Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Craft and Hobby Association Show

After five days of rain and a leaking roof in multiple places, I got a much needed treat. I went to the Craft and Hobby Association show today. It’s the first time I’ve ever gone and from what I understand, it’s the first time the trade show had a special section open to consumers.

I arrived with no set expectations, but after a few minutes I was saying Wow in my head. I had known they had some special sessions to make different items that cost extra, but I had no idea there would be so many “make and take” opportunities - and all without charge. And so many wonderful giveaways.

I checked out the whole show first and noted that scrapbooking seemed to be represented the most heavily. Joanna would have been in heaven. There were lots of rubber stamp booth as well. Terri, would have loved those. She would have liked the quilting ones, as well.

I made a key chain with a Clover spool knitter and pom pom maker. I was particularly interesting in seeing how to use those two pieces of equipment since I had bought them recently and not tried them yet. I also saw, but didn’t get to try since it was just on a poster, an interesting tool for felting

At the Craft Yarn Council of America, a friendly woman named Mary showed me how to cast on by knitting. Then she gave me the skein of yarn and pair of needles, plus urged me to help myself to all kind of free patterns from several yarn companies.

The Babylock booth had a large area set up with sewing machines featuring different make and take projects. I used to sew a lot, but it’s been a while. I couldn’t believe what the machines could do. I made a can wrap with my name embroidered on it. All I had to do was touch the screen on the machine to pick the style of type and pick the letters. The only manual thing I did was to lower the foot. One touch of a button and the machine embroidered my name. Quite a step up from my last machine with all its confusing cams. It turns out the embroidery machine can even make lace, filet crochet and crocheted edging for a handkerchief attached to the handkerchief and even counted cross stitch. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It may seem funny to say this, but the machine stuff is too perfect.

I was curious about some of the machines used for scrapbooking and card making. In the process of trying to see how the Cricuit works, I saw their newest thing - a machine that cuts out fondant designs for cake decorating. They were giving out chef’s hats. Of course, I took one. It should get a laugh from my family.

I saw Deborah Norville’s new yarn at the Jo-ann’s booth. All natural fiber blends at a reasonable price in interesting colors. The woman there tipped me off that Vickie Howell, host of the Knitty Gritty show on the DIY channel was at a nearby booth. Vickie was demonstrating how to create yarn out of newspaper, which was very cool. She had a picture frame covered with knitted newspaper. Maybe if I’d taken a little more time I would have gotten the hang of it.

I had just picked up the bookmarks for A Stitch in Crime and had brought some with me. Vickie accepted one graciously and said maybe they could put a link to my books on her website. The local Barnes & Noble had a booth and when I mentioned to the clerk they didn’t have any craft mysteries at the show and offered a bookmark, she had me talk to the manager. It was too late to do anything for this year. They offered to bring over copies of my books the next day, but I wasn’t going to be there. But we talked about the possibility of next year.

I picked up free sewing patterns for an apron and pajama pants, a cook Faber Castell kit to make a travel journal, a really nice tote bag from Michael’s and a kit to make a woven scarf. I bought a few things, too. I mean, how can you turn down three skeins of sock yarn for $6 when there’s a pattern for a nice looking shawl to make with them included. I bought a few books, too. Since Vickie was there to sign it, I bought her book about knitting tricks. I couldn’t pass up a drawing book called Zen something that’s supposed to be meditative and a knitting squares book.

When I finally left with tired feet and bulging tote bags, the rain was letting up and there was a beautiful rainbow right in front of me. What a perfect end to a neat day.


Linda O. Johnston said...

How fun, Betty! Where was the event? Did they have any pet-related items there? How about rug hooking? That used to be my craft of choice.

Terri Thayer said...

Sounds great, Betty. One of these years, I'd like to go. I know quite a few people who are attending.

Those embroidery machines can make lovely things, but yes, it's all pretty perfect. Like any tool, it's what you do with it.

signlady217 said...

Wow! I am so jealous! Sounds like you had a wonderful time and picked up some great tips. Wish I could have been there.

Betty Hechtman said...

I did have a great time. Linda, the only pet related things were things like rubber stamps with dogs on them. I didn't see any rug hooking, needlepoint, or hand embroidery.

It was held at the Anaheim Convention center.

Terri, I bet your friends are going to the trade portion. It was in a whole other section and it sounds like it really starts Sunday. The consumer area was only open on Friday and Saturday. I think there would have been a lot more people if it hadn't been raining.

Terri, you're right about it about how you use those embroidery machines. I saw a demo of a knitting machine and talked to the woman who demoed it. She said she could make a sweater in a day. It sounded good to me. Hmm maybe next time I see them on sale.

Monica Ferris said...

Sounds like a fabulous time, wish I could have been there! Instead I'm stuck in semi-frozen Minnesota, where it's raining on top of snow, and supposed to snow more later today.

Camille Minichino said...

A dream day, Betty. I'm so glad you had the opportunity. I can just see all your new creations that will come as a result!

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, you have my sympathy. Snow on top of rain sounds awful.

Camille, it was a dream day. I wasn't sure I'd remember how to cast on by knitting. I was having enough trouble keeping it straight when the woman from the Yarn Council showed me. But when I tried today, my fingers remembered. Now I know two ways to cast on. Yay!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Betty, I had actually hoped to be there this year, but it was just too much for me. I'm so glad you had a good time. I've been thinking about you and all that rain. I heard more about it today on NPR, and I guess being on the opposite coast, with the news about Haiti, I hadn't given it as much thought or as many prayers as it deserved. Glad you had a treat. You earned it!

Betty Hechtman said...

Joanna, the show would have been your kind of place. I'm sure you know about the big crop event they had today.

The rain here was a speck of dust compared to what's going on in Haiti. The leaks were our only problem and in the whole scheme of things, not a big deal.

Thank you for thinking of me.

Avery Aames said...

Sounds like so much fun! Embroidery machines are like magical! My sister used to crochet. I could never get the hang of it. So I baked. Thanks for sharing.
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

Betty Hechtman said...

Avery, baking is good. Everybody enjoys the end result. You would have liked the cricut decorator machine. There were some other cake decorating things. Another Make and Take involved decorated cupcakes.