the length of the double size booth, there was a dowel hung with hanks of every color of laceweight yarn imaginable. *drool* She had a 50/50 merino/tencel blend that shimmered in the most vibrant, beautiful clear colors you can imagine. I wanted one of each, but I exercised great restraint after guilty thoughts of my giant laceweight stash! :/ Then I met up with blogless (and wonderful) Joy and Nathania for a little while before going over to the afghans for Afghans booth to do my shift. Alison came by while I was there and gave me a gift! A lovely ruby red lace scarf, hand knit from a strand of Zephyr and a strand of Alison's own hand dye. I was touched and honored! And it's a perfect color for me. Thank you so much Alison! After I got off, I said goodbyes all around and took off for home. It was a very dark, very very wet drive, but I made it all in one piece in time to say goodnight to the kids. Boy, did I miss my family!

Other cool things: the Habu booth was fascinating as ever; Catherine Lowe's designs - clean lines, beautiful colors, and amazing finishing details; incredible vibrantly colored curly locks of wool at La Lana; all the samples from Victorian Lace Today at the XRX booth - superb, I want to knit them all; and who could get past the Brooks Farm booth without drooling over all their gorgeous gorgeous colors!? I'm sure I'll think of more later, but for the time being, my brain is full! It was a great time. :)

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Blogger annmarie said...

How exciting to read about Ann Rubin being chosen Knitter of the Year! I don't get Knitters magazine and hadn't heard about this. And it doesn't appear that Ann is 'tooting her own horn' on the Afghans for Afghans website, either. Thanks for posting the link. :)

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Kath said...

It sounds amazing! I wish I could have gone. Maybe nxt year.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Thanks for taking us to Stitches with you! What an exciting event it must be.

7:33 PM  
Blogger vanessa said...

i'm exhausted just reading your blog!

7:49 PM  
Blogger AlisonH said...

Ann told me, "It's not about me," when I offered to write her up, till I told her it would be good publicity for Afghans For Afghans. She's a good one. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! It was so good to see you.

12:33 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

Welcome home!

11:47 AM  
Blogger Stephannie said...

Wow, what a whirlwind wool tour. I wish I was there.

12:12 PM  
Blogger AR said...

Sounds like so much fun! Too bad there are no pics, but oh well!

I am a little jealous. hehe

6:08 PM  
Blogger junie said...

It sounds like you had a marvelous time and visited with many friends.

Of course, pictures would be nice, but you did a great job of telling us about Stitches. I am hoping I can go someday, but until then, I will enjoy Stitches by reading about my friend's good times. Thanks for the update!

11:16 PM  

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