Thursday at Stitches:
Preparing for Opening Night
Cynthia was awoken Thursday morning at 5:30 a.m. by what sounded like Tigger bouncing around in the next bed over. She ignored it for an hour. Then she made the mistake at 6:30 of looking up to see what was going on. Through bleary eyes, she saw Kim enthusiastically say something like, “I was just thinking! I think that intarsia is too restrictive! I would use large pieces of foam…pull the yarn through many holes…create an installation piece….” Cynthia could not understand any of these statements. She asked, “What is insulated?” and then turned over and fell back asleep.
An hour later, the alarm went off. Kim greeted her: “GOOD MORNING!”
It was time to start the day. We got some breakfast at a pleasant little diner, and headed in to Atlantic City.
The convention center was hot again as all of us vendors continued to unpack. We were all dripping with sweat. At 10:00, an announcer got on a loudspeaker and said that if everyone moved their vans out, they could close the large back door and we could cool the place down. Cheers rose across the room. It still took a good two hours for the room to get comfortable.
We spent the rest of the morning getting set up, had some lunch, and then worked a couple more hours. By about 3:30, we were finished. We had a free block of time until the vendor reception at dinnertime. We decided to go shopping at the outlets that are a block away from the convention center. Kim didn’t find anything, but Cynthia bought two pairs of pants and a purse.
We went to the vendor reception at 6:00, where we got some pasta, a salad, bread, and dessert. Probably we should have hobnobed with the other vendors, but frankly we were too tired. We huddled in a corner and ate.
The big news from Stitches this year was the release of Book 3 (Color) from Sally Melville’s Knitting Experience series. We got a whole case of the new book (and the other case has already arrived at our store). It was another wonderful book from Sally, and Cynthia immediately decided which sweater she is going to teach this spring for an intarsia class. It is on the back cover and looks a little like puzzle strips. Our Harrisville Highland yarns will be perfect for this project.
The market opened from 7 to 9. We were in the back of the market, and it was fun to stand at the aisle and watch the crowd of knitters pouring in and scattering. Most of them looked dazed by the time they got to us. It is hard to believe this, but they had actually seen too much yarn.
Most people just look around on Thursday night, thinking about what they might want to do. We got quite a few comments about our three Johnny Depp pirate posters. (Two are shown in the photo below.)
Some people were amused, and others thought we were weird. But we had the feeling they would remember us. That was the idea.
On the way back to the hotel, our conversation was intense. We talked about what we might want to do to rearrange the booth. Although we liked the way it looked, it had felt too small and closed in, and we needed to figure out a way to open it up before the bigger crowds on Friday. As we discussed different ideas, Kim saw a green road sign and said, “Our exit must be next” at the same time that Cynthia realized that they had been driving much too long. We were at exit 9, when we should have gotten off at exit 5.
In the panic of exiting and looking for the entrance ramp that would go back toward Atlantic City, Cynthia blew right through the dark toll booth without paying the toll. We couldn’t back up because there was another car behind us. So we had to go the entire way to Atlantic City to a manned toll booth, pay the man, get a receipt to prove that we had paid in case we got the $200 failure-to-pay fine in the mail, turn around, and go back to exit 5.
The only thing we could think of to do to comfort ourselves for being so dunderheaded was to go back to the Berkshire Grill for a snack. Kim got a Chinese beef appetizer, and Cynthia got the chocolate truffle dessert. This comforted us.
By the time we got back to the hotel, it was 11:00. We watched TV and knitted for a half hour, then crashed.