It's time to play "paper dolls" (yes, I age myself with that term, don't I?) with all of the possibilities for a new look at Stitches West. Why? Well, I decided to splurge on three booth spaces this year, giving me more space and less stress during the "where am I going to put everything?" set-up and the crowded feeling that seems to happen in the booth during the show. I just want to try something a little bit different. 10 x 30! Holy Schnikies, really?
Every time that I come back "home" to Stitches West, I have to remember that my friends and customers at this show have not actually seen so many of the new colorways or some of the new yarns that have crept into the line-up over the year and I am excited to bring EVERYTHING; hence the need for some more space. I can say it over and over...has it really been a YEAR?
By the end of Show Season, Rod and I are pretty adept at set-up and don't sweat or bark at each other, much. For some reason, even though the lay-off time is not really that long, it is as if we are doing it all from scratch, re-inventing ourselves in February. From what I hear, from colleagues, I guess that it is natural.
When we were doing Juried Craft Shows, the first show of the season was in March, in San Francisco. Every artist buddy of mine all had the same lament about not being "ready" with product, simply because we had all taken a month off, to recharge batteries before beating ourselves about the head and shoulders to get back into the "production" mode. Of course, back then, I kept hearing yarn customers at that show chide me for not "doing Stitches West". What? It happened in February? You spent all of your yarn money THERE? Ai-yi-yi.
That ended the Time Off syndrome (get that Christmas tree OUT of this little living room! I need my spinning space back!) when I decided to add this small, non-juried event to my show schedule, packing everything into the standard 10x10 space that I had always used at Craft Shows. I remember the first show and how we were situated across from an Old Pro who had THE most amazing booth, making me feel small and like the yarn show Newbie that I was. That 10x10 space that had never been a problem at shows where I sold my finished goods and SOME yarn, quickly became a crowded nightmare, showing me that I was going to have to really put some thought into this kind of booth.
That first Stitches West, in Oakland, was a turning point in that slow change that eventually brought me to where I am today. I just love that so many of my sweater customers became yarn customers, when knitting became what it is today...cool. Now, a lot of the customers who bought my handspun yarn are spinning and I love that, too.
You see? Stitches West is Home to me, not only because I am a Bay Area Native but because this is where my creative and wonderful friends show up, excited about yarn, fiber and color. They make ME excited about all of that stuff, too, and this is probably why all of the creativity takes place as the year progresses. I liken the big booth, bursting with beautiful things to the days that I would return to a Spinners Flock Shepherd's Shearing Day with garments made from the previous year's fleeces. Show & Tell. I expect lots of it, people. I love what YOU do with what *I* do. Bring it on.