I went to Stitches yesterday and it was awesome.  Usually I go on Friday but we were driving back from Tahoe that day so I went Saturday for the first time.  I was so worried about the crowds that I arrived nearly an hour before it opened.  It wasn’t too crowded  at first, though it was getting more packed as I was leaving.  I am usually good for 2, maybe 2.5 hours.  After that, I start to go bug-eyed.  I spent the morning with my friend Sarah (my best ever knitting student) and we had a great time.  First, the celebrities (forgive the phone camera photo quality):

Ysolda (when Sarah spotted her, she whispered excitedly, “Leslie! Ysolda!” akin to the way one might say, “Leslie! Brad Pitt!); she was gorgeous and friendly:

Alana, of Never Not Knitting, who was super self-conscious about a photo because she just had a baby but I think she looks as beautiful as always:

Miss Babs herself, who modeled for me how to wear a shawl and not look like an old lady:

Marly of the Yarn Thing podcast and Kristin Omdahl of the Knitting Daily TV show:

Steve (busy at work) of the Ready, Set, Knit podcast:

Designer Kirsten Hipsky, also of Ready, Set, Knit:

I looked for Jasmine and Gigi (The Knitmore Girls) and for Barb and Tracie (the 2 Knit Lit Chicks) but no such luck.

And now the purchases — just two.  This cool pattern wallet, which I think will come in very handy — you write on the plastic with a dry erase marker and use magnets to mark your place:

And I wanted to try the Knitters Dreamz needles:

Although I didn’t buy much, I was struck by many patterns after seeing the samples in real life and I spent nearly the entire afternoon on Ravelry!  Most notably, I now have a huge list of shawls I want to knit.  Weird, right?  Check out my Ravelry favorites because you’ll see them all there.  The tops are the Daybreak shawl, the Sand and Sea Shawlette and Damson (which Miss Babs is modeling above).  I actually already have the books containing those last two patterns.  It’s really amazing to me how you can know about a pattern for a long time but not be inspired to knit it until you see a sample in real life! 

Oh, a note about the Purl Ridge Scarf in my favorites: That’s actually not a pattern I want to knit but it’s serving as a marker for me — I got a “Purl Ridge” scarf pattern at Stitches that is really cool in bold colors (as seen in the not-great photo below) and the pattern is not on Ravelry so the one I favorited is simply a reminder to me.

Another great year — I can’t wait ’til next year!