Its October and I live in central Texas… and you know what that means!
You don’t? Well, that’s probably because you don’t live in central Texas. If you did then you would know that its darn near Yarn-Crawl-Time. Everyone with a toe in the yarn business from North Austin, to San Antonio, and parts east and west is all a-scramble to get ready for the hordes of knitters and crocheters that will be doing the Hill Country Yarn Crawl.
And I’m not exaggerating when I say hordes. The last time I worked at a shop and went through the yarn crawl experience as a sales clerk (boy was that an eye-opening experience) we saw over 1000 people on opening weekend. That was when our little Hill Country Yarn Crawl had 10 shops. Now it has 19 shops.
There will be hordes I tell you, yarn-seeking hoards.
Ever been to a yarn crawl? I’m sure that many of you have because there are annual yarn-crawls everywhere. They may not happen in October but they do happen. Dallas-Fort Worth has a big crawl. Los Angeles has one too. Boston, the Metro Area, the entire Rockies, they all have yarn crawls every year. I betcha you’ve been one of the yarn-crawling horde a time or two.
Here is how the Hill Country Yarn Crawl works:
You buy a “passport” for a small fee. That gets you in and gets you a free tote bag which you will almost certainly fill up with yarn. Each shop has (at least) two yarns on sale for yarn crawlers and two free patterns. They also have prizes to give away. Each shop you go to stamps your passport and registers you for their prizes. If you can get to 8 shops, you are entered for a grand prize. If you can get to 13 shops, you are entered to win a grand-er prize. And if you can get to all the shops you are (a) crazy and (b) entered to win the grand-est prize which is usually worth hundreds of dollars in awesome stuff.
Now that is just the bare minimum, trust me. Everyone in the local yarn business piles on. In the shops there are trunk shows, demonstrations, free classes and so on. Authors will show up to push their books. Parking is a nightmare. Its crazy, like Christmas-crazy.
But if you’ve been to a yarn crawl then you’ve probably experienced that crazy for yourself. Its all about drawing in the yarn-addicts and giving them so many choices that their heads spin, lose control, and spend all their money. I mean, we’ve all been there right? Right.
But have you ever been a part of the getting ready for a yarn crawl? I would guess that not as many of you have. So I’m here to pull the curtain back and give you a peek.
First, you should know that in the weeks leading up to the yarn crawl, the owner of your local yarn shop is hiding yarn from you. Oh yes. They have more than they put on their shelves, lots more. They get huge boxes of yarn and which they set aside to put on sale during the event. They won’t let anyone buy it early not even the people who work there. How cruel is that?
Every hand dyer worth their weight in wool is blowing off family obligations, taking over every counter, and dying yarn until their fingers pickle. I’m telling you, during the yarn crawl Texas crafters buy fingering weight, hand dyed yarn like its crack cocaine. You can’t make enough of it.
Every test knitter, store clerk, knitting instructor, and their easily influenced best friend is stitching every minute of every day. They are making shawls and gloves and samples to be on display at the yarn crawl. All of them are staying up late to finish “just one more row” because they are all on a deadline. Including me. And they are all behind. Including me.
So I better stop playing around on the blog and get back to stitching.