Stitches Midwest 2010

In August I kidnapped Jenny and Meg and drove them to Schaumburg, IL to attend this year’s Stitches event at the Renaissance Hotel. We went down on a Thursday night so we would be ready for the first day of Market on Friday morning. We had some fun adventures on the way! I was driving and spotted some giant cranes (the bird kind) flying low across the highway. They went right behind the van and I of course said, “Hey, you guys…look….Giant Cranes!” Both Jenny and Meg were knitting and looking down and they both assumed the Crash Position as they thought giant metal cranes were going to crash into us! It was very funny and became our joke throughout the trip. There does happen to be a curse on one of the auto toll ways in Illinois. For the third straight year I have gone to throw my toll coins in and yep once again something weird happened. One year I threw it on the ground. The next year a quarter stuck to my sweaty driving hand, and this year, yep, another grounder…what is happening?? But I tell you, I got it right in on the way back. We got to visit the Oasis restrooms and then watch a man driving a van block our car in as we were trying to leave. Well, you see, had was busy eating his Chinese Food with a fork and knife (yes, as he was driving) and had to pause right behind our parked car. The weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. So we arrived at the palace, the Renaissance where we were staying. We had a perfect view of Ikea out our window and knew we must go there, too. Everything in our hotel room was so fancy. There even was a TV in the mirror in the bathroom! Definitely cool. We decided to go and explore the Stitches area to see if we could get a sneak peek. Sure after a long trip we wanted to walk a bit so we headed for the stairs. Quickly we found out that one stairway didn’t lead anywhere so we chose the other stairway which happened to be right next to our room. We were heading down and came to the exit door. Well, it didn’t open. So we thougt we’ll head back up. The door was locked! Back down and the only way out was through the Hotel Kitchen area or a bunch of doors that said “Alarm will sound”! Oh and there’s no cell phone reception there either! EEEEK! Well, we chose one of the doors that didn’t have a sign on it and we got out. We think that we may have stumbled on the back kitchen area of the Stitches Market so we were curious to see if we could get our sneak peek. But I sure didn’t have the guts to do that. After we got out we of course ran like little girls because we thought we were going to be arrested. Nope! We walked back around and all was fine. Oh and then we saw a STORK! What is with these birds. (We named him Eddie) Into Stitches we went. Couldn’t really see anything so we decided to go find Ikea. We headed out and didn’t think to take the GPS because we could just see it right over that big road…took a right but shoulda gone left! We went all around and around (went by The Crab Shack about 50 times). Found it! We went in but had some empty stomachs. We loved it there so much we ignored our rumbly tumblies and stayed til almost closing time. (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/store/schaumburg) Did you know that they had escalators for shopping carts there? (and people too). Meg got a good shot of that on her phone. Then it was back to Olive Garden (at 9 pm) hoping we could get a bite. That place was soooooo busy! We figured we would be there forever but we were starving and couldn’t walk any more so we waited. We got in very quickly and had a super fast waitress who just kept bringing us food. She wanted us to have some crazy fruity drinks but we figured we’d fall asleep. Then back to the Renaissance to go and knit in their cool chairs! We found a neat couch area to sit at because the cool purple chairs by the fire were taken. Then around 11 or so, the purple chairs/fireplace was open to off we went. It was about midnight and we were thinking of going to bed when a nice lady came over and started talking with us. Turns out she was the PR person for XRX Magazine (Kimberly…or somebunnyslove on ravelry). She was going to be hosting the pajama party the next night (darn, we could only stay through Friday afternoon). She was a hoot! Some other folks came over and we found out we were talking to Rick Mondragon (editor of Knitters Magazine) and also Benjamin Levisay (XRX CEO) came over. Well, then it was 1:30 and we needed to go to bed or we wouldn’t wake up for Stitches Market!

 

Next morning we grabbed some breakfast and sat in some different purple chairs by the fireplace and wouldn’t you know it but Rick M. walked by again. He thought we slept there! Ha!
Onto the Market! It’s always so exciting waiting for the staff to let us in at 10 am. I felt like running! We went in and it was like Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of yarn. So fun! We roamed and roamed until we couldn’t see straight. So much fun!
If I could be in charge of picking the best booth of this year’s Market it would be Maggie Pace (http://www.countryliving.com/women/inspirational-women/web-exclusive-pace-0308) and her Pick Up Sticks booth. She and her group went above and beyond the ordinary with decorating. They had a neat retro theme along with retro dresses, heels, and aprons. They were so cordial to us. I kept waiting for them to pull out a tray of warm cookies and hot chocolate! Outstanding job!
Then came the time for us to leave. But then we had a thought! We should go back to Ikea (since we knew how to get there quicker now) and buy more dishes. Sounded good so off we went. They also sell cheap meatballs there to eat! I think I could live there!
Then back on the road.

No worries til we hit Milwaukee and then the van air conditioner started to overheat so off that went and then it started raining buckets. Jenny and Meg found out that back at home, De Pere and Green Bay were getting hit with a huge rain storm. Streets were flooding along with basements! We made it home fine and couldn’t believe the shots of all of the rain. My backyard had become a pond but then receded nicely. Pretty weird.

So if you ever get a chance to visit Stitches definitely kidnap a few friends of your own.
Good times!
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