Sunday, March 04, 2007

Stitches West, 2007, Part 2: Everyone Has Their Limits

Sunday morning. I went back to Stitches West, this time with my long-time friend, confidante, and "cohort in crime," Betsy. Betsy has recently taken up knitting after a decades-long hiatus, and is approaching it as she approaches everything in life--jump in with both feet, and you'll probably do OK.

Our goals for Sunday: See the Victorian Lace Today style show, hosted by author Jane Sowerby; get my copies of Victorian Lace Today and Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush signed by the authors; pick up any tools either of us need; buy yarns for upcoming projects (such as 18th century socks). This time, I put a limit on myself--NO PLASTIC. I was limited to the cash in my wallet (around $200).

Our first stop was at the Yarn Barn booth, so I could return a book that I purchased and duplicated one already ordered from Amazon. Stupid, stupid, stoopid! I keep a list of the books I own on my PalmPilot (Readerware--a great little piece of software), but I had forgotten to add the books I had ordered, and so it didn't show up. Fortunately, the people at Yarn Barn were kind enough to let me exchange the book for something else I needed--a copy of the current issue of Spin-Off, several Brittany crochet hooks, and some wild rainbow sock yarn. All in all, they made out on the deal.

After the "housekeeping" tasks (i.e., returning the book) were completed, we dove into the fray, and came up with some yummy yarns. We were both drawn to the alpaca yarns like bees to honey; it's so soft, and almost reasonably priced. All I could do was mumble, a la Homer Simpson, "Oooooh...alpaca socks." I ended up with some dark purple alpaca and some rainbow variegated alpaca/wool blend, all for making socks. Betsy found alpaca (in more reasonable colors) for knitting socks and mitts, and at another booth a darling ribbed stocking pattern with a lace top that will be fetching when worked up. I'm more prosaic--I already have 5 books on sock knitting, so I didn't buy any patterns for more socks. We both succumbed to the yarns at the Bay Area Co-Op (Betsy picked up some Louet Gems for socks, and I found a hank of plummy purple Jaggerspun Zephyr for a scarf), and found a real deal on the tables of the Yarn Place: 100g hanks (about 1700 yds) of lace-weight merino superwash for less than $10. As we were running out of the expo with all our loot, a ball of baby alpaca (again in that dark, violently Victorian purple) caught my eye. Two minutes later, I had 4 balls, enough to knit one of the big lace shawls from Jane Sowerby's book. It should go really well with a new 1860s-style dress I have all the materials for, but have yet to start. The goal is to get the dress (and accessories) ready for Dicken's Faire 2007. The dress fabric is a black, yellow, and red window-pane check cotton from India (yes, some would consider it truly ugly, but I like it), and a dark purple shawl will go with it as only Victorians would understand.

So that was Stitches West, 2007. I managed to get through Sunday without even spending everything in my wallet (I left with about $50 still on my person), and have enough supplies, equipment, and materials to keep myself busy and out of trouble for at least a little while.