Monday, October 26, 2009

yarning oversaturation

Yesterday I drove 3 hours to Hartford CT to see what the knitting show, Stitches, was all about. Like the last yarn-filled weekend in Rhinebeck wasn't enough. Just had to find out for myself.

I set out from my house early Saturday morning where the leaves on my trees looked like this.
Every year I'm amazed at how they fill my windows with yellow leaf glow and I take pictures of it.

Connecticut's leaves are still glowing too. I'm happy to be driving through the Fall landscape passing towns with names like Beacon Falls and I try to describe by name the colors that whisk by.

Around 11 I arrive in the parking garage at the Hartford Convention Center. I'm armed with copies of sweater patterns that I think I might need to knit.

It's a convention center like many, you could be anywhere, and the booths are set up like any tradeshow. After the first aisle although I like what I see in the String Theory booth by the end of that aisle I've forgotten all about their lovely yarns, because there's lots of yarn and lots of people. In the third aisle I think maybe I better get a shot of something. So I hold my camera up over my head and click the button to shoot the busy aisle.

By the time I get to the end of Aisle 300 there's an announcement over the PA system about ....some unauthorized photography. What? I take it personally, close my camera and shove it back into my purse. Though I'm a visual person I've apparently missed the big signage at the entry warning the attendees that there's to be no unauthorized photography, because apparently there's something classified going on here.

I've now lost track of what I'm doing here and temporarily lost the will to buy yarn too. I'm also wondering if I can go home before seeing every booth, but I'm also not ready to sit in the car for another 3 hours. It's beginning to look to me like every yarn store within 70 miles has decided to sign up for a booth and brought all their stock with them.

I spot the Tutto Isager booth ---these people know how to display yarn and knitted samples and the urge to buy something wooley comes back to me. I do that, but apparently I wasn't at the right end of the line (what line?) to make my purchase. At least they didn't announce that on the PA system.

One kind lady manning a large booth from another state, a patient state, took the time to show me all the needle felting options. Handles that secure multiple dangerous needles for poking wool---maybe this is what I'm not supposed to take pictures of. Anyway, I buy the one she says she likes the best, the cheapest one.

The Habu booth is filled with baskets of little skeins of intriguing fibers. I buy pineapple twine, it looks like, in two colors and plan to bring it home to add to my collection of unused skeins of wonderous Habu fibers. Oh yes and there was that skein of Possum Lace I bought from the discontinued yarn booth because... I don't know why. Was that a good thing to do for the possum community or not?

In one vendor's booth I was encouraged to knit with triangular knitting needles, but preferred his flat needles. Though he is good at making weird shaped knitting needles in his workshop, his wife has suggested he learn to knit. Good idea.

I'm real tired and I don't remember what aisle I'm shopping in or not shopping in. It's a blur of yarn store cubbies. I've yet to pull out my sweater pattern reference. After all, my current sweater knitting isn't going all that well. I've started 2 different sweaters and a scarf all from the blue yarn I purchased to make one sweater. Sweaters involve things like fitting and knitting to gauge, things I'm not interested in. It takes a long time to do make all those parts and then you also have to be willing to wear the sweater once you've knit it. But that's not Stitches East fault, they probably have a class to deal with this problem, I just didn't READ their information.

I see every last booth or think I do in spite of my hunger and thirst, make one last purchase of Moving Mud glass buttons (for what? a sweater?) and head for my car. Four harrowing hours later I'm home having driven through the pouring rain to safely conclude my weekend knitting or "yarning" adventure. (In my household, "yarning" refers to any activity related to knitting or dyeing yarn or looking at yarn online or receiving it in the mail, now also including taking off for the day or part of the day to do any of the above).

Perhaps no more Stitches for me. It just made me think a yarn crawl of the yarn stores and any independent yarn artists studios within 70 miles of the Convention Center would be a more interesting thing to do. That way you get to stop in towns like Plainville or Beacon Falls, maybe, and be inspired by their leaves, have lunch at a local restaurant, meet a yarn store owner and buy yarn from their brick and mortar establishment and/or meet a creative yarn-dyer in her studio and appreciate the work that goes into that skein of hand-dyed yarn.

Or maybe I've just hit my yarning capacity for the month and I need to turn my attention to scrubbing my stove.

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