Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stitches West -- came and went

This past weekend was Stitches West. Last year, I went a wee bit hog-wild in the market place, so I promised myself that I would be more restrained in my shopping.

I had "rules"
1) I would not buy anything I couldn't already purchase at my LYS
2) I would buy quality versus quantity...and maybe splurge on some more luxury items.
3) I wanted sock yarn -- specifically Blue Moon sock yarn for more boot socks (I love their stuff). If I could only get a few skeins and nothing else, I would be good.

Since DH had given me V-day money to spend, my budget had grown considerably, and I wanted to stay in budget.

So I went on Friday, as it would be far less crowded than the weekend, and with far more quantities of goods available. After a hearty breakfast, I got there an hour after opening, and wandered the marketplace looking at this year's new yarn samples, patterns, and whatnought. I ran into many friends and acquaintences, so we talked knitting & fiber (of course).

Bijou fibers had a "yarn tasting" where you could try Signature Needles and some lovely yarns. (The yarns were lovely, and I didn't quite "take" to the Signature needles)

And all around me, the spending sprees had already begun. I picked up quite a few things here and there following my general "rules"

- the aforementioned sock yarn
- one ball of quivit / silk blend -- Oh so decadent! (and they had a show special)
- 1/2 ounce of quivit fiber to spin -- I know that it's *not* enough to really do "anything" with, but I wanted to at least *TRY * and spin with it.
- a pair of beautiful glass circular knitting needles that I tested at the dealer,
and they're LOVELY to work with AND she has a lifetime guarantee.

(This is Gigi Knitmore's fault, really. She recommended that I go over to a specific vendor and look at her glass work. I did, and the vendor had these lovely knitting needles to try...which I did...and fell in love.... Apparently, the Knitmore "enabler" tendencies are genetic.)

- some blank silk hankies to dye and dyed silk hankies to knit with
- a beautiful 400 yard skein of cashmere and silk
- some beautiful mixed shetland fiber to spin (moorit, white, and black)
- sampler bumps of yak / yak-silk fiber to play with (as practice for the quivit)
- a small alpaca teddy bear (OMG so soft!)
- a replacement for my turkish spindle that I lost at the SLO ren faire last year.

There were a lot of other things that I looked at, picked up, and even got in line to purchase, but decided that they did not fall into my 3-rule set that I set for myself.

Overall, I stayed quite under my budget, so much so that I came back on Sunday for the last two hours of the marketplace to pick up 2 sweaters worth of cashmere/wool blends during the "last day specials" and ended up spending less than half of retail for one sweater.