Stitches East: Review

Well, that's it. That's my haul from Stitches. I was positively restrained, I tell you (no, not physically, although in retrospect some kind of shocking device wouldn't have been a bad idea . . . ). Left to right we have a skein of laceweight from Knitting Notions in Pumpkin Spice, Malabrigo lace in Brillante, Tornado Sock from StormMoonKnits in I Kissed a Girl (LOVE her colorway names), Malabrigo Sock in Impressionist Sky, and another skein of laceweight from Knitting Notions in Dark Rose. How'd I do?

Additional yarns were calling out to me, of course--I could hear their whispers as I wandered the aisles, it was a touch disconcerting--but I managed to pull my grubby little hands away from the Manos del Uruguay silk blends, and some beautiful blue-faced leicester sock yarn (which, at $28/skein, I really didn't need--ok, I really didn't need it at any price!), not to mention all the Koigu and Dream in Color and Cherry Tree Hill and . . . well, the list goes on, there was certainly no shortage of yarn.

I got to the Market around 10:30 yesterday morning. The nice thing about being a Baltimore native is that I knew where to park on the cheap, so I got street parking for $1/hour instead of being sucked dry by a garage near the Convention Center. Since I'm usually in the city for baseball games and nights out, I was surprised by how quiet it was in the morning. It was downright enjoyable, meandering the streets in peace (without fearing for my life; I don't want to scare anyone away from Baltimore, as it is an awesome city, but it's tricky--there are some pretty unsafe neighborhoods in very close proximity to the tourist traps). Here's a random shot of the Bromo Seltzer Tower I took on my walk:

As I set foot in the market, the first thing I did was make a beeline for WEBS, where I picked up the Malabrigo. I'm sure my Falling for Ewe swap partner was well-intentioned in sending me a gorgeous skein of Malabrigo a couple months ago, but she's created a monster. Now I'm obsessed with it, and truly felt that if I didn't get a skein of their sock yarn, I was going to off somebody--and with so very many pointy knitting needles around, well, controlling that impulse may have been difficult. Fortunately, I was placated early on. (Not to mention a bit weirded out being rung up at the WEBS booth by Steve, whose melodious voice serenades me via podcast while I [pretend to] work.)

After accomplishing that task, I mostly wandered about looking at, petting, and occasionally buying yarn. To be honest, I was a little disappointed not to see more "young" (hardy har har) knitters my age. Perhaps they decided to wait until the afternoon to shop--nursing all those Friday night hangovers! After a quick trip to feed the meter, I trotted back to the Convention Center and took a spin around the concession area looking for the lunchtime Ravelry meet up, but didn't spot anyone. I abandoned the yarn briefly to peruse books, but didn't happen across any of the Norah Gaughan volumes that I so desperately want/need. As the day wore on, the market grew more and more crowded until it was virtually impossible to monopolize a skein of yarn to pet, so I went on my merry way. I'm sure I would've enjoyed taking a class or two--hindsight is 20/20--and of course, rumor has it that next year Stitches is moving to Connecticut, so I guess I missed my chance.

What I really enjoyed was seeing so many people wearing handknits (despite it being a rather unseasonably warm 65 degrees in Charm City yesterday). Almost everyone had something on their person, and while there were certainly some What Not To Knits (oh, the fun fur, the overzealous ruffles, the bizarre color combos, the sheer itchiness of it all!), for the most part the various sweaters, shawls and socks were fashionable and inspiring.

However, please note, things I will NOT be knitting: the February Lady Sweater. I spotted 3 of them in the first hour at Stitches, it was a virtual parade.