This morning I got up far too early for a Saturday and headed off to pick up a friend before heading down to Santa Clara for Stitches West. Last year it was a little closer, since it was in Oakland, but apparently they outgrew the convention center there and had to find larger accommodations. A bit further, yes, but still within driving distance, giving us lots of time to chat on the drive down.
We got there in time to get our tickets and then join the rapidly growing line waiting for the doors to open. One of these years I am going to actually sign up for a class or two, and maybe make an entire weekend of it, but for now, we stick to just the vendors' mall. Or in other words, this morning, we drove all the way down to Santa Clara to do a little shopping for yarn, at what was basically the biggest yarn shop on this side of the country.
While eating lunch we ran into a few people we knew – the mother and daughter duo with whom we'd done a field trip to that incredible yarn store in Walnut Creek last month. And they told us that they had taken the train down this morning – and not only did they take the train, they sat on a special knitting car, where they had lessons and prizes and got free yarn! We'd had no idea this was even an option (and as it turned out it wouldn't have worked for my friend's schedule anyway) – it sounded awesome. But at least we know what to look for next year – less driving, more time to knit and chat with other yarn-obsessed people, and lots more fun.
I was a little more restrained this year than last year, even though I did make a few impulse buys (but oh, it's such pretty, pretty yarn that surely it is worth it!). There seemed to be more booths this year than last; by the time we'd made our winding way through the entire hall we were worn out. By the time we were finished it was getting difficult to maneuver through the crowds, so our timing turned out to be pretty apt.
One of my finds was one of those collapsible tapestry bags, which came in quite handy later on in the day to carry the rest of what I bought. When I got home, I left it in the kitchen for a little bit, and you'd have thought it had been marinating in catnip for days by the way the cats reacted. Between Rosemary and Allegra they managed to tip it over, and then they were both all over it, rolling on it, rubbing their heads on it, purring like mad. Good to know that they, at least, approve.