I thought we were beating the crowds yesterday–arriving at Stitches in Baltimore at noon, but as Leigh and I were going in, there were folks coming out already finished with their shopping. (I really wanted to give you a photo-tour, but they were serious about the no-cameras thing.) It wasn’t crowded at all, but there were enough folks to keep the vendors busy.

I took my usual methodical way of handling shows–row by row–but I did digress right at the beginning to see Lexie and her cutie-pie Monty. It’s the “outlet sale” at the Lexie Barnes booth this weekend, great deals to be had on factory seconds, (and promises of lots of new, cool stuff coming out soon!) I’m sure those seconds won’t last long.

I grabbed a shopping bag at the door and told myself I could not fill more than one. And had Leigh remind me that I didn’t need any yarn. Unfortunately, I started buying right away. The discounted Interweave Knits subscription got me first. Then, a few booths down, they had the current issue which was not yet on the newsstands. I snagged that because my subscription was starting in spring. At the SOHO booth, they’re giving away current issues of Crochet Today–can you believe I just bought one about 12 hours earlier! I said hi to Karin Strom, editor of Yarn Market News, was she wondering why I wasn’t home writing the column that’s due to her on Monday?

My bag got half-full almost immediately when I bought a gift for my mom, that I can’t mention in the off-chance she’ll read this… Then, I broke the no-yarn rule, by buying a lovely skein of hand-dyed organic marino, from Dalis at Dancing Leaf Farm. (She’s a local artisan her stuff is amazing). I picked up some needle felting foam for a buck and continued on.

Somewhere amidst the qiviuk and the buffalo fibers, I ran into Stitchy signing her new book: Museum of Kitschy Stitches: A Gallery of Notorious Knitsfor Kay. We gave each other a mini show and tell of what we’d bought so far. Kay had just bought so discount t-shirts from Modern Yarn, and some seriously cool greeting cards (she scooped up the last of those.) I also got a book signed, and then the yarn sirens got me again with 100% cashmere for unheard-of prices. (one ball only people, aren’t I good?)

I’ve been reading stories to my Fiber Fun kids class and I found a new one called Sophie’s Masterpiece, by Eileen Spinelli (great name, eh?) about a spider that spins.

My most inconvenient purchase was a cool blocking kit from Woolstock Yarn Shop. Once it was in my bag, I kept bonking it into people and dropping it on the ground. I am excited to have it though–it has stiff and flexible wires, t-pins and a yard stick. Also detailed blocking instructions. While in their booth I picked up the new size 17 tips for my denise set.

My final purchase was some cool hand-dyed fleece from Kid Hollow Farm–bred, shorn and dyed right on the farm–it’s beautiful, affordable, and my fiber fun kids will love playing with it. I went to the Lisa Souza booth and was so close to buying some Alpaca Lace weight yarn (in the Wild Things colorway), but I was good. I did get to see the cool Lime and Violet colorway–she even had it in roving!

Stitches East: The Early Bird Special