Stitches East!
Sunday October 14th 2007, 12:41 pm
Filed under: Knit

Stitches East! I had way too much fun.

Friday, Kate and her mom Deb found me. They’d decided to jointly knit me some lace socks, and settled on toe-up so that different gauges would be okay; Deb got them started, Kate carried on.

When I was a kid, I only liked the biggest box of crayons, because it had the One True Color of deep rosey red, nice and bright. It’s still my favorite, and it’s a blueish enough shade of red that it doesn’t make me fall down.  Guess what Kate and Deb just happened to pick out, out of all the colors in the world? And they fit exactly perfectly. I asked them if it would be okay if I waited till the next day to wear them, when they would match with the pink shawl I was going to wear. Sure. Meantime, I was wearing Kristine’s beaded socks, the ones you see on her lilacknitting blog page. I had at least six or seven people stop me wanting to know about those socks Friday. Not my shawl or my book but those socks, which delighted me. As I told Kristine, and want to say to Deb and Kate too and the others who have knitted me socks, some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. I do on my feet. They announce to the whole world that I am loved.
Karen of the Water Turtles shawl was wearing the one in the book and pushing me in a chair, and people were coming dashing up to us wanting to know where we’d gotten the patterns. Hey, I can help you with that one!

I’d been wanting one of Sheila Ernst’s new shawl pins, and when I tried to pay for it she waved me away. But–but! Sheila! She looked me in the eye and said, Knitters aren’t the only ones who get to give gifts.

Kate and Deb and Karen and I were towards the back of a large booth talking for ages and ages, with the LYSO occasionally popping into the conversation. We kept offering to move on, and she kept saying, no, I’m enjoying this! She read a story or two out of my book from my copy I was carrying around. We just couldn’t stop laughing as we all swapped stories.

Afton found Karen and me. Afton could get a job as a stand-up comedian–we laughed so hard and so often that, put it all together and Karen said on the way home that she hadn’t smiled so much in years. Afton made me the tam I had always aspired to make and never had. I love blues and greens, and it was blues and greens. I wore it till I got just too hot Friday, and Saturday till she told me it clashed with the pink and demanded I take it off. Aw, shucks, Afton, but I like it! She put her hands on her hips and mock-demanded like a mom who has raised twin teenagers (fancy that) that I do as I was told.

Saturday, Kathleen picked me up. She had no idea what was coming. Turns out she’d skimmed my posts about the Cunningham Falls shawl, noticed that it was for a Kathleen, and was jealous of whatever other Kathleen I knew it that it was for. Heh. She loved it. Karen marched her into Sheila’s booth, found a shawl pin that looked like it had been made expressly for that shawl, and Kathleen bought it in great delight. Very cool.

Rod and Lisa Souza are good friends of many years, and it was a treat to sit in their booth and sign books for them. You know, awhile back, I found a yarn on the web that was–well, it was the color of Kate and Deb’s socks–and I emailed Lisa the link and asked if she could dye me yarn that color. She did, and I found it. Cerise in the Sock! yarn, which takes the color particularly crisply. It went home with me.

Melinda at Tess Designer Yarns and I swapped a copy of my book for yarn, and I was so interested in her colors that I forgot to sign the silly thing. Duh… But it was one of those times where we both came away feeling like we’d definitely won.

I found the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth towards the end of my second day there. (Finally!) I was not expecting what I got: the moment I showed up, the woman there that I’d talked to at Stitches West in February exclaimed, “We’ve been being yelled at all day because we don’t have that pattern!” motioning at the shawl hanging nearby. That Backstabber shawl on my blog awhile back? Tina had hoped to buy it from me. I’d turned her down. But as we were talking on the phone, come to find out she’d grown up two and a half miles from me. Private vs public schools, our paths hadn’t crossed then (I don’t think.) Anyway. And then I surprised her with it. And there it was in the booth. I told Kaci that it was fairly similar to my Bigfoot shawl in my book, if that helped any. (Well, that was as close anyway as she was going to get to having instructions for right now; if I do a second pattern book, it’ll be in there.)

Weatherly Mize also gave me a shawl pin, a treble clef that had lost the curl in its hair in the California dry weather, is the thought that tickles me when I see it. I wore Sheila’s and Weatherly’s together.

We had people coming up to us asking about our shawls. The entourage grew, till it was Karen, me, Kathleen, and Colorjoy Lynn in my shawls along with Afton and Robin, sadly shawlless. They got shawls from me before I figured out this circular thing… Lynn gave me a handmade kazoo that my father in law really wants one of too. Make some more for your shop, Lynn, because my Christmas list just got easier. She also dyed me some store socks and I have the yarn to make a shawl to match. And gave me a CD of her husband and her playing folksy bluegrass stuff that I can’t wait to get home to put on the stereo.

One of the hazards of going to Stitches in a wheelchair and having your friends egging you on every time you admire a yarn and having them stuff it behind you out of your sight as you buy it is that when we got home and they put it all together, I was gobsmacked at how much yarn I had mysteriously accumulated. That’s a whole rollaboard’s worth! But oh, am I going to have fun.

The lady at Maple Creek Farm watched Karen and me: I had Karen hold two skeins I couldn’t decide between at a good distance from me, so that the colors would pop out and I could see them better, distanced from all the ones they’d been nestled among.  We did that earlier at a booth selling Fleece Artist; from 20 feet away it was a no-brainer: the blue and green (go Afton!)  At Maple Creek, I still liked the rose and the purple both.  I finally bought the red–and she GAVE me the purple!

