the tuesday evening before the big weekend i was going through various groups on ravelry to see if i could carpool with fellow attendees. in one of the groups there was mention of a special "stitch and ride" version of the capital corridor, an amtrack train which travels from sacramento to san jose (where stitches west is held).
a few clicks of the mouse later, i found the site, discussed with my cute husband the financial and logistical advantages of taking the train and decided to buy a ticket. due to the late purchase, the site said i would need to pick up my ticket from the ticket booth the morning of departure.
but on thursday there was a DHL package by the front door and it contained this...
and the excitement factor increased 10 fold. the cute husband could hardly contain me in the car on the way to the train station.
the train was about 25 minutes late, but once inside all riders received one of these:
holy moly! and all the free coffee you could drink. what could be better on a drizzly saturday morning?!
the train arrived about 11ish; the description had said the convention center was a 10 or 15 min walk away so i thought walking wouldn't be a bad option, but the shuttle buses were waiting with open doors so in i hopped and was at my first stitches west stop, the ravelry booth, within moments.
ravelry did a passport book to introduce members to ravelry supporters and businesses. it was a great way to meet some fellow ravelers and support their various yarn endeavors. it was also a great way to make sure every aisle was explored. there was some amazing yarn being offered. my personal favorites the buffalo and musk ox yarns. so soft and beautiful, so incredibly expensive.
it was suggested i have a plan of who or what i wanted to see. so i put a list together of things i needed; vendors i wanted to see, etc. so between the "plan" and the passport, i pretty much saw every booth on the floor. webs had two huge booths which were always packed. since i didn't have a specific project in mind, i didn't visit them. i was drawn to the smaller, single person type yarn vendors.
i was also drawn to sock yarns. one of the sock yarn vendors i wanted to see was blue moon yarns, which also happened to be in the ravelry passport. the colorway i was truly lusting after was rock star. there had been one skein left when i was in my lookie-lou phase. by the time i went back to do my purchasing, it was gone. fortunately that set back wasn't a deterrent. i just purchased this colorway instead. it is called peaseblossom and it is 360 yards of lightweight 100% superwash merino. rah. can't wait to knit it up.
the second sock yarn i was drawn to were those by lisa souza. this is her elektra colorway which is 560 yards of 100% superfine superwash merino. i am thinking this would make the cute husband a nice pair of socks.
the last big sock purchase was from the bins of a vendor from so cal, the yarn lady. the bins in front of this booth had bags of yarn for 70% off. with the first look-see i found yarns i wasn't interested in; a second look-see unearthed bags of 8 balls of fortissima colori socka color sock yarn all in the same color way. a third look-see unearthed this, a bag of 8 balls of fortissima in 4 different colorways, meaning a pair of socks per colorway. all i could think of was presents! at 70% off! there were very few bargains but this was definitely one of them. i was very pleased.
the only non sock yarn purchase were these two, from terilyn needleart, two sisters who like knitting lace shawls. the first time i passed by this yarn it screamed "shawl!". the second time i passed by, i just stopped and shopped. all of their colorways are lovely but these two really captured me. these are the heather yarns, the light one is colorway 5680, periwinkle and the dark one is 5751, midnight. each hank has 560 yards! i love the midnight colorway but it will be very dark to knit with. i will need very good lighting, especially with lace. but so it goes!
all in all, my first stitches west was a great adventure and i look forward to next year!