A few reasons why being at Stitches is great (and being a vendor is even more fantastic):
1. A constant parade of wonderful knitted items walking past you. If you want to knit it, someone else probably has and will be walking past your booth.
2. Meeting old friends and making new ones! Seeing the Bay Area Knitting Co-op booth mobbed is a great (okay, maybe not so great for the checkout people, but come on, there are worse things!) and having a person I never saw before (I don't think I have) say she reads my blog! Hi No-Blog Rachael!
Oh, and when lovely lady was checking out the sea silk, I noticed that her shawl was a lovely pattern from Victorian Lace Today and I said the title of the book. She replied in a nice British accent "Yes. That's me." It was Jane Sowerby, the author. My eyes got really big. You KNOW how amazing those patterns are, don't you?
3. Cash and Carry (this one is a great perk) - This is where Hollis sees awesome stuff that we don't carry, gathers her loyal staffers, and we raid other booths at the end of the show. Don't worry, the yarn (mostly) goes into the shop. Yes. It is super shopping on the large scale... And fills me with joy just to think that I get to work closing shift today. Just let me at one or two stores... Fill my short arms with joy in a skein.
4. Enough Yarn fumes to make you high. There's a concentration on the unique, the extra soft, the hard to get, and the bargain deal. Alpaca is a strong contender along with some book vendors that probably carry more than your LYS (though, if you're in this area: Uncommon Threads in Los Altos and Yarn Dogs in Los Gatos both carry enough books to give the show vendors a run for their money).
5. Two vendors that carry the newest Addi Turbo Lace Needles. Yes, I bought a pair- #4 24" and I like them. The tips are slightly blunter than my #4 knitpicks needles and have a longer taper. Photos coming soon.