Now for my second report on Stitches West. The marketplace was huge and at times overwhelming. Even though I was there for the duration I didn't see all there was to see. But I did spot some interesting things.
Take this, for instance.
This is a soy lotion ball. Mona first brought this to my attention. When I saw it again at the Ruhama's booth, I thought I'd give it a try.
The soy lotion ball is just that - 100% pure soy oil and vitamin E. To apply you roll the ball around in your hands. Your skin will feel smoother and softer without being greasy. I've even used it on my feet.
By the way the women at Ruhama's were so pleasant and helpful. Among other things they had an inviting sale basket and racks full of Kauni. If I ever find myself in Milwaukee, I'll be sure to stop by their store.
And since I'm on the subject of hand care I have to mention my all-time favorite.
Super Duty Hand Care is made locally at Sweet Grass Farm here in New England. I have dry skin, and my fingers often have cracks. Super Duty works like a charm. Between the Super Duty and the soy ball I have all the bases covered. Check out Sweet Grass Farm for other goodies - lip balm, muscle rub, soy candles.
In my marketplace wanderings I stopped several times at A Verb For Keeping Warm. While they had lots to look at, I kept returning to fondle the Jannah - a 50% camel, 50% silk fingering weight blend. In the end I didn't get any because none of the colors really spoke to me. Jannah is a new product and isn't on their website yet, but I'll be checking back.
I also made a couple of trips to Black Water Abbey Yarns. So many lovely colors . . . decisions, decisions, decisions. Thank you, ladies, for your patience.
While the marketplace is made up predominantly of vendors with goods for sale, there were a few booths that had something else to offer.
The Lacy Knitters Guild is comprised of knitters with a passion for lace knitting. In their booth they displayed beautiful pieces of lace work. They also had information about the Guild for those who might be interested in joining.
One evening we met two Guild members in the lobby of our hotel. Lew and Eugene are two men in their 80s who knit lace. They were sitting quietly in the lobby, working on their projects. While I hated to disturb them, I just had to go over and investigate. They were more than happy to show off their lace projects and share their stories. Before long a crowd of knitters had descended on the two men, oohing and aahing over their beautiful handiwork.
I asked Eugene if he knits only lace. He said he used to knit other things, but back in the 50s he came across some lace. "I can do that," he said. And he's been knitting lace ever since. They were a delightful pair and so engaging. I'd like to think their knitting keeps them young.
Walking through the marketplace I noticed several people with hand knit bears. One woman had a family of bears peeking out of the top of her back pack. When I commented, she mentioned that the Mother Bear Project had a booth and she was going to drop off her bears. I was already familiar with the Project and made a stop at their booth.
Mother Bear Project sends hand knit bears to children from emerging countries who have HIV/AIDS. To date they have distributed over 50,000 bears. The Mother Bear booth was a busy place. If you have time for charity knitting, you might want to put them on your list.
Finally, there was an entrepreneurial girl scout troop walking the aisles of the marketplace with a cart full of girl scout cookies.
Back to work, back to the dye pots.