Saturday, June 09, 2007

Yarn Harlot Rocks!

There's Stephanie's sock! It was so pretty - I could just feel all of the love that it had collected on its journey.

I know that it's been a couple of days, but I finally get to post about her. I jumped into the car with DH around 2:30 and headed for Petaluma Thursday night. We hit plenty of traffic but still made it in time to find decent seats. Of course, finding a good place to have a meal once we got there was a little difficult. We set our stuff down and set out to find some dinner. Hmmm... well, the place across the street was alright, but we wanted something a little more filling so that we could stand in book-signing line later on with enough energy. After wandering the block a few times, however, we decided to settle for some great hummus and pita. Mmmm. Sounds good even this early in the day. Once we got back to Copperfield's, we wandered the store and browsed their wonderful selection of books, magazines, games, and anything that you could possibly want to find in a book store.

In wandering around, I met some of the nicest people. I met Sandra who lives nearby. She was dying to get Alison's Charmed Knits. I told her that since it was the store's last copy, she would be crazy not to buy it. She then called me an enabler. No way! Me?! ;) I was simply living vicariously through her. She told me about Knitterly, the cute little LYS down the street. She informed me that they would be staying open as late as needed after the book-signing to accomodate all of the knitters. Talk about enabling someone! I even ran into her at the shop and she was trying to talk ME into buying things. The nerve! ;)

That's me holding up Mom's second Embossed Leaves sock.

After I enabled Sandra to make a purchase (that you so know she wanted to do anyway), I headed towards my seat. I have been knitting my mom's beeeeeelated Mother's Day socks. I picked a beautiful periwinkle, Koigu's # 1005. I am making the Embossed Leaves socks from Interweave's Favorite Socks (you can see below for pictures of the first, finished sock). I love this pattern and even though we had tons of time to sit and knit and I was in the middle of a great independent bookstore, I was drawn back to my chair. I have also never knit amongst my peers. I know, I know - it's sad. I actually have a yarn shop near me (Purlescence - shout out!) who is really great at doing Knit Nights and Movie Nights and all of those cool things. I have just always been afraid to attend since it seems like everyone else already knows each other. So this was a unique situation for me and I could feel the draw of my sock pulling me towards it. I also knew that this was a good time to get some good knitterly mojo into my sock - I was hoping that it would absorb all of the surrounding positive energy from all of the other beautiful socks being knit up and that it would bring my mom special love.

As I sat down, I met Kristine of Curious Creek Fibers (I told you guys that you should spread your name!). They were just about the nicest people. Kristine was very humble about her craft but I kept telling her to proudly shout out her calling. I ran into her at Knitterly after the signing and she was again just about the sweetest person ever. She gives great hugs, too. She showed me this amazing display that she had put together as a centerpiece for a wedding. Who knew that yarn could be as beautiful (or more so) than flowers. Well, I guess that we all know that - one of the downfalls of being in love with yarn. Kristine was wearing a Clapotis that was knit up in her own beautiful yarn (it looks like it might have been Oban in the colorway Anemone). Unfortunately, I was unable to get a picture of her, but you will notice Phil in the picture of me holding up my sock in the crowd. Also, you can see bits of her Clapotis next to him as she is leaning over to talk to the people in front of her. If you want to see a great picture of Kristine wearing her Clapotis and Phil wearing his gorgeous sweater, you can visit Yarn Harlot's page - she's got a picture of the two of them in her Petaluma coverage.

Juanita and I exchange email addys. Her shawl is gorgeous - the color is beautiful!

So back to where we sat - Juanita was there by herself. She stayed with a friend in San Francisco, but actually came from Los Angeles, I believe (was it Burbank?). She had the cutest pin for Stephanie - a Canadian Mickey Mouse head. So cute! She made this cute Flirty Ruffles Shawl by Fiddlesticks. It was in a gorgeous deep red, not quite burgundy. I wish that I could remember the yarn that she used. Anyway, the pictures do not do it justice. So many tiny stitches! Aron, most wonderful photographer that he is (and my husband), decided to be paparazzi for both Juanita and I since Juanita did not bring her own camera. How could you visit the Yarn Harlot and not take pictures with her (and her sock)?!

Here's Juanita and her first pair of socks (in blue) - made with Stephanie's basic sock pattern from Knitting Rules.

