Monday, October 03, 2005

Stitches Adventures

Over the next few days, we will tell you what our time at Stitches was like. Stitches is a huge consumer knitting convention; it was in Atlantic City this year and will be at the Baltimore Inner Harbor inNovember 2006.

We will begin with our travel day on Wednesday, September 21. It is 8:00 a.m. The rental truck is loaded full. We have made an emergency trip to Target and Lowe's for a few things we forgot. Cynthia needs to stop by her house again because she accidentally took Kevin's keys as well as her own (but at least she remembered to bring along her suitcase on this trip...and her cell phone so that Kevin was able to get ahold of her before she got too far). And so we began our 5-hour drive together toward Atlantic City.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is long and boring, and the van had no air conditioning. Enough said about the drive.

We arrived around 2:00, and the Union Guys were there to unload the van. They took one look at our enormous pile of plastic bags filled with yarn...

...and burst into laughter. “Hey, this is the best packing job we’ve ever seen!” said one. The other said, "I usually try to take the day off when the yarn people come." They piled the bags at the booth.

The union guys then looked at the pile at the booth and said, “Thanks for the good laugh!”

Mary, the vendor next to us, wandered over a few minutes later, looked at the pile of plastic bags at our booth.....

....and said, “Is this your first show?”

Believe it or not, it wasn’t. We have discovered over two years of doing quite a few shows that large, clear plastic bags have several advantages:

1. They hold a lot more yarn in a smaller space.

2. They are easier for us to lift and move than a box.

3. You can see the yarn through them. We can look for all the Manos, or all the Oceania, and organizing is faster.

By 6:00, after working for 4 hours with no air-conditioning (we looked forward to the next day when they were to turn it on for the convention-goers) our booth started looking finished.

Mary said, “You girls are amazing!” We did not feel amazing. We felt hot and tired. It had been a long day. We were allowed to work only until 6:00 that evening before they locked the doors, so we left for the night.

We have found that is is best to eat well when we are doing this kind of work, so we had a great meal at a place called the Berkshire Grill. If you ever go to Atlantic City, we recommend this restaurant.

After dinner, we wanted very much to relax in the hotel, but the day was not quite done. We needed to pick up a few things from Lowe’s: a hand-cart to take our overload yarn to the truck, which was going to be parked far, far away from our booth, a plastic box to put the yarn in, bungie cords to keep it all together. While we were at it, we also found a box for displaying fabric in the shop. And Kim found a rug and some worklights for home. It was a successful side trip.

We were back in the hotel room by 10:00, and after calling the Kevins and knitting a bit, we collapsed and fell asleep.

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