Nobody in our party attended Thursday's Student Mixer or the opening lecture plugging the new XRX lace book. We had a quick dinner in the hotel restaurant and then headed to the Market Preview.
Last year I likened the atmosphere at the Market entrance to a shark feeding frenzy. This time I couldn't stop thinking of Pamplona just before they let the bulls loose. Knitters were queued up four rows deep, hemmed in by stanchions, stamping and huffing, bug-eyed, red-faced.
Then, the bell. Or maybe it was a trumpet call. I don't remember moving my feet. I believe I was simply carried forward on a tide of eager shoppers, and didn't come to rest until I was at the back of the market face-to-face with Toni from The Fold.
I'd only met Toni once before, but she's still one of my favorite people in the entire world of fiber. She was deluged with customers, but took a moment to chat and said to me, "Hey, my shop's just an excuse to have my friends over."
You'd have to hear Toni say it to understand that this isn't fulsome gush, she's quite earnest. And that, my dears, is one reason why The Fold is such a landmark.
I immediately set about not buying things, and was successful for an entire thirty minutes. Then I enountered these women,
and everything went sort of fuzzy and blue.
When I came to I was holding a new wooden swift.
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Fie, varlet! You said right there in fourteen-point electronic type that you weren't buying anything in the Market!"
Well, yes, I did. But let me clarify. And please get down off my sofa.
By "not buying anything" I meant to say that I was not buying any yarn. A swift is not yarn. No. A swift is a sturdy, solid piece of equipment designed to last a lifetime. This swift is an investment. I shall hand it down to my descendants as an heirloom.
Of course, Jon and Sean were not nearly so restrained as I. They shimmied up and down the aisles schmoozing vendors, kvetching about the stock and sucking up bargains like a pair of well-matched Hoovers. Such a display of consumption as you never saw.
As closing time drew nigh, I practically had to conk Jon over the head with my Beautiful Heirloom Swift™ to get him into a taxi and home to sleep before class the next morning. Clearly, some knitters have no self-control.
To be continued.