We also chatted with a few other women whom I can't remember the names of. I do know that Loopy Chick sat near us, but we can't find her blog (thanks for reminding me of her name, Juanita - I came up with the same problem in searching for the blog). She had another gorgeous shawl that had beautiful beads on it. Can you believe that I have yet to make a shawl or a poncho? That is soooo going to change this summer! Thank goodness for school breaks! Loopy Chick was knitting a beautiful toe-up sock. I was telling her how much I liked it and that I wish that my toes would look that good when I do a toe-up. I have yet to complete a toe-up since I have only tried them with the figure-eight cast-on. Loopy Chick told me that hers was a toe-up with short-rows. Oh my! That happens to be my favorite toe shape. I love making short-row toes. She passed along a recommendation to look up Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock pattern. As soon as I finish Mom's beeeelated socks and Dad's Father's Day socks (must finish both before next weekend - got to start on Dad's size 12 1/2's soon!), I will be starting a pair of these toe-up wonders! I can't wait to make some socks that I use up EXACTLY the amount of yarn that I want! :)

Here I am holding THE sock. ;) She is so cool! She even knew to spread out my sock to see the pattern on it!
Gawd - I wish that I could swap out my pic here with a younger and thinner one! ;)

Stephanie was a great speaker and made everyone laugh until tears were rolling (I swear! It wasn't just me!). She is as funny in person as she is in her writing. I wanted to tell her that she was inspiring to me since I am a Literature major and I love her style of writing. Of course, once I got up there to have her sign my book, I just said a few things. I think that I said "Would you mind taking a picture with me and my sock?" and "You have the best blog!" or something else dorky like that. I think that I had told myself that she was so human that I didn't even think about what to tell her until it was too late. I'm not one of those people who gets star-struck. I don't believe that people who are famous are any better or different than you and I. That, however, does not mean that I don't have a lot of respect for people like Stephanie. I know how hard it is to write an essay - I couldn't even imagine how hard it would be to write a book. I think that she is an incredibly talented person who connects with so many people that it's probably quite surreal for her.

All in all, I am so grateful that I went. I was preparing to go by myself since Aron's work has kept him occupied for at least 70-hour work-weeks. However, he was wonderfully supportive and knew that this was a great opportunity to understand and participate in something that I've become very passionate about so he found the time to leave early and do the 2 1/2 hour trek with me.

The event gave me some great time to sit still and knit among many other very wonderful and sweet people. Of course, it didn't hurt that we were all collected to listen to a very talented and hilariously funny person. I know that every other knitter out there feels the same way that I do about Stephanie's writing - it's like she's writing from my brain! I laugh out loud so often when I'm reading her stuff because I know exactly what she's talking about. I figure with all of the funny things that she covers, at least one of them is something that every single knitter can relate to at some point. She made Aron laugh, too. He told me that when the Q&A session was going on, he wanted to ask her, "So how do you feel since they've picked someone else as the American Idol?" I was so mad that he didn't ask that. He has such a quircky sense of humor. I also realize that I may be the only one that would laugh. He thinks that it'd be so silent that you'd only be able to hear the crickets outside. :)

Thank you for having such a great time, everyone! Thanks for introducing me into a world of fun and friends. I wish that I could do that every night. I might even consider driving all the way to Petaluma for it if only we could have this all the time. Thank you for writing about what so many of us think and feel, Stephanie. Without your hilarious and heartfelt books, we might actually feel like the freakish loners that CHOKE thinks us to be. And thank you, Aron, for being my wonderfully handsome and loving paparazzi. You are always my favorite person to be with, no matter where I am and what I'm doing.


nbgriz said...

Hi Cheslea! I was there at Petaluma, too, and I saw you! I was sitting about 1/2 way back on the left side (right next to an almost nonexistant aisle), wearing a blue & green shadow vest, and knitting on 2 different sock projects at various times. I love our Embossed Leaves socks -- they are really beautiful! Your mom is lucky to be getting those! I haven't visited your other blog yet, but I like Blogger because I have an ID from SAM3 so I can log in.
I enjoyed your long account of Stephanie's talk in Petaluma. I'm still a high from it, too!
I live in Kensington and work in Berkeley. I drove up there straight from work. I didn't have a seating pass until someone took pity on me outside the door and gave me their extra one. I wasn't with anybody, and I just sat there protecting my seat. I didn't get dinner until almost 11 PM that night! (I should have packed a snack.) I assumed there would be someplace close by to get food, and I didn't see any. Knit on!

Arctic Knitter said...

Chelsea - great blog! (I haven't looked at the other one yet..) Your embossed leaves socks are gorgeous - I'm working on a pair as well. Stephanie was up here in Anchorage on Monday - what a fabulous time! Thanks for sharing your account of her visit. Have fun knitting!

Unknown said...

Hi, Chelsea, it's Juanita! Thanks for putting up your post about the Yarn Harlot's visit. I liked Aron's comment--we could all be said to have the McPheever, right? Oh, and the yarn I used in my shawl was Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb. :-) Thanks so much for taking pictures and being such good company, I was a little nervous about going alone, but I felt better once I got there, and met you and the other knitters. :-)