17 April 2011

My name is Amber, and I'm addicted to Stitches South.

It was a dark and stormy night, Friday. As Mom and I were glued to the 52" flat screen TV in our swanky Hyatt Place hotel room ($67 a night? Yes, please.) we watched the Weather Channel (which was interestingly enough, about five miles away) tell us that we were under a tornado warning. THEN THE POWER WENT OUT. For like two minutes. I was mad that the Chuck E. Cheese's across the street had power and we didn't. Then, the power came back on! YAY. We weren't going to die! lol, just kidding. The tornado sirens started going off. Awesome. Mom and I grabbed our valuables, and headed down to the lobby. The lights were flickering, the bar was busy, people were everywhere. Thankfully, the sirens stopped, and about 10pm, Mom and I deemed the weather safe and went back upstairs. We prepared ourselves for bed and crashed. Only to be woken up by another tornado siren at 2am. I'm pleased to announce that we made it through the night, with no tornadoes. Only severe weather and winds up to 55mph.

Despite our interesting stay that night, Saturday, we were bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning. Well, after I had ingested some breakfast, and Mom had her coffee. Why? Because we were headed to Stitches South! We got there a little after the doors opened, and we wandered in. Simply a sight to see. My eyes welled up with tears, as I completely ignored my "Plan of Attack" map I had created, and just started wandering down the aisles. I was overwhelmed and overjoyed. So much so, I COMPLETELY forgot to take pictures. Way to go. So, you'll get a wordy post, with pictures of what I got.

First stop, we stopped at a button booth. Actually, the aisle seemed like it was where all the buttons were located. Being that I have enough buttons to last me a century, I was very picky. I did come out with two cute ones, though! A sheep and a pair of scissors. I wouldn't really call the scissors a button, but more of an embellishment.

After spending quite a bit of time drooling over all the buttons, toggles, clasps, and what not, I hit my first major "point of interest", Kitchen Sink Dyeworks. KSD has fabulous color choices! I was so giddy, I couldn't stand it. After mulling it over, I picked up two skeins of blue faced lace in Peabody, and ordered some custom dyed worsted. I, for the life of me, can't remember the color I picked out, but damnit, when it arrives, I'll gladly show it off.

After KSD, I found the Halos of Hope booth, and got lots of information. I'm excited to have a place to mail some hats to! They were also giving out free hat patterns, so I snagged a few so I have something different to make.
Being lazy and not wanting to unbag it.
After that, I about tripped over Woolstock Yarn Shop, who always has the giant bin of sweater quantity yarn that I want to go swimming in. I had four different bags, and then realized that I was only on the second aisle, so I picked out one, Ella Rae Bamboo Silk in a beautiful green, and moved on my merry way.

I passed books, notions, WEBS, and ladies demonstrating spinning wheels (one day, damn you!) and all sorts of wonderful things. But I had a budget and a plan. I kinda stuck to my plan after the Woolstock stop, and only visited booths that I had written down. Like Lisa Souza. Holy Crap. Kate had informed me about Lisa Souza, but I was not prepared for the awesomeness that is Lisa Souza. Lisa Souza PERSONALLY helped me pick out yarn. I explained what I was looking for, how it was going to be used, and that I was allergic to alpaca and goats. I came out of that booth with one of my favorite yarns. It's the white one that looks like Funfetti cake. I will personally cut off your hand if you think about taking it from me.  The other one is a beautiful silky feeling lace weight in the color of Sourball. Mom also hit the jack pot at this booth and picked up four skiens of Lisa Souza's new yarn, which is 85% Polworth Wool and 15% Silk Tussah. Beautiful. You can find mom on Ravelry as MarshaTM. She's never really on there, but you can at least view her stash, when I get it uploaded.

The next stop was Sanguine Gryphon, which always has an amazing display, yarns, and costumes. I'm always in awe of their costumes. Sadly, I did not find anything I needed, so I rounded the corner. And there was Dragonfly Fibers. One of the places PJ requested yarn from. After much deliberation, texting and help from the Dragonfly Fiber's owner's mother, who was very sweet and patient, I picked out Dragon Sock in  Firecracker for PJ. I also scored and got two skiens of Dragon Sock in Winter Woods. Beautiful. It's delicious and I can't wait to see what it looks like "knitted" up. Even though it'll be crochet. Whatever.

After that, I wandered down and found MacKintosh Yarns, which I met and talked to the dyer and her mother for about an hour. Turns out she's my age! She was very awesome and helpful, and I got two great skiens of lace and one sock yarn for a future pair of socks for Brian. She said that particular base is great for Man Socks, because it's very durable, yet comfortable. I picked out the manliest color I could find and went with that. Those two skeins of lace? $24 a piece with 950 yards. I find that quite reasonable!

From the MacKintosh booth, I spied Bijou Basin, and made a bee line for it. After recently using their yarn to create my first "sweater", I was determined to get more, mainly because it comes in colors now! Also, I wanted to see if they had one of their new crochet patterns displayed, and they did! I really want to make this pattern: Wrap Front Shrug. It's even more amazing in person. I was talking to one of the ladies at the "yarn tasting" table, which was basically all their yarns available to try, and it turns out, she was the person who took the pictures of the model in that wrap! I told her that I was first attracted to it, because the girl looked like she was having an amazing time. Then she told me a secret. She told the model a really dirty joke. I couldn't have been more proud. Just for that, I'm going to buy the pattern soon. After "tasting" the yarn, and laughing at the knitters not really knowing how to crochet, the lady explained that she was a "crocheter who knits." I liked that. I explained to her that I was trying to knit, but the purl stitch was kicking my butt. THEN, she very sweetly SHOWED me what I was doing "wrong." It was how I was holding my yarn. Oh, well, duh. It clicked and I'm going to try knitting again, soon. I picked out some Bijou Spun, because I loved the way it squished. I also had a 15% off coupon, AND they had show prices, so I feel I got a great deal.

I went to Miss Babs last, mainly because I knew I could get what I wanted online, if she sold out at the show. I drooled over colorways and decided just to get one skein. I'd been drooling over PJ's skein for months, and decided that'd I'd go outside my "color comfort level" and grab this beautiful skein of Squash Blossom. Yellow looks awful on me, but this particular color is just an amazing golden yellow, that even if it doesn't become something that goes around my face, it'll be fantastic as a pair of socks. Or just to put on the shelf to display. Either way, it's delicious.

After spending three and a half hours wandering around and just drooling over everything, we realized we were hungry. So we bid adieu to Stitches South, and vowed to save up even more money for next year's. I would like to say that it wasn't very crowded at all, though at time, in some booths, you'd get a claustrophobic feeling.  Today's the last day, and I'm sad I'm not there, going back over and seeing if there's anything I missed. Nope. My mission was accomplished. Stock up on things that weren't readily accessible and find birthday gifts. Oh, yes. There's even more yarn I got that I can't show you. Guess you'll just have to wait.


  1. Gah, I totally forgot that was this weekend. I'm hoping to some day go to either Stitches East or Rhinebeck. I was thinking about seeing if Paul wanted to go to DC/Quantico so we could do MD Sheep and Wool on the way but I think it's too late to plan for that now. Plus my sister's car is slowly dying.

    *sigh* Some day I'll go to a fiber arts fair.