Monday, April 9, 2007


First and foremost, if the Yarn Harlot is within shouting, rock-throwing, driving (and I'm talking a couple or three hours here) distance of you, GO.

Stephanie is a terrific speaker, no matter the impression you may get from her blogaccounts of her book tours. She's even funnier and more thoughtful in person than on paper, and that's saying something.

Anyway, as always, the photography leaves something to be desired,** but here's the scoop:

I arrived at 4:00-ish and found Red (remember Red? I told you you'd be reading more about Red) from the Posh SnB. It's hard to miss Red; she's a redheaded whirlwind of social energy and funny phrases. And she spins in public, which -- let's be honest -- is probably a step beyond knitting in public. My picture of Red? Alas, too horrible for posting. I did meet some other nice knitters, like Anna Liza (you can find her in the comments and once I'm caught up, I'll post her blog link) and her daughter, the Nameless Knitting Sprite.**

Anna Liza and Nameless Knitting Sprite, who offered to kneecap any bad boyfriends free for knitters (everybody else has to pay). See? There is a multitude of perqs for being a knitter.

I also met Red's friend, Jenny, who sported a very cool skull belt buckle and necklace and invented pedicure socks before Knitty published their pattern. Only she calls them "Heels," which I really like.

Jenny, knitting a Heel

When the line was still reasonably managable, the Pizza Fairy (I think her name was Lisa) took money and orders for pizza. It was a fine example of the comeraderie and companionliness of knitters, because my measure of the world has always been that ordering a pizza with more than two people is a pain in the ass because everybody has SOMETHING pizza-friendly they won't eat (except me. I'm easy. I even like anchovies. Invite me for pizza.). However, thirty knitters happily ate what was put in front of them and we all sang Kumbaya and it was like Woodstock.


One shining moment, the duplication of which I highly recommend to anyone attending one of these things: knitbloggers were exchanging Harlot books to write their URLs in the back. It was like a grown-up, knitterly version of yearbook signing and a very cool and apt way to commemorate the event. I like that Stephanie's autograph is in the front of my book and all my new blogfriends' addresses are in the back.

Take a pen.

Work let out and it wasn't long before the line was down the hallway...

...and around the corner...

...and all through the second storey of the Tattered Cover. One woman (and, yes, she was first in line) showed up at 7:30 that morning. That's dedication. Did I mention TOTALLY worth it?

Sylvia (from Posh, my homeLYS)showed up and I got several really shaky pictures of her.

They let us in around 6:45 and much knitting and reciprocal blogging ensued. The chick with the camera is Amber, another friend of Red's and a people from my neighbourhood. I mean my real neighbourhood, like where my house is.

I'll take your picture if you take mine.

Let's see... the nice man knitting the yellow thing and the nice lady in lavender next to him were in Denver from Alaska. If you look right between them? In the white shirt with the red stripes? That's Red. And if you look over Alaska Man's right shoulder (his right, not yours)... see Fascinating Punkboy Knitter. With the Socks that Rock (I think) penis sock.

There were luminaries in the crowd. Red's archnemesis** and creator of the Print O' the Wave Stole that sits in my living room in its yarn and separate needles stage, Eunny Jang (possibly more noteworthy that she's the new editor of Interweave Knits. Hey, it's my world and the sun revolves around me so I went for my own personal knitting project).

Amy Clarke, editor of Spin-Off Magazine with Red on her left (her left, not yours), who was drawn to Red's SIP (spinning in public -- y'all got that, I'm sure) and cultivated her to write an article.

Red made out pretty well in this thing, networking for fleece and writing gigs. See, not only was Amy Clarke into the idea of her writing, but the Pizza Fairy is a veterinary student at CSU and told Red they have sheep they use for pain studies (don't dwell on that) from whom (are sheeps "whom"?) they shear the fleeces, then THROW THEM AWAY.

Red's trying to do something about that.

[SUMMARY: Knitters. Everywhere.]

Ah. Finally. A Harlot sighting at the hall bathroom** (I'm sure she'd be thrilled to know how excited we were to see her going into the loo). Then the long (it really wasn't, but like December 23rd when you're a kid) introduction by Tattered Cover staff, as she looked on...

...and we're off (with the comment from her, "Apparently I'm still short," as she adjusted the mic)

Of course, the sock needed its photo taken.

Then she talked. Beautifully. Funnily. Thoughtfully. Occasionally poignantly, with perfect timing and delivery. Complaining of the altitude all the while.

One of my favourite bits from her presentation was entwined with her discussion of the community created on the Internet. To paraphrase, she said knitters are like flocks of birds. Have you every watched how they'll take off and fly and suddenly all turn left at the same time? And knit Clapotis?

Yeah, it's a niche joke, but a big funny for those in the know. A little like the "All Your Yarn are Belong to Us" shirt, but more so.

After she was done speaking, we got in line for autographs and face time. I was TENTH in line, thanks to Red. (If it makes you think better of me, I would have been 25th in line without Red, so it's not like I changed the fabric of the time-space continuum with my line-jumping).

