Stitch Rock 2011: The Indie Craft Bazaar Turns 5

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. 

See a slide show of the event here.

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

down from Humble Bumble B and its display of pill-box hats and Kitschy

Aprons. Stitch Rock veteran Iron Forge Press was outside sharing a tent with newbie Jinx Remover Prints, which was creating commemorative Stitch Rock fifth-birthday T-shirts for $10.

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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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane