Yesterday my daughter and I went to Stitches, the knitting convention, which we attend every year. We go for the market, a huge hall where vendors from all over the US and sometimes other countries offer their wares from decorated booths. It is gorgeous and exhausting and lots of fun. This year I got a little bit of sock yarn and several knitting patterns and enjoyed watching the ladies walk around wearing their creations. Every year, though, I observe that when you are in a large crowd that is mostly made up of women, most of them seem to have no concept of space and/or traffic management. They will crowd together in the aisles, blocking everyone else, clobber you with their rolly carts and cases, bump into you and not keep to their side of the walkway. Yesterday I saw two young ladies with big strollers put their strollers nose to nose across the width of the aisle forming an effective traffic barrier so that they could chat with each other. I had to say “Move along Babies” to get to the booth I was interested in. The ladies seemed to be surprised that they had blocked traffic. In addition to this, another funny sight are the non-knitter/husband men who attend and are waiting for their partners. They have a ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ stunned look as they sit dejectedly on the sidelines or walk endlessly pushing strollers waiting for this whole thing to finally be over so they can just go home. But the knitting you get to see is wonderful, like an endless crowded fashion show on women (and men) of all sizes and skill levels. This year there were a lot of small shawls in striking colors.
After Stitches we drove up to San Mateo to attend the Sewing and Craft Festival, or whatever it is called. Admittance was free this year, but they really charge you for the parking. The parking fee must provide most of the profit. Most of the booths are for quilters, so it didn’t take long for us to go through the whole thing, though if you were a quilter you would have spent hours and hours looking at everything. One item in particular was great – a woodworker who made murphy beds and applied the same concept to a sewing desk. It looks like a cabinet on the wall but folds out to be a cutting and sewing surface. I forgot to get his card. M found some really pretty beads from one of the several beading booths, and I got a roll of embroidery stabilizer from a company I hadn’t heard of before. I’ll try it out and see how it works because it was vastly cheaper than the stuff I used to get in the fabric store.
So we spent the whole day in fiber pursuits and were gone over twelve hours. We drove down the bay to Santa Clara, then up the peninsula to San Mateo, across the bridge, over the hills, through the tunnel, and miles and miles to home again. It was the first time in years it hasn’t rained on Stitches day, so it was a lovely drive.