Monday, February 25, 2008

Snaking Lines, Mall Rats, Free Poodle Yarn, and a Sock Monkey Dress... MOA Knit Out was a Jungle

By now there have been many posts about the Mall of America, a.k.a. MOA*, Knit Out 2008. What many of these post don't tell you is the best strategy for making it through the booths intact and sane. So I will share what the Cadre and I found useful.

1. Have a scout. Ideally, this should be the most energetic and pushy (forcing your way through a pack of mall rats requires both cunning and dexterity) person in your group. The scout runs from booth to booth, meticulously noting which have goodies worth the wait.

2. Talk to fellow fiber artists (not just those in your group) while in line. Aside from the obvious (it makes the line feel like it is going faster), you can learn about what's interesting at other booths, new techniques, or resources. Or in my case, what they wore to prom 16 years ago. I think we segued from the sock monkey dress.

3. Hit the booths early, shop later. You would think that it's obvious, but we were ensnared by Nordstrom and Sephora. Next time, we'll know better.

4. Make reservations for lunch- preferably at Tucci Benucch. If you arrive before lunch and even suspect that you will have lunch at MOA, make a reservation. A hungry knitter who spent hours in line to get free 18" straight US 17 bamboo needles, will without hesitation make use of said needles if asked to wait in another line for hours to get a good meal. Save your energy for knitting: when you first arrive at MOA, head to Tucci Benucch, make a reservation. Come lunch time, order the Chopped Salad (it's the best).

5. Optional: Don't bring your knitting (I know it's shocking). I carried mine around all day and did not knit a single stitch. I was too busy having fun and talking to other knitters who out of foresight or forgetfulness did not have their knitting.

All in all it was a fun and utterly exhausting day with friends. I have no idea who the speakers were, hopefully next year I will pay more attention. Below is a picture of the crowds (all three floors of them).
* Incidentally, in all the other cities I've lived in or visited, MOA denotes the Museum of Art; however, here in the Twin Cities, it is the Mall. What about the art museum: it's MIA... the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Huh?

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