Thursday evening: Milo gets his first fire in the fireplace. Fall is really here! (FINALLY.)
Friday: Wake up at six. Run around like an idiot. Drink coffee. Pack. Load car. On the road by just after eight. In Baltimore by ten (the first ten or so miles only took a half hour… I hate route 270).
Sit for a few minutes congratulating myself that I got to Baltimore Penn Station in time to not make Daisy wait (I hate making people wait – especially when I am picking them up from something. There’s something really anxiety-producing for me about arriving somewhere and having nobody there to meet you – even if you’re sure, really sure they’re on their way. By the same token, I hate thinking that I’m inflicting that kind of agitation on someone else.
Daisy arrived in good order, found me (“I’ll be the one waving like an idiot next to a grey Jetta”), and off we went. Being the good photographer I am, this is the only photograph of The Entire Weekend.
(What can I say? I knew I was going to be hauling fiber – I didn’t feel like hauling a camera also.)
We head over to the Convention Center (Daisy, by the way, either has a touching faith in my knowledge of Baltimore streets, or she’s a very good actress). Taking a deep breath, we plunge in to the hum of Stitches East. Despite the fact that it was Friday and the scrum really hadn’t started to form yet, Daisy had that look in her eye pretty early – you know the one: “Oh. My. God. Colortexturefiberpeoplestuffgoingon…” I noted Kaffe Fassett sitting at a signing (looking a bit dazed himself, poor man), and pointed out Brandon Mably as he whizzed past us. Daisy said, “Oh my god – I’m not even taking in the people.” I told her it was pretty much the same for me the year before. Learning to filter at Stitches takes some practice.
Daisy however, was as game and cheerful a companion as a person could want at Stitches. We were well-matched in many respects: we liked to look at the same things (but gravitate towards different colors – I to my usual green, Daisy to her favorite purple. When you’re selecting a hunting partner for Stitches, it helps to have someone whose color preferences lie at opposite ends of the color wheel). We both hit the blood-sugar wall at the same time (this is key – one would hate to drag an unwilling party away from the fun; but by the same token, one would hate to have a companion growing ever grumpier and grumpier in hypoglycemia’s iron grip). She was resourceful and organized – when the people at the non-selling Malabrigo booth gave us mini-skein samples of laceweight to take away (the first hit is free…), she located an envelope and noted all the Malabrigo-selling booths so we could reconnoiter effectively.
We both hit the wall reasonably early on that first day, and headed off to the hotel to spread our new loot over bedspreads and let our brains spin down a bit. Again, we were nicely matched. We were both tired from a long day, and Daisy had booked a suite hotel with a little kitchenette. I brought what I thought was soup (turned out to be curry – yum anyway) from our freezer and bread I had made the night before. A bottle of wine, some Malabrigo swatching and an episode of Doctor Who on my laptop made for a relaxing, geeky evening in. Daisy finished a Mr. Greenjeans sweater for wearing the next day.
Saturday: Celebrity Extravaganza. Daisy, among her many talents, is a WordPress expert (and has been invaluable help in getting this blog over its initial technological bumps when I transitioned from iBlog), who helped Wendy (yep – that Wendy) when she transitioned her blog from Movable Type. Wendy had graciously invited both of us for breakfast, and after completely forgetting that the Baltimore marathon was being run yesterday (and having to ditch the car further from the waterfront than we had intended), we trekked over to her hotel and I was privy firsthand to the Wendy and L-B show. What a delightful pair. You know how some good friends are really exclusive and you feel like an eavesdropper or interloper when you’re around? Well, Wendy and L-B are absolutely not like that. They’re inclusive and funny and fun. I figured we would have breakfast and then all go our separate ways, but I was lucky to be wrong. We spent our entire day with them. Wendy and I had each other’s respective number in about five minutes, Wendy affirming that yes indeed – that 50%-off Debbie Bliss cashmere at WEBS was in fact green and the lights in the convention center were weird (we were right, Wendy – it’s sage-celery, even though it looked grey in the convention center light), and when Wendy plucked a ball of dark-green quiviut off a shelf and mused about another color to go with it, I handed her a ball of lighter green and suggested knitting them together to get an interesting depth of color (in terms of $/volume, I think that’s my enabling zenith – I believe I can retire now).
Funniest moment? When Wendy from the Yarn Barn saw L-B’s badge and asked if she was “the” L-B as Wendyknits Wendy stood just to the left and behind her. I silently waved and pointed at Wendyknits Wendy until Yarn-Barn Wendy caught my eye, saw Wendyknits Wendy and her mouth flew open. We all agreed afterwards that L-B was officially the celebrity in the group, and Wendy was a vastly successful publicist.
Most staggering moment? Meeting Eunny Jang and hearing her say to me, “I recognize you from Ravelry!” (Note: if you’re going to an event like Stitches and you wear your “Print o’ the Wave” stole, not only will complete strangers say nice things about your work, but you may get the chance to say, “I’m sorry – this is tacky, but I may never have the chance to do this again,” and hand it to Eunny herself. She was gracious, as one would expect. I only feel slightly foolish in retrospect.)
It was over all too soon and I only got us slightly lost getting back to the car and up to the train station. Daisy made her train (which then promptly broke down outside of Philadelphia, getting her back to her family horrifically late, but we had so much fun I don’t think she has any regrets).
Sunday: Stash cataloging, blogging, laundry, and wondering when I’m ever going to knit all the gorgeous stuff I have.