I can't tell you, in so many words, though I will try, how much fun I had, and how much I learned. I did realize, however, that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks...
Let me start by saying, I think I need to get used to flying because, well...I truly am not a fan. The security lines and having to strip down was not only NOT fun, but annoying. Worrying that the needles I have in my carry on will indeed make it through their scanner, and the lady up front with the 10 kids (I kid you not) and having to shepherd them through the line was, well, I guess I felt sorry for her.
With that said, I will find myself joining the STITCHES Events many times. I met women who have been attending these since their humble beginnings. That is so cool.
Friendships. Classes. Skills. Wine. Coffee. Great Food. Knitting whenever and wherever. Marketplace. Sniffing yarn. Buying yarn (whether you need it or not). Networking. Signing Books. PJ Party (yes, in the middle of the lobby).
These are what make up this wonderful event called, STITCHES.
The story behind these lovely ladies is that I was coming up the escalator from my class and spotted them. I walked over and they proceeded to show me their books they had purchased. I was super excited, arms flailing, big smile on my face. How cool of them. Yes, I signed each of them.
Now, I had met them at the bar. I was sitting at the counter when they sidled up beside me and took a picture of themselves. I whispered to Sandy (I didn't know her name at the time), "I should have photo bombed your picture." She immediately said, "You should have." So where are you from's and what do you do's took place. They quickly learned I was THE Dishcloth Diva. Instant friends. You're probably wondering why in the world they would be in their Pj's in the middle of the lobby...well, it's Pj party time. Yes, put on by Marly Bird each year at the STITCHES events. And Yes, I did participate.
I drank lots of coffee while sitting by the fire and knitting. Having a Starbucks right in the hotel couldn't have made my world any better. A friend commented on FB, that he could identify my toes. Ha! Well...probably so, since I seem to shoot from that vantage point (a lot).
Now, I must say, I was in awe of these beauties. Laura, or as many of you know as LaLa from Knitgirllls podcast, and Shannon, my ever so crazy and cool publisher, were the highlights of my day. It would have been nice to sit and chat with each, but hey, we were there to shop, network, and for some, sell (my) books.
Speaking of books, Yes, Dishcloth Diva took her diva-like spot on the front corner of the table. And when bets were placed as to which book would sell the most, well...you can guess. Mine. *squee* I was so delighted to see this.
Earlier I had mentioned classes. One of my classes was Entrelec Basics, taught by the wonderful Gwen Bortner. What an amazingly talented individual. I left there with confidence and later in my room, finished the cup cozy.
Pretty good huh? I need to felt this yet, and it will be just that much more perfect.
Having time to chill was important for this extravert/introvert. I was told that I was pretty much in the middle of those two because when I felt over-stimulated with people/events/anything, I retreat to my room. I do gather my energy from being around people, the reason when I need to do computer work, I pack up and head to the nearest coffee shop.
So, you're probably saying, Deb, you mentioned Marketplace and buying yarn...Well, I didn't get any pics of the Marketplace, but, I did get pics of my fabulous choices. Fiesta Yarns, Skeindalous, Casablanca (I won this at the Pj party for getting my signature needles out faster than the rest when she said, do you have these in your bag?), Fresh Cauldron, and Miss Babs. I should probably mention, my name was drawn for the door prize given at the Student Banquet and Fashion Show. $50 gift certificate to Fiesta Yarns. Of course, I couldn't accept ONLY my FREE $50, I had to buy more. Sigh...
All in all, the time I had at STITCHES Midwest was fantastic. I loved the atmosphere it created. The hum of people chatting, the clicking of needles wherever you went, the friendships I formed and will keep, and the service the hotel provided was spectacular.
I highly recommend a visit to one of their events. Benjamin Levisay was sincerely welcoming and made me feel special. His podcast, Fiber Hooligan is something you all need to listen to. Grab your coffee or beverage of choice, your knitting, sit in a comfortable chair and listen for an hour or so as he interviews some of the industry leaders. You won't be sorry.
So, as I always say,