Karen and Kathleen and Lynn and I went out to dinner and talked till I dropped. I didn’t even read email, I just fell into bed when we got home.

While I’m trying to catch up, (and I’m sorry I can’t do photos on this laptop) I should also add about Thursday. Bev and I spent Thursday touring old spots. She hadn’t seen our high school since it had been torn down and rebuilt. We went past her old house. We went past my folks’ old house, and totally delighted the contractor by loving the remodelling he was doing on the place. You never know what reaction you’ll get, I’m sure, from a previous owner, but it was well thought out and beautifully done; I told him I wish my folks had done this years ago, it was beautiful. And where the neighbors on both sides had planted ivy that had met in the middle and was decimating the native flora, he had pulled it all out. Every bit.  Off the forest floor, off the tree trunks.  Bev admired the view out the living room window out over the woods, and I mentioned the box turtles that had been in the woods and the family of foxes that had lived under the deck. Bev took it all in, and said, “It’s coming back!”

The man was just floating on air at that. Yes. He was taking good care of it all, and we were seeing not the machine marks on the ground that he’d had to bring in for that ivy, but we saw what he’d done and why. Because we loved those woods. All of us.  It was a joyful moment.

14 Comments so far
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I’m so glad you’ve had a good time at Stitches. And I am so bummed that I couldn’t get over there. I had really hoped to, but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I’m really sorry to have missed out getting my book signed, but glad you’ve had fun.

Comment by Alison 10.14.07 @ 1:05 pm

Well, my dear, it sounds like you had a FABULOUS time, and did the weather co-operate, or what? Here in Whitinsville, it finally feels like October should. We had to turn on the furnace to heat the bedrooms last night.

Sounds like you got enough cool yarn to keep you busy for a very long time. Inspiration for new patterns for the next book, maybe?

I have to say, I just love reading your blog and seeing what you’re up to from day to day. You are such a faithful blogger, unlike me. (I’ve got to get better about it, maybe in a little while, as I have been working all weekend on my new stash/inventory room and it might be good to make a report on that.)

I hope someday in the not too distant future, that we both happen to be at the same wool-minded event and cross paths. It’s nice to meet you here online, but I would love to meet you in person one day, too. 🙂


Comment by Paula Warner 10.14.07 @ 3:38 pm

Hey Allison!

I can vouch for the fact that you were busy and popular at Stitches. I went over to Lisa’s booth twice on Saturday to see if I could catch you for a minute, but both times you had more than half-a-dozen people waiting in line to talk to you and sign their books!! Good for you! You looked great and seemed to be having the time of your life – it was wonderful to see you, even across a crowd. Congratulations.


Comment by Jane Gawthrop 10.14.07 @ 3:59 pm

Sounds like you had the most glorious time! So much fun and excitement. I love that your friends helped you acquire so much yarn. Also love that you were given so many gifts. Sounds like you now need some time to recuperate. Enjoy all your treasures.

Comment by Vicki 10.14.07 @ 5:24 pm

Allison, I loved seeing you and Richard on Sunday. What a great surprise! I’m sorry Michelle wasn’t with me, but she says “Hi!” What a beautiful blog, and how wonderful to hear what your family has been up to.

Comment by Wes 10.15.07 @ 6:28 am

Kate and I had such a good time visiting with you. She was wearing your scarf tied as a bow over her sweater on Sunday and it looked so cute on her. I kept mine within reach on my bag like a talisman glowing with good luck and friendship. 🙂 (and Kate just kept petting it.)

Comment by Deb in CT 10.15.07 @ 8:57 am

Hi Alyson! Colorjoy Lynn has mentioned you and I finally motivated myself enough to follow the url in her blog this week. I am delighted by your posts, and am so happy she urged me to visit :-}
I am blessed to have her as a Sis-in-love.
I am eagerly awaiting a copy of your book (ordered this morning), and feel sure I’ll find lots of gifitng ideas in there for my beloveds :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 10.15.07 @ 12:17 pm

P.s. Sorry for mis-spelling your name, usually I am more careful about such things.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 10.15.07 @ 3:26 pm

I still say the beret clashed with the shawl….

Comment by Afton 10.15.07 @ 4:21 pm

I’m so glad you had such fun on your trip! I can’t wait to see the projects you crank out with all that new yarn!

Comment by Lisa 10.15.07 @ 6:51 pm

What a great trip — I’m so touched by your lovely thoughts at the end for the woods that you grew up with!

Comment by Renee 10.16.07 @ 4:22 pm

Oh My Goodness! I wish I had been there. It sounds so wonderful. I am envious of all of you that got to spend the day with Alison.

Comment by Sonya 10.16.07 @ 8:29 pm

It was definitely the best of times. Thanks for including me in your entourage.

And extra-huge thanks for my soooo soooft baby alpaca peace shawl. Perfect.

Comment by LynnH 10.17.07 @ 7:58 am

Alison, it sounds like you had way too much fun at Stitches East. Looking forward to having you home so I can see all of your new yarns from your friends. Congrats, too, on another successful booksigning!

Comment by Nancy Weber 10.18.07 @ 10:49 am

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