I write with a cordial invitation to everyone who’s got an empty weekend March 31-April 3. What? You’re not already geared up for Stitches South? Come on.
Stitches South is the up-and-coming Stitches, the freshest Stitches. Not to brag, but really, of all the knitting weekend extravaganzas, we in the Nashville knitting community humbly believe this is the greatest of all Stitches. Naturally, like many braggarts, I haven’t actually been to any other Stitches events. Whatever. Here are the reasons why:
1. Water features. Opryland Hotel is the stuff of legend. I know at least six moms who took their kids on the Delta Indoor Boat Ride as a low-cost alternative to psychotherapy. You ride that indoor boat with your toddler, you live to see another day. I recall taking my boys out there for absolutely no reason except that it was so huge that I could run them until they panted, begging for a nap. The mothers of Nashville thank you, Gaylord Opryland.
2. Hermetically sealed environment enabling complete detachment from reality. If there were casinos for knitting, Gaylord Opryland would be the MGM Grand. (Gaylord Opryland is, in fact, the 28th-largest hotel in the world.) I have entered through one door, wandered in search of whatever event I was supposed to attend, then emerged two hours later, two ZIP codes away, having tried on cowboy boots, ridden the Delta Indoor Boat Ride, and sung some Dolly Parton karaoke. The idea of a four-day knitting weekend at Gaylord Opryland boggles the mind. Brilliant.
Gaylord Opryland is the perfect environment in which to hold an immersive weekend of knitting workshops, festive banquets, classes, and pajama parties. If you think you’re coming to Nashville when you attend Stitches South, I promise you that you are not. Nashville is down Briley Parkway. It’s way over there. The Opryland Hotel is a world unto itself: think Vatican City only with more water features. Rarefied, self-contained, and awesomely weird.
3. Live! In person! Artist Juliana Horner will be at Stitches South for a superfestive book signing celebrating her best-selling masterpiece, A Coloring Book for Knitters, at the Craft South booth, #523, Saturday, April 2 at 2:00 pm. Kay and I will be there cheering on Juliana, wishing we had ever been half as cool as she is, even for just one day. Please stop by!
4. Teachers galore. I want to meet every single one of these teachers.
5. Yarn market. Needs no explanation, really. The vendor list reveals a killer mix of local and faraway yarn vendors: local darlings Craft South, Camellia Fiber Co., Fringe Supply Co., and Haus of Yarn’s incredible Yarn Bus will be on site. Visiting yarnmakers include Baltimore’s Neighborhood Yarn Co., Oklahoma’s Lost City Knits, Loopy Mango from Key Largo, Claudia Hand Painted Yarns from Virginia, Seven Sisters Arts from Maine for Pete’s sake. The best thing about a marketplace like this is that I haven’t heard of every yarnmaker. The opportunity for discovery? Innnnntoxicaaaaaatinnnnnng.
I am so wound up that I just booked a room for Stitches South despite the fact that I live here. Feeling very Steve Carell all of a sudden: Ain’t no party like an Opryland party . . .