So, last weekend was my version of a "girls' weekend" - Stitches West. For the non-knitters, this is a HUGE annual knitting expo with classes and a market, etc. Typically, my friend Chrispy comes down from Washington (last year, complete with baby!), stays with us before and after, and goes with me. She doesn't usually take classes, but it's a schmoozing time for her as an established designer. Since they just bought a new house and haven't sold the old one yet, she couldn't make it this year, however. I tried ever so hard to get Heather to come out and share my hotel room with me, but she wasn't able to either. My local knitting pal, Julie, kindly came to my rescue and split the room.
THURSDAY: Check into the hotel, have dinner with Julie and Beatriz, hit the market preview (only open to registered students, not the general public). After the market, I got help my friend Marly run around and do errands. As Andrew always says, "It's not what you're doing; it's who you're with." We were just doing things like getting copies made, hitting the In & Out drive-thru (silly girl hadn't eaten all day, even though she was sick!), and driving up to Wal-Mart for an assortment of things. We had already planned to have a meal together during the weekend, but this was better b/c we got to spend more time than we would have during one of her brief breaks between teaching classes and manning the Bijou Basin Ranch booth.
FRIDAY: Up at half-past sparrow-fart for Embroider Your Knitting with Anna Zilboorg. Being my father's daughter, on Thursday, I had bought a copy of Knitting for Anarchists, and after class I asked her to sign it. I learned a lot in class, and she is an absolute delight. Maybe next year, I'll take her class on "Color Without the Theory".
After lunch and a power nap, it was The Art of Knitting Backwards with Candace Eisner-Strick. After signing up for this class, I second-guessed myself, and honestly, I would have dropped it if the penalty weren't so steep. I'm glad I stuck with it. Knitting backwards (and purling backwards) turned out to be quite easy to learn, and I can see that it will be immensely useful for entrelac knitting and for adding knitted-on edgings to shawls and blankets. Candace is a very good teacher, plus I learned a couple of new jokes, LOL.
Of course, there was some market-cruising in between other things:
That night was dinner with Julie and Brittany, then the big Pajama Party at the Hyatt. Imagine 100 or so knitters in their jammies, enjoying free snacks and a no-host bar, knitting, talking, laughing, playing silly games, and winning yarny prizes. Andrew told me I was "too old" for a party that started at 10:00, but the power nap helped, as did being able to sleep in on Saturday, LOL.
"What's with all the hats", you ask? Well, Marly gave a discount on her Ratatouille pattern and said that if anyone knit the hat and wore it to the party, there'd be a prize. As you can see from the picture, Deb (in pink) and Julie (in turquoise & purple) matched theirs to their jammies. Initially, I was going to do that, but I just didn't like how it was coming out, so I started over with colors I liked. Later, Halos of Hope said they'd be happy to collect hats from anyone who had only made hers for the party and didn't think she'd wear it again. All three of us donated ours and were surprised that, as an added bonus, Buffy Ann Designs was giving a free three-pack of Yarn Cozies to anyone who donated. Sweet! In truth, this is not something I would have spent money on, but for free, I'll take it!
SATURDAY: Sleep in (though not as late as I would have liked, thanks to an 8:00 wake-up call from my headache), check out of hotel, cruise the market, lunch with Erin, cruise the market some more, then go home to help Andrew deal with the mini flood. This was all followed by being laid up Saturday night and Sunday, thinking I'd caught Marly's bug. Luckily, all the rest helped me outrun the germs, and I didn't get sick for real.