On Sunday afternoon I, and half the population of metro Boston, went to the Bazaar Bizarre at the Cyclorama.  Somehow word got around Boston blogland that this was the place to be on Sunday afternoon.

I was pleased to see so many creative types there.  A few of them I knew, and a lot of them I didn't.

First, let's drop some names: standing in line waiting to get in I saw Ashley.  It was great to meet Ashley in person because I often lurk on her blog.  Then, there were these lovely folks.  I love hangin' with my peeps, whom I don't see enough.  We just missed Julia.  She was coming in as we were leaving.

Based on what I remember reading about last year's BB, I was prepared for a crowd.  I was not prepared, however, for the sheer sensory overload once inside.  There was a lot of amazing, handcrafted stuff from very fine craftspeople.  I love events like this, because I always discover new artisans.

Luckily, I got in early.  When I arrived at 1:30pm on Tremont Street, the line was already down the block and I knew that I shouldn't hesitate to get inside the Cyclorama.  I'm glad that I didn't.  Two hours later, people were being let in only as other people left.  Yes folks, it was *that* popular.

I bought a few other non-knitting things, but mostly I collected business cards.  After an hour in that environment I seriously doubted my judgement.  If these items still appeal after a week or two, I will be in touch with the vendors.

My picks:

Yankee Girl Designs:  beautiful unusual silver jewelry
annabuilt: striking fused-glass jewelry (really, I would have bought a necklace if there were any in wardrobe-friendly colors)
Woolarina Handmade:  Yummy yarns, and popular, too.  I had to fight my way into the booth.
Plain Mabel: Go and have a look at the tape-measure belts.  Want.  One.
Jill Killjoy: Handmade clothing for real (i.e. not anorexic super-model) bodies.  She had really cute stuff.
baddins design: ditto on the clothing.
Miss Hawklet:  Cute handmade journals, and amazing handspun yarns (scarves, anyone?)

I'm sure that I missed loads.

Will I go back next year?  I don't know.  When I write "crowded and overwhelming" I mean that the Cyclorama was seriously crowded and overwhelming.  Things that I could have done without:

1.  My stupid backpack!  Yes, I was that annoying person constantly bumping into people with her giant LLBean bookpack.  That was a mistake.

2.  That music!  There was enough to occupy our senses without that crazy loud techno beat shaking our innards.  The music also made talking to vendors very difficult.  Had I not been meeting people inside, I might have stayed for 45 minutes and beat a hasty retreat.  Of course, that might have been the plan all long.  Next year, turn it down!!

3.  The people!  Geez Louise, could the organizers maybe hold this for TWO days instead of one afternoon?  Obviously, there's an interest level to sustain two full days.  If that means that they charge us $2 admission instead of $1, then so be it.  Do what it takes to cut down on the crowds!  I know that there were booths which I missed because the backpack and I could not get anywhere close.

All was not lost.  As I mentioned above, Woolarina (is this a subsidiary of Grumperina :-) ?) and Misshawklet were selling yarns.  I bought some, then I resold them.  Sorry, no pics.

In  knitting news, I cast on for my Dad's mittens.  These things are flying.  The pictures came out too blurry to post.  Just imagine mitten cuffs, and you're right there.

Meanwhile, these images make everything clearer.  If only I could zip down to DC!


I so agree with all the criticisms. That music drove me to the brink of insanity. I also found it far too crowded- I saw lots of nice stuff, but could hardly get to the tables! I think that unless they expand it to two days, I won't go next year.

And so nice to meet you!

thanks for the debriefing -- i wanted to go but had family obligations.

maybe next year -- without a backpack and ear plugs ;)

I also went and I had a ball. I was there for almost 3 hours. The music didn't bother me except for the one guy that played that weird instrument and did all cover songs. He came onstage twice while I was there. It certainly was crowded but I found it managable.

It helped that there was a beer garden!

Now I wish that I had the business card collection. Thanks for the links!

hey colleen - we whole-heartedly agree with you, especially about the music. we can only think that it's getting better though. last year, imagine the same amount of people but with a venue about a quarter of the size. so, maybe next year it'll be better. great stuff though - we bought one of carryboo's porcupine pin cushions, which we love...

it was nice meeting you in line!

This is the exact post I was going to write today! Great summary of the days events.

Sounds like a very fun way to spend an afternoon!

I was just reading about the Depression era images in color in American Heritage - how incredible that we (me?) didn't know they existed - won't it help bring it home and make it seem more real, instead of just so "back then"?

Now I'm all whipped up to go to Telegraph Ave. this weekend and look at our local handicrafts. And thanks for the Bound For Glory link. Saw the photos on the Today Show this morning and wanted more.

The Theremin I could have done without. I wanted to buy so much more, and I came loaded for gift aquisition, but it was tough with the crowds. I collected card hoping to contact people later, and I have already emailed a couple, but neither has emailed me back yet. (general brooklyn comes to mind--great t shirts, tortured artist sensibility) I wish it was two days too. Next year, I'll go on time.

If you zip down to DC, I'll meet you up there (just a 2-hour drive for me) -- I'd love to see that exhibit.

Coincidentally, we have a "Bizarre Bazaar" (our words are flip-flopped) here at Christmastime every year, but I believe it's held for 2 or 3 days, and it's in three HUGE fairground buildings and admission is at least $3, if not more. Seriously, it sounds as if the organizers of the Boston version need to rethink the organization of the event so that it's successful for vendors AND attendees, or what's the point?

Sounds like there were some great vendors at yours.

Oh. My. God.
I'm the first on your list of vendors, I'm famous :) I totally agree w/ you on the music, sweet lord was it loud and strange!


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