Last week I journey'd off to the land of Stitches West. It's always a lovely spot for a journey, with loads of friendly knitters and fiberistas. The market is a marvel, it takes more than a day to see everything! Luckily this time around I actually had one whole day to take in the market so I saw more than I usually get to do! And classes, as usual, were filled with lovely students. In one of my classes I met the lovely Rachel, a member of the Knitterati club, who showed off her Rivendell socks and Birch Dreaming Deep shawl. I always feel a special "zing" when I get to see one of my designs "in the wild."
And speaking of "in the wild" another Birch Dreaming Deep was spotted on the lovely Brooke Sinnes of Sincere Sheep in the marketplace too.
And here's another interesting thing I saw in the Marketplace, see-thru rainboots! What better way to show off your handmade socks than with some see-thru footwear. They tell me see-thru clogs and short boots are in the near future as well. I'm definitely a clog girl so I'll be keeping my eye out for those! I tried on the boots and they were really comfy. And just look what socks are in those boots on the packaging! Why yes, that would be my design Monterey from The Eclectic Sole!
Stitches is always a lot of fun, because the folks at XRX know how to throw a good party! I look forward to it every year!
On the way home I decided to take the train instead of flying home. I really don't like flying very much, and because I live in a smallish city with a small airport and no direct flights, flying even a relatively short distance like one state away can take a long time with lots of schlepping. So I decided as long as it was going to be a long journey, why not make it a pleasant one instead. I was not disappointed. I started off at the Amtrak station in San Jose, where I boarded my sleeper car and got settled in. I love the architecture of train stations, they're always a little old fashioned and get you right in the mood for a gentler form of travel.
The first stop once I got situated was the dining car. When you purchase a sleeper car it comes with all meals included. So you wander off to the diner where they seat you at tables with white linen and other train travelers! You get to meet all sorts of interesting people if you're traveling alone. But it's not like a plane where you get stuck with them the entire time. You just have a nice civil dinner conversation and then part ways. You can be private in your own cabin if you like, or you can be social in the parlour car if you'd rather have company. It's very civilized. I met several lovely knitters while relaxing in the parlour car. It's an ideal place to watch the scenery and put in a few stitches on your project.
I spent the night tucked up in my own little bed. It's a bit small and the train is moving so it's not quite like sleeping at home or a hotel, but it sure beats sleeping in an airport or in the upright seats. In the morning I woke to a beautiful sunrise shining on the mountains and a light dusting of snow just north of Shasta, CA.
Soon we were climbing into the Cascades mountains where it began snowing steadily and the train was delayed a bit by the weather. I didn't mind because I was seeing a winter fairyland outside my window, punctuated occasionally by sweet farms while I sat, tucked up cozily in the parlour car with knitting and good company.
And when I got home I discovered it had been snowing here too... so the elusive winter finally arrived a day late and a dollar short to the Pacific Northwest. I don't know if we'll see any more of the white stuff this year, but my heart was still singing from the snow on the train ride, so I feel content to march on into spring now.
And it's a good thing I feel ready for spring because, it looks like spring is ready for me!