California Dreamin’

March 4, 2010

When everything here is still frozen solid, and we’re celebrating the fact that the snow piles are only 2 feet tall instead of 4, there is nothing like escaping for the weekend to somewhere warm, sunny, with flowers.  Real live flowers, outside, not inside in vases:

Santa Clara was displaying cherry blossoms, green lawns, leaves on trees, and flowers everywhere.  Picking up for the weekend, and going to something as frivolous as a yarn convention, staying at a nice hotel, even though it really didn’t cost me very much felt so very decadent.  One of the benefits  of using my own credit card for work expenses (linked to travel miles) and traveling for work is excess reward miles.  I felt relaxed, not rushed, and a tad bit spoiled.  It was nice not to have to race to get around, especially since I went the wrong way on the LRT and took a tour of downtown San Jose, before getting some directions from a nice lady at the OTHER convention center.  Another short ride in the opposite direction, and I managed to get to the correct convention center in order to spend two hours at Stitches West.  It was very overwhelming, so much yarn, so many people, so many things to see!  I noticed on Saturday I was only really looking the yarn, when I went back on Sunday I started to notice all the displayed items, and the other people.  I didn’t wear any large knitted item, as it was warm!  I was busy rocking a t-shirt for the first time in months. 

Stitches West was very large, and there were about a million billion things to see.  I had a certain amount of cash in my wallet, and I didn’t spend more than that, which is very good.  One of the highlights was meeting Rachel Herron, author of “How to Knit a Love Song” which is on my must read list.  How could you not like a lady who declared she wanted the Canadians to win in the Olympic hockey game?  You can’t!  (speaking of which, they announced who won when I was on the plane from San Jose-Denver, and I can report that there were exactly 5 Canadians on that plane.  We all cheered.  Loudly.  The nice lady next to me gave me a dagger look, but when I turned to her and said “They can cancel the mass suicide in Canada now”, and “They just ran out of beer in Vancouver, and probably Calgary as well” she warmed up a bit.  Let’s face it; winning meant more to us, probably too much.)

The highlights for me were numerous.  I was happy to find some Three Irish Girls yarn on Sunday:

The blue skein has gone to a new home before I got too attached, and the multi one is staying with me.  It is brown/burgundy/green/teal, which is happily outside my normal colour sphere.

I seemed to be in a purple and silk mood this weekend as that is what I was drawn to.  The smell of silk was in many booths, and it was heady.  I stopped at the Artfibers yarn tasting booth and got a sample of one of their silk/mohair blends.  I can attest that anything from them that contained silk was brilliant!  I felt bad asking for too many samples, so kept it to just one.

I eagerly visited the Pigeonroof Studio booth, and found this nice purpley blend that is fast becoming a lacy baktus scarf.  Jennipoo got a dark purple blend as well!   I did very well only purchasing from vendors that are hard to get in Canada, or are online only.  I stayed away from the mega bargain booths.  Okay, I went into them, but came out empty handed.  I was a bit surprised by the amount of sparkly yarn available, I had thought that fad was over with.  Oh, was I wrong.  I even saw, gasp, fun fur.  Ack.

Other favorites of mine were seeing vast amounts of Blue Moon in person (we have one store in Edmonton that stocks them, but what they have is a bit hit and miss and it sells out quick).  I really enjoyed the Lisa Souza booth, and though she and her husband were very nice.  I intend to take photos of what I got at these two places on the weekend, its lovely and deserves photos! 

The other big news is that I was 8 hours short of my “time outside of Canada” and therefore was required to pay duty on everything over $50.  I dutifully marked that I had items to declare and presented my card to the customs agent.  He let me through without any questions, and I did not have to pay duty.  What a great guy!  He was probably so happy about the game, and looking forward to the party.

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3 Responses to “California Dreamin’”

  1. Heather Joins The Round said

    Look at fabulous you and all your self discipline! The market hall is overwhelming!

    I am happy for you guys about the hockey.

    I have never seen Blue Moon in a shop anywhere. All mine came from Stitches. The last time I went, I didn’t hit that booth until Sunday, and they were completely cleaned out. The next year, my sister went and bought me some.

  2. margene said

    Stitches West must have been blast. I’m more envious you met Rachel Herron than I am of the pretty yarns you bought!

  3. Cheryl S. said

    Cheers to the customs agent!

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