Stitches is continuing, and for the first time, I'm not there on Sunday. Not even to shop!
But I'm sated. And there were miracles.
Miracle number one: The Divine Though Blogless Elizabeth and I left home at 8:30 a.m. -- right on time. In fact, I had gotten to HER house by 8:30 -- with breakfast in hand!
Miracle number two -- which pointed out things good for me, a great sign of positive attitudes, and something very sad: As we wended our way North (with the Divine -- truly Divine -- Elizabeth driving because she's wonderful that way), we encountered a bad traffic mess --- in the Southbound lane. Phew. And it was bad. What it looked like, based on us whizzing by at 70 mph, was that something in the middle of a semi's load had exploded. There were about eight State Police cars, and a couple of fire trucks.... including a fireman still hosing down the center of the trailer. As I've since discovered, that something was actually the cab of a semi that had rear-ended the other truck. Very sad - (the driver of the burning cab died).
But... this sad event revealed something positive about people. I love it when there are good things to see in even bad things. Needless to say, north of the horrible accident, the cars in the southbound lane were completely stopped. Thursday was move-in day at the University of Illinois. That means that the southbound lanes were full of college students (some with and some without their parents), their cars packed to the gills. And what we saw in that mile or three of stopped cars was not a bunch of sour faces and impatient drivers. Nooooo. There were people out playing volleyball in the lanes. There was even one person in surf position on the roof of her mini-van. These folks were just out playin' in the road.
Miracle number three: First, a bit of back story: When you go to Stitches, and you are going to attend class on Thursday afternoon, as I was, you tend to arrive on Thursday morning. That seems sane enough. Alas, classes start at 1:30, and check in time for most hotels is around 3:00 or even 4:00. Even if you request early check in, there is no guarantee there will be a room available -- and cleaned -- for you before class starts. According to the hotel desk, there were about 100 requests for early check in last Thursday -- and the hotel was sold out on Wednesday night.
So -- Whichy was heading to the hotel from the north east side of Chicagoland, while DTB Elizabeth and I were heading north. She got there slightly before us, at about 11:15. As I pulled into the parking lot, she sent a text. I read it upon parking the car: it read. "I'm in our room". Wahoo! Checked in, and in the room, in plenty of time to unload stuff, check in to Stitches, have a reasonable lunch, and make it to class!
I count that as a total miracle.
Miracle number four: Okay, not much of a miracle, but I'm on a roll here with goodness, and don't want to stop. Our teacher had lots of energy. She was still really excited about the stuff she was teaching. In some ways, it was like she was still discovering just how cool it was, even though she's published a book on it.
The class was a huge step outside of my comfort zone. It was also a huge step outside of the comfort zone of many folks in the class, but for very different reasons. For them, it was understanding that you really can do whatever you want with your knitting. For me, it was trying to let something truly random happen. Evidently, I do patterns automatically. This is as close as I get.
I see pattern -- but was TRYING to be random.
After class, we had just enough time to trade our class materials for empty tote bags before the Market Preview opened. This year it was 5:00 - 8:00 instead of 7:00 - 9:00.
Miracle number five: I did not, despite much temptation, buy the place out.
I did round up a couple of lovely prizes for Seasons of Lace (but you'll have to go there to see them).
And I did pick up a couple of fun new project bags.
The only yarn I bought was on close-out sale at WEBS. I have a problem resisting 50% off yarn when the yarn is yarn I love anyway. I mean, c'mon. Admit it. Araucania Itata is sinfully tempting all by itself. But when it's half price....
There's an Itata T-shirt in my future. And there's an Itata 3/4 sleeve top in The DTB Elizabeth's future.
I promise, when I get home, I'll take pictures of it all and show it to you.
Though the Market was much smaller this year, I didn't make it through all of the Market Thursday, even with the extra hour. On the other hand, when there's networking to be done, and people to catch up with... I'm not complaining.
At 8:00, we were tired and hungry and footsore. We stashed our loot in the room, and headed out for what turned out to be a reasonable dinner. When we got back to the hotel, we were very glad that no-one had home-work to do for our Friday classes. Sleep was our friend.