Monday, October 15, 2007

Stitches East- the afterglow

As I mentioned in my previous blogs, I was concerned about my all day sickness and strict gestational diabetes diet. Well it all worked out ok. I've been feeling a lot better. I lugged what seemed to be 20lbs of foodstuff with me on Amtrak and ordered a fridge at the hotel. What I wasn't prepared for was the daggone cold in Maryland! Before I go there let me talk about the morning commute! We drove down at 5 am (with the boys) to the next big train station. In my usual assuming way, I confidently planned this little commute for a 6:20 train departure. Much to my chagrin, I did not factor into this early commute, the absence of traffic at that time of morning, my husband's lead foot or the fact that I hadn't really looked at the ticket since I'd gotten it. We arrived at the station at 5:20 and the train wouldn't depart until 6:47! An eternity, in terms of "I could have slept longer" time.

I got to Penn Station without a hitch. One question that begs to be answered though, is COULD THAT TRAIN STATION BE MORE CONFUSING! I see signs for LIRR, NJ transit, the subway, Amtrak but no arrows! Of course I'm in a panic now cause I don't know where to go or who to ask. Everyone seemed to have this 'what are you bothering me for' attitude as if familiarity with the whole train station system should have magically been sprinkled into my head like fairy dust the moment I stepped off the train onto the platform. And these where the people that worked there! I did get from the policeman, who seemed annoyed that I interrupped his all too important sports commentary with the army guy that the train platform was announced 15 minutes before it is supposed to depart. Wow! how very exciting (no nerve racking)!!! Having finally calmed down and precariously balanced my very heavy food/clothes laden cases, I figured the next piece of the puzzle when I happened to be standing in front of the gate where the next train departing. The announcement came and a big crowd came rushing towards me like the running of the bulls! Big belly and all, I clumsily yet aggressively pushed my way out of the crowd with out tripping over their suitcases! Ooooooh! I get it! The icing on the cake was the mad dash to the gate once the announcement was made! Nothing like a heart attack before breakfast.

I arrived in Baltimore at 11:40. It was chilly and it got chillier as the weekend progressed. Though I only packed sleeveless tops, I was thankful I had the presence of mind to bring my little leather blazer.

Classes I took:
Advanced Design Technique, Barry Klein, Trendsetters Yarn
I learned some full fashioning techniques...

Deliberate Drops, Christine Blysma
I was never interested in drop stitches but learned some interesting applications...

Celtic Cables, Melissa Leapman, designer, author
Did not know the difference in those and regular cable till this class. Celtic cable are closed (rings) as opposed to starting from the hem. Neat unfinished swatch.

All of them inspiring, and all worth the time and money.

Now the scoop. The fashion show was awesome, so I heard from many. I didn't go. It would have been too exhausting with an all day session and the Student Banquet the following night. However, this year, they (XRX) decided that they would not serve dinner until after the show. Uhh huh! The show ran late (as usual) and people didn't eat until 8:30pm! Now that is ok if you are a Manhattanite used to eating late, however, we know that the majority of the crowd by far are not Manhattanites. By the time dinner was served, the salad was wilted, yes wilted and the chicken was soooo dried out that "cardboard would have been tastier". What is up with that! Last year's dinner was also screwed up! And like last year they made up for it at the Student Banquet. Now on to that!

The food was served first! Praise the Lord! and it was yummy! That being said, high school fashion shows are more organized than this Banquet was. Knitters, like myself, work long and hard on our pieces (it took one woman 7 yrs to make this amazing sweater! I don't think I have that kinda stamina!), and MC - Rick Maldragon (editor of Knitting Universe) sort of mockingly poopooed the whole show. As if to say this is not my main job, but I'll get through this cause I have to. It was very disorganized, he referenced his homosexuality and crabs a little to often, and it dragged on and on and on. Apart for the student's body of was BORING!! I did score some door prizes, but it was not worth the 3 1/2 hours. It really could have be cropped down to 2 hrs, if some one cared enough and put some effort into organizing the show. Now the XRX fashion show was organized! Which you could tell was one of Rick's favorite job duties. Suffice it to say "I was underwelmed". I did get to sit at the table with some knit celebs...Melissa Leapman and Leslye Solomon, the most fabo part of the evening.

I did hear from a friend that our dear Sally Melville had a falling out with XRX over her last book. And that she was not asked back to Stitches 2008! Oh yeah, they did her like that.

Market was fabulous as always! I decided not to get solids this year, but ventured out into the unchartered waters of variegated yarns. I bought some NORO, which everyone seems to love. I was hesitant because it's sooooo scratchy but I was told over and over that what I was feeling was the sizing on the yarn and that it would soften after washing. I'll let you know! I also scored yarn from BROOKS FARM of Texas. It's such beautiful stuff. I also bought some more of Berrocco's Foliage from Web's to finish my Einstein Coat

The commute home was equally interesting. I had to learn the woes of taxi cabbing as a traveler and being taken advantage of. One cabby wanted to take me to the train station for $12.00 (literally a few blocks away). After some words and being caught in an obvious lie, another cab said he would take me and ran his meter. It only cost me $5! Sigh! Some people still have some integrity. The sad part is how few there are.

Excitedly I took out some knitting, but didn't realize how tired I was! I fell asleep while knitting. I could feel myself nodding and leaning, mouth all open. Though I constantly tried to right myself, I was too tired to wake up or care. I can just imagine the look of it all. Bag between my knees, needles pointing out, bowing, mouth open, I just slay myself! I did feel refreshed by the time I got to Penn Station and I was ready for the "running of the bulls"!

Excitedly anxious to get home and see the boys (inc hubby), I was somewhat able to ignore the lady sitting across from me. I was sitting in the front of the car where the seats face each other. She was sitting on the edge of the seat clutching her bag as if she was in the go position, in case I decided to rob her. She had previously walked up and down the crowded train eyeballing this seat, but hoping, no praying for another. She finally conceded as this, apparently was the only seat available. The whole time I was thinking of ways to scare her. BOO! would have been really funny! I was relieved when she finally took her paranoid butt somewhere else!

And now the pictures of the loot!
NORO yarns

amazingly soft super wash merino-BROOKS FARMS
silk merino-BROOKS FARMS

knitting backpack (I know...what does a bag designer need with another bag! I rarely make bags for myself)

Skacel knitting bag (yes another) with limited addition #3 addi lace cir needles, 10 balls of wool blend yarn and jacket pattern, 25 style pattern book, addi knitted jewelry kit with swaroski crystal and silver wire, double points incl.
Have a great day!

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Glad to hear it was inspiring and worth the time and money. The celtic cables look interesting. The last time I went to Penn Station was 2 years ago after my stepson attended football camp... I nearly had a panic attack it was totally chaotic.
LOL @ I fell asleep while knitting. I could feel myself nodding and leaning, mouth all open.