Saturday morning I picked up my friend Ingrid and we headed off to the Knit-Out & Crochet Show put on the by the Yarn Council of America at the Mall of America. Our first clue that the mall was busy were the clogged up exits from the freeway. I'm not a mall person by nature, but have been to the Mall of America on several occasions. We were impressed that a yarn show could attract this many people.
We drove around parking lot after parking lot never finding an open spot. We'd spy cars back out only to have some other car waiting with their blinkers on to get into that space. Tried the outer lots, tried the ramp and finally ended up parking far back into a large open field on the north side of the mall and hiked in. Even after all that, we were still looking forward to the show. Although, I have to admit, if Ingrid were not along, I would've left after the 20 minute search in the parking ramp.
We walked in and found the beginning of the Knit-Out which had a couple of demo's going on. We stopped and watched for a bit but all seats were taken and they were well into the demo. We picked up a map of the booth locations and started in.
The first thing we noticed is the huge amount of shoppers carrying multiple bags. We both commented that if the economists would come here, they might change their story about an ailing retail market. We waited in line for the first few booths and then were herded through to look at the sample projects with no time to stop and talk or ask questions. Most all booths had flyers and free patterns. The Patons booth gave out a nice bag with two skeins of yarn, patterns and a crochet hook. Clover gave out free lighted knitting needles. After visiting a booth we would find an opening of the river of shoppers walking by and make our way to the next booth.
It was apparent that the majority of the mall population was not there for the Knit-Out show. It was also apparent that parents of teenage daughters should go wash their girls mouths out with soap right now. I've never heard such foul language as what was coming out of those girls mouths. And loud. It wasn't just one group, but several. There were also several groups young men of 10 and more strong standing around like columns in the mall. They wouldn't move but at least were not shouting expletives at each other as we walked by.
The booths had lots of interesting samples of projects and I would've loved to stop and talk more with Fran Ortmeyer at the Clover booth. She is a blogger and the communications director for the company. But, as with all the booths, if you stopped to chat, you were holding up 20+ people behind you.
I'm glad we went but only return if was held at a different location. This show screams for a convention center room rather than a public mall. Canterbury Downs would be a great spot for this type of show. It's not like people could just stop by the booths while they were shopping. If you had a family of four and were shopping, would you herd the family through a line to see a booth you were vaguely interested in?
I've written a letter to the Yarn Council of America and will send copies to the sponsors that had booths at the show. But, until they move the show, I'll say "been there, done that" when it comes back in town next year.