I brought the Harlot a gift of Lonesome Stone sock yarn. I told her I was hoping to bribe her into taking a picture with me and my sock. She said, "I'd do the picture anyway, but I like the way you think. And see this?" she asked, pointing to some random chocolate I'd tossed in the bag for good measure, "Dinner."

Now, Red took the cross-sock Harlot-AntiM picture with her camera, as mine was acting up. I will get it from her one of these days and if I'm not sporting too many chins, I'll post it. In any case, I'll probably be sleeping with it under my pillow for quite some time.

The Bohus? Soft as a kitten and apparently knit on fishing line. Tiny, little stitches. Y'all gotta see it to believe it.

This account is probably anticlimactic after all the fussy teasing this weekend, but it was too full and too complete an experience to describe adequately. Every time I've tried, it's been like trying to tell someone about a strange dream you had; you miss bits and get enthralled with bits only a witness could appreciate. And nothing is more boring than listening to an account of a dream that goes like that.

Let me just say it was like the Beatles for knitters. Our Mecca. Our Ark of the Covenant. If you've never seen 200 knitters vibrate, needles and all, it's an awesome thing to behold.

Oh, and Denver? Had enough chairs.

[SUMMARY: THE Knitter. Here.]


On a more personal knitting front, I cast on and got well underway with the Bellocqs for the sis-in-law. We did a mass measuring during family Easter brunch, but -- check this -- the pattern doesn't ever call for the measurement of the length of the foot. While I appreciate their confidence in my ability to figure that out on my own, I draw their attention to the fact that I used their measurement chart as a checklist, therefore had nothing to check off for foot length and didn't realise until I got to the place in the pattern where it says "repeat five times, or until pattern measures two inches shorter than desired length."

So I await word from sis-in-law on how long her foot is so I may continue the Bellocqs. The Sparkle Socks continue. The Stupid Blanket continues. Pink Magic languishes. The Heathers ("You wanted to be a member of the most powerful clique in school. If I wasn't already the head of it, I'd want the same thing.") got scant attention.

Give me points, though. I undertook to tame the living room on Saturday, and that mainly consists of taming the knitting. I gathered, untangled and wound stray yarn balls from all over the (tiny little) living room. I put project-oriented yarn in separate ziploc bags with the operative patterns and needles (where I could) and filled a really large laundry basket with everything to go upstairs to the yarn room (yes, I have a yarn room. What do you use your spare bedroom for?) The only ( ! ) items left in the living room are the above-mentioned projects, as well as the stuff for the Print O' the Waves Stole. Everything else? To the yarn room!

Here is the progress on the Bellocqs. Note the pasty, um... creamy, um... dead white of the skin in the sock. I like to keep my skin lily white to help set off the lace pattern... who am I kidding? I couldn't tan with a bottle of brown shoe polish.

[SUMMARY: Wow. And more knitting.]

Apropos nothing, this is the pattern graphic on my favourite pajamas.

There was minor drama this weekend. Oh! And Wednesday, out with Megan-from-Work. Oddly, with Kelley not talking to The Boy, things have gotten much quieter. And Sex Toy? Too quiet. There was also shopping, encompassing cute purses, cute knitting tote and the crushing of one man's political symbology through sheer dorkitude. And it fucking snowed all weekend.

[SUMMARY: Finally! Ooey-gooey stuff! The fibre was clogging my sinuses!]

We'll chat about all that another day.

Happy Monday.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Honestly, really and truly, I think there's something wrong with my camera. Actually the battery. The flash is all wonky half the time, and it's always on the verge of empty battery, even when the battery's been on the charger all day. I think a lot of my bad shots (really! truly!) have at least as much to do with the wonky battery as with my lack of skill and occasional cocktailing (the flash and the autofocus just don't work very well on low battery). I have really crappy pictures of very lovely people (Red, Sylvia from Posh, several Harlot pieces, the nice couple from Alaska, the Pizza Fairy...)

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Funny, a bunch of us went to a restaurant/bar just down from the Tattered Cover after Woolstock, and we were talking about being in a group -- knitters, for example -- where you can talk for ages about your common craft and never get a name. At some point, you probably have that thought that you wish you knew this nice knitter's name, but it seems weird to do the name exchange AFTER you know each other's life stories and straight-vs-circular needle biases. Ironic, then, that I never got Nameless Knitting Sprite's name.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Red doesn't personally know Eunny Jang. They didn't vie for the same job, same man, same sale yarn... The most succinct reason for Red's unflagging venom is, "She steeks for fun." While I stand fast by my admiration for Eunny's craft and will be knitting at least two of her patterns in the next year, I also offered Red garden space to plant her, should she (Red) ever need to bury the body. That's the kind of friend I am.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): You knew it was a knitting event when nearly 200 women were vying not for the stalls, but for sink space to wash the pizza off their hands before they got back to their knitting.

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