Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Multi-tasking Master - Stitches Stylee (1 of 4 posts)

I have personally vowed that 2009 is the year of fiber exploration and wooly discovery for me. I'm taking as many classes as I can, teaching as many people as will have me and attending as many guild meetings/meetups/knit nights as I can squeeze in. Since I'm not the best time management person, I love it when I can do double duty with a commitment and, boy, did I score with Stitches West 2009.

Some of you already know that I've been shopping, err, working at A Verb for Keeping Warm's brick and mortar in Berkeley. Yes, it's not really like working when you love every single second of being at a place or when you look forward to seeing all the staffers and customers who pop by. Yes, I consider myself one incredibly lucky duck.

Little did I know that my luck would increase exponentially when Kristine (dyer, spinner, proprietor of Verb) asked if I'd like to work the booth at Stitches West. Would I??? It was all I could do not to take off the whole week of Stitches from my other job, so I could finish up some projects and get my act together for podcast recording. But, I was sensible and only took off Thursday and Friday so that I could help with set-up.

This event marks only the second time I've spent the night away from home and from Anto (my partner). The first time was for the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2008 and it was a big step because my partner is paraplegic and I'm his primary caregiver. There are many things that can happen to a person who is disabled and in a wheelchair, so it was with great trepidation that I attended the MFKR last November. Fortunately, there were no accidents or dramas and I felt much confident being away from home for SW09.

Thursday morning, I headed over to the Verb Studios and provided moral support (with mochas and treats from Cafe Cacao) while Kristine and Adrienne packed up Michelle's van. Once they had that all sorted, I packed my Corolla with the remaining items, including a 4 foot tall pussywillow branch which was used to display the Spindlewood and Lars Larsson drop spindles in the booth.

We got on the road and made our way to Santa Clara and all was smooth sailing... until I noticed a bit of dirt (I thought) fly up from the back left wheel of the van. I quickly realized that they had experienced a blowout and was trying to call Adrienne to let her know. Funnily enough, they were calling me at the same time. We were only 10 minutes from the Santa Clara/Great America Parkway exit, but we pulled over and called AAA for flat assistance.

Since the van was borrowed, we weren't exactly sure how to get the spare out, but Adrienne pretty much had it out and ready to go when the dude from AAA arrived. He changed the tire lickety split, but advised us to get off the interstate immediately and take surface roads to the Convention Center because our spare was only a emergency tire, not a full replacement.

We finally made it to the CC about an hour behind schedule and began the set-up in preparation for the 6-8pm Market Pre-shop. Since this was the first time that Verb had their own booth, Adrienne had built custom display units for the spinning fiber and yarn. She was a whirlwind of activity with her power drill and lighting fixtures. Kristine directed all of us and I just took orders (what I do best).

We took a quick junk food break and stretched our legs by heading over to the Hyatt. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything remotely healthy on offer, so I grabbed a Snickers bars. Cheese-Its and a Full Throttle. Okay, let's talk about the Full Throttle.

Apparently it's the Coca-Cola co's answer to Red Bull or Rock Star and it is POTENT. I'm an old hand with the contents of RB, but Full Throttle gave me heart palpitations. Seriously. I was alternating between panic attacks and wanting to hear house music. Very, very strange. Reminded me of when I first moved to San Francisco... the glory days.

Michelle arrived around 4pm with the most amazing homemade sandwiches. These saved my sanity as I was surviving purely on sugar and caffeine at that point. I think mine was sundried tomato spread with turkey on sourdough baguette (or something like that). It was divine and just what I needed for the final stretch before the masses started streaming into the CC.

Kristine and Adrienne had reserved rooms at the Hilton (across the street from the convention center) so we were able to relax and not worry about driving back and forth every day. It was like a little holiday for me and I loved the luxury of being away from home and playing with fiber all day long.

Next Up: Thank God, It's Friday @ Stitches West!


  1. I eye spied you spinning at Carolina Homespun!

  2. It was fun to have a fly-by hello at Stitches West! You were brave to stay - I fled at the soonest opportunity! I heard it was a madhouse!

  3. wow MW that was a perfect recollection - I love reading what happened from your brain! You make everything sound much more interesting. Wordsmith! can't wait for the next installment! What happens next! I must mention you were calm and collected during the flat tire incident - cool cucumber! Even watching over us so we wouldn't get run over.