After the excitement of Professional Development Day, I had a couple days with family events before I returned to the show on Saturday. My sister-in-law came with me and I was excited for her as it was her first time at a fiber event. Neither of us had signed up for classes but we did find plenty to do as we made our way through the exhibit floor.
I won't give you a complete review of all the booths - you can find the full listing here - but I will tell you I found plenty to ooh and ahh over, and even plenty to buy. I got some wonderful Lerke yarn from Dale of Norway - perfect to make a few fruity baby hats. I bought a new umbrella - sheeptacular design - as well as size 8 16" Tulip circular needles for a second Marsan hat (if I decide to make another).
The blue yarn pictured is from Tess' Designer Yarns in Portland, Maine and it will eventually belong to my SIL. She was so in love with the yarn when she saw it - but she thought it would be better to get a number of small, fun things than just one skein of yarn. So I offered to get it for her as a Christmas present and she accepted. She won't get to have it until Christmas, but at least I know I'll be giving her something she really wants and will truly enjoy.
I did let her continue to fondle it when we were sitting in the lobby looking over our purchases. I didn't have a project with me (long story - brought the wrong yarn with me for a current project) so I offered to wind up a skein of hand-dyed alpaca she bought from Nightingale Fibers. We had shared a table at lunch with the owner's sister who was helping her with the booth. She has the most beautiful yarns and she even names the yarns after the alpacas. As I was winding my SIL's yarn, and staring at the skein of blue yarn from Tess', I was starting to have some major yarn envy. The beautiful hand-dyed colors....the soft feel of the yarn....the potential!
I was trying to be ever so good with my yarn diet, just getting those few skeins of Lerke for projects I knew I could make...
But that nagging, biting feeling would not subside. Daydreams of knitting with the fabulous fibers would not leave my head. The thought of going home without it was too much to handle...
Back to the market we went where I bought a skein of silk from Tess' and a skein of beautiful baby alpaca yarn from Nightingale.
And then, I felt better.
Hello, my name is Samantha and I'm a yarn addict.
The top photo is Tess' Cascade - a 100% silk yarn. Divine! The bottom photo is of Nightingale's Lilian - an 80% baby alpaca, 20% silk yarn. I can't find words to describe the soft luxuriousness of this yarn. The color is gorgeous with subtle purple hues mixed with the cocoa brown shades.
With my yarn appetite fed, it was time for the CGOA Member Dinner, Fashion Show and Silent Auction. My SIL and I were so happy to get to sit with Jean, Rita and Marty again (as we did at lunch the day before). Also sitting at our table was -- seriously, I'm not making this up -- the Editor of Interweave Crochet magazine, Marcy Smith and Vashti Braha!
There was good food and great conversation. There were favors, too - a Tulip hook, Country yarn from Caron, Adirondack buttons, free patterns and other booklets of information about crocheting. The fashion show was amazing! I don't have very good photos from where I was sitting, so I suggest you check out the fashion show winners listed on the CGOA blog. Both my SIL and I won door prizes - she received some more Caron yarn and I received none other than a pattern book by Jean and Rita! I did make them both sign it for me.
At the end of the evening, it was thank yous, hugs and good-byes. As on Wednesday, my mind was buzzing with ideas. Sleep would not come quickly that night, which proved to be a bit annoying for a 7:00 am departure home on Sunday. But it was worth it - all that I learned and experienced, the wonderful people I met, the new opportunities I see ahead of me.
It took a few days until I was able to fully digest all that happened, thus this posting was not immediately written. My attendance at the conference renewed my hopes of making a career out of crocheting and knitting. It won't happen overnight, but the foundation has been laid and I'm starting to build my dream.
None of this would have been possible had it not been for the CGOA, the Professional Development Day program and the buddy program for new attendees. There is also so many thanks and hugs to pass around to all the amazing crocheters - professional and enthusiast - who shared their time, knowledge and kindness with me. I also need to thank my husband, Sean, for agreeing to make our summer vacation the trip to New England so I could attend the conference.
To everyone - Thank you! A million times, thank you!