As I exited the light rail door and saw the Santa Clara Convention Center, I knew that I was about to enter one of the most fantastic yarn events I had ever been to. The excitement was mounting and my quickened heart rate and speedy steps were a testament to it. Finally, I was getting the chance to attend the Stitches West Convention! If you don’t know, Stitches West is a 3-day event celebrating all things fiber. There are classes, fashion shows, and of course the marketplace. Unless you are going to a class or are a vendor, I think one day to hit the marketplace is enough.
Entering the Marketplace was initially overwhelming. Actually it was more like sensory overload. I wanted to clone myself so I could run down each aisle and touch as many beautiful skeins as I could. However, it this type of situation one must exhibit some self-control (haha).
How to Shop the Marketplace at Stitches West:
1) Bring a Friend. It is essential to bring a friend that will reel you in. Thankfully, I had a veteran Stitches West attendee with me. She really helped me focus my attention and develop a plan of attack.
2) Do a reconnaissance lap. Take your time to go up and down each aisle. You never know what you might stumble upon!
3) Bring a pen. During your initial lap you can write down which booths you want to re-visit. (or if you are tech savvy put the names in your smartphone)
4) Save your purchasing until your last hour of being in the Marketplace. Unless it is the last of something truly amazing, do your purchasing at the end of your journey. Not only will you then purchase what you really want, but it is less to carry around with you during the day.
5) Make sure you bring sustenance. You are allowed to bring in food and drinks. Make sure you are well hydrated and fed. There is a lot of walking and shopping to be done. You don’t want to loose steam too quickly.
6) Bring your own shopping bag. Not too many shops were including a bag with the purchase so make sure you bring a reusable bag.
See how amazing it was?!? Some of my highlights included spotting Stephen West (sorry I didn’t ask him for a picture) and also being introduced to Miss Babs yarn. Wowzers! The yarn is to die for! After much debate, I ended up purchasing a rainbow varigated skein to make some socks. The yarn is so soft it feels like a box full of fuzzy bunnies.
I also purchased a giant cone of 100% wool from the WEBS booth. I plan on making a sweater with it. I could resist as it was only $30. I mean $30 for a pound of wool?!? Who could say no? I am also in love with this coral color. It most certainly screams springtime.
I am really glad I stuck to my “list” and didn’t go outside of my yarn budget. Stitches West is such a great way to discover new yarn and other goodies. There is a very good chance that the yarn buying could have gotten out of control. However, my wonderful fiber buddy kept me in check and I am really happy about that. I am sad it is over, but I look forward to Stitches West 2016!