Saturday, March 01, 2008

Big Yarn Brings Big Crowds

I'm not sure who's idea it was to have the Craft Yarn Council of America's (2nd) annual "Knit-Out & Crochet" event in Minnesota in frigid February, but I would've thought that after last year that person would've realized the error of his/her way and moved the event to a more reasonably weathered month, like, say, April or May... I had intended to go last year, but it was cold- colder than this year. This year, the week prior to the event was too cold for comfort and I had actually decided that I might never make it to a Knit-Out, ever, as long as they keep scheduling them in February... and then my darling asked what I was doing that morning. I lamented about the weather, and he grinned and informed me that it was supposed to get to around 30... "You should go." he said, "It would be good for the blog." He had work to keep him busy all day which meant all the kids were coming with me. I took a big swig of coffee and ordered the donning of coats and the piling in the van, and off we went to the dreaded Mall of America (normally the last place I would ever want to spend a Saturday...)

I live over an hour north of The Mall, so this was a big adventure for my kids. I think the highlight was watching all the planes take off (The Mall is right next to the airport) while we were stuck in traffic waiting about 20 minutes to get through the 2 stoplights that lead into the parking ramp. I thought surely there was another huge event going on. That traffic couldn't be all yarnies, could it? Could it?!! The ramp on the side of The Mall where I was attempting to park has 7 levels- the first 6 levels were full/closed. I pulled my 12 passenger Chevy Express van around level 7 looking for a spot (try cornering that baby in your average parking ramp- wait, it doesn't fit in your average parking ramp... gotta find one at least 7' high... not for the faint at heart, guess I'm not as wimpy as I tend to think I am...) and finally found some at the far end- that's the far end of the highest level... ugh...

This narrative could get quite long if I were to attempt to describe the rest of our outing. Just remember, I already mentioned that the highlight was the planes... There were crowds. It was noisy. I was pushing a double stroller and had all 6 of my kids with me. There were lines of people. They were all talking. There were some big names... Nicky Epstein, Debbie Macomber, Kristin Nicholas, Vickie Howell- I admit it, I wanted to meet Vickie Howell.

Their little workshop/presentations were crowded together, too near one another, one could turn this way or that and see more than one speaker, not hearing any of them at all. A front row seat might enable actual hearing, but strollers don't get front row seats... When I finally found the right spot for Vickie Howell's presentation, I found the area strangly unoccupied. Her table was empty, and there were a few people waiting, but it seemed that perhaps a few people had given up? I trucked all that way, so I was gonna wait until somebody told me to go home... she did finally arrive, over 15 minutes late, but who's counting? I couldn't hear most of what she was saying, but I did manage to get a few pics. Well, my teenage son managed to get a few pics...


as my camera decided to take pictures like this all of a sudden...






Lovely, isn't she?

She was sweet enough to linger afterwards and pose for several pictures, including this one with my oldest daughter-


About that time my 8 year old son's facial expression was asking "Why, Mom?!" I told him she was the host of a show all about knitting, she's a TV star! Ooooh, aaaahhh, oh! Somehow, that made it all seem worth it. That and the Cinnabons...

After our star sighting we wandered through the crowds, wondering why it was so packed. I guess Big Yarn really does draw big crowds. None of the yarns I would visit a local yarn shop to buy were represented. Just Big Yarn. Bernat, Caron, Lion Brand and the likes...

Highlight #2. Almost like Disneyland. A grown-up in a fuzzy costume. I should see if Blue Sky Alpacas has any dressed up mascot plans; maybe a job for my teenager? It was just too funny NOT to take a picture of (teenager missing in pic- he's manning the camera...)

Big Yarn and small magazines... Where was Vogue knitting? Not at the Mall of America. Where was Interweave Knits? Not at the Mall of America. Maybe they knew how cold it is in Minnesota in February.

All in all, was it worth the trip? Probably not. Will I go back next year? Probably, I'm a glutton for punishment. The chance for good blog-fodder is worth it, though I think next year my teenager will be babysitting so I can maneuver better without a stoller...

I have to add that it was so funny to hear obvious non-yarnies making comments about the event. "It has something to do with yarn", "People come here for that?!" I found myself thinking and asking the same thing... and then I realized that I had gone there for that!

I guess it got long after all... imagine if I hadn't tried to keep it brief...

Happy knitting-

ali

5 Comments:

Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Look like a fun outing! And I love your girls' winter coats--Hanna Andersson, perhaps?;)

3/02/2008 11:09 AM  
Blogger ali said...

Yep- we have a Hanna Andersson Outlet not too far away... gotta love that!

3/02/2008 2:12 PM  
Blogger sylv said...

So did you decide to brave Ikea after the mayhem across the street? That really would make you a glutton for punishment!

3/03/2008 10:04 AM  
Blogger ali said...

Nope- I did NOT brave Ikea... I was burnt out after the mall and didn't feel like parking all over again across the street!

Another non-Knit-Out day will have to do for and Ikea excursion...

Soon.

3/03/2008 5:06 PM  
Blogger theblondeknitter said...

WoW! i'm proud of you! how brave of you to take on the MOA when there's an event going on. that's a feat in and of itself. glad you went for it!
:D

3/14/2008 11:42 AM  

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