This weekend the Crochet Guild Of America and The Knitting Guild Of America (CGOA & TKGA) jointly held the Fiberarts Market. Much like Stitches, one can take a boatload of classes and shop at the market. Not nearly as big as Stitches (nor as heavily advertised), it was still very fun to go. I hung out much of the time with Darlene Hayes of Hand Jive Knits at her booth (see my post about her yarn here). I brought a new project with me (which I will talk about in a future post): my first attempt at a neck-down seamless sweater. I ended up being a bit of a showstopper at the show as I sat at the back of Darlene's booth knitting away. Random people would come in to watch a guy knit. One very nice lady said “I know a lot of guys knit, but I’ve never actually seen one!” Several people were fascinated by my knitting technique, which is a modified version of continental knitting. In a word, I knit fast. One lady exclaimed: ‘Oh my gosh, come here! Look at how fast this guy can knit! I hate you!’ All the attention was a bit embarassing but fun. The plus side was that I had ample opportunity to plug my store opening. Heh.
The best part of the day was when I found out that word about my store is already spreading. Darlene has many friends in the Bay area, many of which stopped at her booth to say ‘Hi’. Darlene kindly introduced me to everyone who stopped: ‘And this is Warren Agee... he’s opening a yarn shop in San Rafael!’ I met several people from the local knitting guild who, after being introduced to me, exclaimed 'Oh yes, we've heard about you!' How cool is that? I bet they heard from my posts on Knitters Review.
Being at this show, just as an attendee, brought back fond memories of my days working art fairs. In a former life I was an artist making polymer clay boxes and jewelry, traveling around the Midwest and East Coast. The people you meet at these kinds of shows - shows where creative artistic types congregate and sell their wares - are of a special breed. Down to earth, real, and very, very special.
Thanks to Darlene of Hand Jive Knits for helping promote my future store. I just wish I could have told people exactly when I’m opening!