If there is such a thing as being too popular for one's own good, Stitch Rock has achieved it. Not that the indie craft bazaar isn't still great; it's just gotten so great that it has grown out of its original home in the Vintage Gymnasium at the Old School Square museum in downtown Delray Beach. Like a typical 5-year-old, Stitch Rock has grown too big for its britches. Though it did get more relaxed later in the day this past Saturday, at around 1 p.m., it was so packed you could barely get to a booth.
The annual event has gotten so big, in fact, that organizer Amanda
Linton has had to stop making her famous cupcakes.There was one food truck
outside P.S. 561, but they probably could have used
two more. Inside, Chaos Cupcakes picked up the pastry gauntlet and kept
the patrons happy.
"I thought something felt different this year,
and then I realized I wasn't icing 5 million cupcakes this morning," Linton said as her gaze swept over the massive crowd of bustling
shoppers. Her signature hot-pink hair was flaming orange this year
and made her easy to spot in the crowd. Meanwhile, her friend and partner in crafting crime, Michelle Parparian, was across the gymnasium in a
long, flowy white dress, stopping at every other booth and chatting with
"I'm going to be doing an indie wedding show soon," Amanda said, still
looking past me, monitoring the crowd. "It's kind of the natural
progression. I've been doing this for five years, and people have been
buying stuff for themselves, and now they're getting married."
More than 80 vendors filled the inside of the gymnasium and overflowed to
outside tents, which extended even farther across the museum lawn than last
year. There were plenty of familiar faces from previous years as well as
new ones. Artist Danny Brito had a prime table inside a few booths
Melodie Blaize of Sniptease did a "live cut" on a teenaged girl's T-shirt. She snipped the shirt
first here, then there, then wove the loops together. Her racks were
hung with shirts, tanks, and tops rescued from the charity bin and
upcycled into "Earth Friendly Fashions."
After a quick stop at Jinx Remover for an official Stitch Rock shirt, I asked Melodie if she'd cut it up for me.
"Of course! Take a look -- pick a style."
she sliced up the back of my new shirt, she spoke about traveling in
South America and the different kinds of crafts she does. Over her shoulder, I saw a woman paying her $5 entry fee, reaching into a Migdalia
bag for her wallet. A young girl bought one of the bibs for sale on
Melodie's table, and she stopped to give the girl a high-five for her duct-tape wallet, purchased a few tables away. When it was finished, I turned
back to the Jinx table and showed him my remodeled shirt. All around,
people were selling and buying, meeting for the first time, and hugging
old friends. In this year's brochure, Linton wrote that she had hoped to
create a community of crafters, and Stitch Rock -- next year's run is already scheduled for
October 6, 2012 -- has become just that.
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