Wednesday, July 14, 2010

home again home again jiggity jig

(Is that how you spell 'jiggity'?). We're home. In fact, we've been home for almost two days, but we were SOOOO TIRRRRED that I decided to wait, and even now there are no photos because Larry is unable to find energy to download the big wonderful Nikon camera. Patience, dear public. I will produce the images by and by. I swear on a bale of fine alpaca.

The Knit and Crochet Guilds' national conferences are really fascinating. These are the people who sponsor and inspire all of the local knit and crochet guilds -- so you would expect energy and dedication. Those things can be found in abundance.

But there were some surprises. I had to attend both award dinners -- the Crochet Guild of America's event, and two rooms away, the Knitting Guild of America's event, which was supposed to be even more gala than usual (it was the 25th Anniversay celebration for the organization) -- because I had entered garments in both contests. A small army of men in hotel uniforms stood at the ready with huge trays of champagne (which, as usual, I spurned). But -- what on earth? -- the huge room that TKGA had secured was NOT as full as the smaller room occupied by crocheters. I wonder why not? It may be that crocheters still feel like Second Class Citizens in the fiber arts world and so are trying harder. (If so, that would be a sad explanation). Whatever the reason, the champagne purveyors were not fully utilized -- a lot of bubbly was going to waste, though the fact of waste wasn't enough to make me grab any of it. Champagne tastes like stale beer to me, and I hate most beer even when it's NOT stale.

The market was also curious -- and others thought so, too. There were several of the large(huge) discount companies (Newton's, e.g.) occupying 3-5 booths each. Visually, the effect was to swamp the smaller vendors. And, sometimes, the quality was suspect -- lots of inexpensive acrylic, a TONE more or less like one of the Big Box stores in those areas. But, elsewhere, a number of really good vendors held court. We had two booths, and we did very well when the right kind of people happened by. We noticed that, at show's end, everyone seemed too tired to buy anything, although there were a lot of people looking for bargains (a few of whom were angry that we weren't cutting prices more than we did -- they reminded me, very unpleasantly, of the bottom-feeders presently monopolizing the American housing market). The worst example of this was a woman (fortunately, I don't know her name or home state) who railed at me for daring to have yarn in the booth that cost (shudder) MORE THAN THIRTY DOLLARS. I never know what to say to people who do that, though I'm always tempted to remind them at least that courtesy is required always, always, always. Why is courtesy in such short supply?

On the way back, we completely forgot about the huge loads we were carrying in our two overstuffed vans. I am newly smitten with Sirius Radio (I rented a gorgeous and good-mileage Town and Country minivan from Enterprise). How totally COOL to be able to listen to nothing but Bruce Springsteen or Elvis or NPR for hours and hours with no static whatsoever, and no need to change channels!!!!!!!!!! I have now explored the possibility of putting Sirius in my 2004 Beetle, and think I cannot have a custom radio installed. But a portable one!!!! Only 169 bucks.

More later. I will have pictures, and perhaps sprightlier commentary, by tomorrow! svb

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