Melrose on 7th Street Fair 2010

Published by Gwynne under on 10:27 AM
On Saturday March 6th, Bewilderknits hoisted our tent up at the Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair, marketed as M7. This was a new event for us, but it has been going and growing for a handful of years now. This year they got so big that Clear Channel donated a big billboard on 7th Avenue & Glenrosa, along with other free advertising spots to promote the event.

I think we all have grown to enjoy hosting booths at these all-day events. They don't feel as hectic as short events; we never have the feeling that we just set up and already we're striking the tent.  The longer the event, the more we have time to just sit around, or knit, or in Cora's case, spin yarn all day.

Sometimes it feels like it's hard to get a solid uninterrupted block of time to just work on knitting or making yarn. All-day-long events are terrific for this! Plus (and this might just be me, since I just finished graduate school), I have this problem where I feel like I need to be "being productive" all the time. I'm still trying to get over that :) In the meantime, I can sit at a booth and "do nothing" while "being productive."

Part of what was really cool about the Melrose Street Fair, and any new event really, is that we compare and contrast it with other events we've done: the downtown 1st & 3rd Fridays, Tempe Indie Chic, Sunnyslope Art Walks and the Roadrunner Farmers Markets. Each event has a vibe and there's a sort of trend to the crowds who are walking around.

Our booth was directly across from an LGBT Pride booth. Much of 7th Avenue in this section is lined with rainbow flags. The gay church is right next to a big gay bar. I like how many of the businesses are gay-owned but they cater to everyone. Copper Star coffee often has rainbow flags out and there's a bunch of mixed cultures inside. Young teachers, who come from all over the valley, grade their papers there on weekends. I go there to knit, spin, meet with friends, blog and pick up fuel for our First Friday events. (Credit for the picture below goes to The Hot Sheet blog.)
This part of 7th Avenue is also lined with vintage shops. Blueberry Deluxe is a fabulous new addition to the strip with vintage and handmade items, and our booth was right next to her. Retro Redux, now renamed Retro Ranch, was next to us on the East side. An old friend from high school is behind the counter, we cross paths often at events. I've been a vintage collector since high school so I've shopped the 7th Avenue strip often.

Landis Cyclery is just South of where we were located, on Indian School and 7th Avenue. I got my first bike there when I was little. A surprise bike from Santa came from there when I was 11 (my dad chose to support local businesses instead of elves overseas), and then I routed countless people there to buy more awesome cruiser bikes when I came back from my month in Japan a few years ago. We have three Electra bikes from them (the rainbow Petro Zillia cruiser and two Townies - I used to have the Gigi but I sold her … I think it was to support my yarn addiction, but I can't remember now).

Hmmm. I love that I've lived here so long that every single area of town has a storied piece of history for me. And now I can add the Melrose Street Fair to it!

The weather was outstanding, and as usual, the yarn-spinner of our group was bombarded with questions from passers-by.

Small felted accessories were popular. We still have plenty of cold-weather items but of course, the ominous summer is on Phoenician's minds by March already.

So we had plenty of summer scarves available - made from ribbon yarn, linen or bamboo. I laid out my mini tendrils. We were catty-corner from the booth for Practical Art, so it was cool that my leafy tendrils were available on the Southeast corner and the Northwest corner of our intersection.

Also, Karen's felted purses were a real hit. They keep getting awesomer. There were always small crowds of people standing around them being like, "It's totally amazing."
I was very excited to wear a rad dress I'd been dying to wear. It has concentric circes of white fibery yarn all over the bottom of it. So I made Shay take a picture of my dress while I demonstrated the features one of Cora's pom-poms. My white legs are camouflaged with the white tent wall behind me! You can tell I was getting sunburned already in this picture. Later, I took off my sunglasses and we laughed at my giant white circles around my eyes while the rest of my face was pink. So, in this picture, it is as white behind my sunglasses as my legs look.
We got a lot accomplished at the booth that day. Cora especially did a lot of yarn spinning!
Karen did a lot of knitting while also admiring the artwork at the booth behind us.

Obviously, I was taking a lot of pictures. Behold the most fabulous photo ever of Cora's handspun yarns, twinkling in the sunlight:
I had my new Massive Tassels scarf out for the first time, too. It's not knitting. It's simply fiber. It's a scrappy scarf that's all about using scraps of different fibers to create massive tassels.
There were zillions of bicycles and pedestrians. It seemed like half of the pedestrians came with a side of dog. Dogs came in all shapes and sizes. Even dogs with mullets. It was so entertaining!
We were next to a giant painted garden and bike themed wall which was a fun view.
We snapped this photo of a woman who bought one of my Happiness Hats for her upcoming 60th birthday (she didn't look like she was approaching 60 at all - and she was super cheery. Shay said "She's an old partier!") She gave me a woo-hoo wave as she walked by later.

 Of course we also met other knitters and fiber enthusiasts and had a ball chatting with them all. The weather was great. It would go from being way too sunny for me to being deliciously cloudy and overcast.

Pretty soon it will be hot now. I think I'll just go up north for some extended winter weather, and when that fails, stay inside and knit under the air conditioning, preparing for next season.

In case I haven't said it yet, HUGE Thank You's go out to all of our supportive friends. Supportive friends includes anyone who comes and says Hello at a show when you hear about it, and friends who tolerate me talking about Bewilderknits all the time, and people who read this blog or agreed to get pinged on Facebook by our status updates all the time.


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