Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saving Money the Hard Way

Its Stitches West weekend and I feel like I am missing out on fun, yarn, laughter and all the excitment that comes with attending Stitches. Last year on Friday, a group of 4 of us rose in the dark early morning hours and prepared ourself for a Yarn Frenzy. We were at the train depot at 6:50 AM. As daylight came into being, we saw others standing in small groups and we begin to see a pattern. Women with knitting were silently gathering to board the train to the big yarn event. I had not been on a train since I was a small child, so the train trip held as much excitment for me as the yarn market heaven. I saw parts of my own community that I had never seen before, as the train moved down into Sacramento and on to the Bay Area. Somehow we found ourselves in Emeryville and someone said Oakland. We thought we had reached the station where we changed to buses. So this 4 some climbed off the train. Imagine our shock when the train pulled out of the depot and the sign DID not read Oakland. The station people were wonderful to us and found us a cab driver who agreed to drive like the wind, so we may catch up with our bus. Once on the bus I saw more knitters. In fact the bus was totally knitters except for 2 passengers I think. The bus driver was so good he drove us to the front door of the convention center and we lined up for Market. I looked around and soon realized I had not come prepared. Women had HUGE suitcases on wheels they were pulling into the market place. This was some serious yarn shopping I could see. The doors opened and I felt like a 4 yr old in a candy store. I split off as I was sure I could see more faster and didn't want to miss one skien of yarn or one book in the place. About 3 hours later I actually stopped long enough to eat a sandwich and find the others. It was thrilling, it was exciting, it was blinding, it was breathtaking, it was just flat magical to see it all. Everywhere you looked were people knitting, people selling supplies to do more knitting and color..... lots of color. By late afternoon people were slowing down. Me among them. We got back on the train, found a table with 4 spaces for us, and shared all our purchases. Then it started to get dark and I watched lights out the window. I had not seen these sides of the small towns the train raced through. Some were beautiful, with re furbished Depots, others were in scary not so nice parts of towns. All n' all it was a great day. I also attended Stitches East last Nov. 3, 2006, in Baltimore, MD. It was a great Market Place. My son took me up from D.C. but it didn't hold the magic as the first one on the train did. I skipped this years Stitches West. I will go next year.

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