[I want to say that I have purposely NOT read any of the other accounts out there (of which I'm sure I'll spend the whole day reading) so as to give my own gospel. But make sure you read all the others! And they will have pictures. I didn't drag out the camera - sorry!]
I’ll start with this: There was wine. There were traveling hors d’oeuovres. There was a GIFT BAG people!
It was, by all accounts, I’m sure, totally nuts.
Jen and I met in Hoboken to travel into the big city. Midtown was crazy – haven’t been there at 5PM in ages (and I’m not going back anytime soon.) Although I have to admit that it was a sight seeing that group of Hasidic Jews outside the Empire State Building mingling with a befeathered and berobed group of indeterminate origin getting out of a van. Only in New York.
We got to Lord & Taylor – and you know – I never read the invite on Stephanie’s blog – just sent in my plea to be included – so I had no idea where we were supposed to go. But we were early so we hit the bra floor (no such luck for either of us!) and then we headed up to the 11th Floor. Which isn’t listed anywhere. It’s like the magic floor.
When we got there – there was already a line and who do you think was at the head? Lovely Cassie, of course! I went over and said my hellos and chit chat as the line grew and grew and grew. Juno soon arrived as well and The Harlot sailed past the line with her handlers. “She’s here, she’s here,” traveled down the pack in hushed whispers.
Soon after, a woman came out and told us they were going to let us in now. We should make ourselves comfortable and be sure to check our bags and stuff – it’s pretty tight in there. I looked at her, a wry smile on my face, and said, “No one is checking their bags. That’s where the knitting is.” The poor non-knitter looked at me askance. “No one,” I said, “is going in without their knitting.” Poor girl. Just trying to do her job.
So we started to move in and they crossed our names off the list one by one and no one checked anything from what I could tell and there were two seats left at a table WAY UP FRONT with Cassie and Juno and Tree (hope I’m spelling that right) and another woman who I’m so sorry I don’t remember your name. It was a wonderful group. Immediately Cassie pulled out her shawl and her new cable wonder (which let me tell you – everyone should consider knitting a yarn on a much lower needle size than recommended – what she’s doing with Peruvian Highland Chunky is just amazing – completely different yarn – so much better!) Juno had her cable masterpiece as well in Rowan Highland and I pulled out my measly Short-Rows sleeve which I cast on for just the occasion.
The room started filling up and there was much jumping up from seats and hugs and look at that’s and what yarn is that and touching and just amazingness. I’ve never been to anything like it. The commaraderie was palpable in a room where most of us were strangers.
The wine was served and the hors d’oeuvres and then it was All Harlot! She was EXACTLY like you’d think she would be – funny and shy and self-deprecating and spot-on truthful and nervous and smart and it was like reading her blog in the flesh – if you know what I mean. We had a knitting demonstration by her (WOW – who knew you could knit with a needle stuck under your armpit! And how fast!) There was lots of picture taking. Questions about Hank and the Guernsey and shopping. I think she said arse twice, but Cassie’s got the official number on that.
All the while Stephanie was doing her thing, pretty much everyone was knitting. I told Georgie this, and ever sensitive to rudeness, he was horrified. “While she was speaking?” he said. “Of course.” “That’s horrible.” “Everyone was doing it. Even she was knitting.” He didn’t get it. It was fantastic! (Of course I ended up knitting then frogging six rows, but what the hell. I was there. I had knitting!)
If you told me six months ago that I would be sitting in a room atop Lord & Taylor surrounded by knitters, knitting, listening to knit blogger extraordinaire read from her book, I’d've laughed my ass off. I’m not laughing anymore. (Well I am, but for totally different reasons!)
One thing I was shocked at was the LACK of bloggers. Someone asked Stephanie a question about blogging and if there were lots of other bloggers and she told everyone with a blog to raise their hands. Now my back was to the room, but it only seemed like a quarter of us had blogs – maybe even less. I thought we’d all be bloggers. Go figure. (There are people out there that knit and DON’T have blogs? ) [ETA: Maybe I'm wrong on this. As I mentioned, Cassie snagged a table right up front so my back was to the room. Other accounts say half the room was filled with bloggers - they're probably more reliable.]
At the end they gave out gift bags from Lion Brand – yes, people – there was swag! Now before you start thinking that there was fun fur and stuff like that it was actually a GENIUS idea. There was, of course, a signed copy of the book – WAY COOL – and even better a big skein of Wool Chunky with patterns and a pamphlet for the Dulaan Project. Couldn’t have been done better in my opinion. Just wonderful.
Highlights of the evening include – introducing myself to Stephanie and asking her to sign my book and SHE SEEMED TO KNOW WHO I WAS!!! Really. I mean, it may have been in that polite sure I read your blog kind of thing, but I don’t think so. She really seemed to know me which made me feel like I had ARRIVED in blogland. I mean, if the celebrities know you – c’mon! That’s something!
Every other highlight involves people: I finally met Enchanting Juno – whose blog name could NOT be more perfect – a stunning woman. Truly – it was great to meet you! And I finally met up with Cassie again. And I met Kay together with Phyllis – we talked family dynamics and religion – what could be more fun! I met Cari, who was so kind about my photographs, along with Valentina, who asked about the show thanks to Colleen talking me up and Mindy and so many others who I can’t remember! Please forgive me. I can see all of your faces! Really I can. I hope we meet again! And it was so great to be out and about with Jen – my first real knitty friend! Hey Jen – I was knitting, even if you weren’t! That counts right?
Thank you Lord & Taylor, thank you Lion Brand, thank you Craft Yarn Council – and of course! Thank you Stephanie for giving us an excuse to celebrate knitting and well, just celebrate.
If I screwed up your name or link – please let me know in the comments! I apologize!
Paying it forward.
I want to pay forward the generosity I received last night. I had already purchased a copy of Stephanie’s book – way before I knew she was coming. She signed my copy last night. Which means I have the free, signed copy they gave out in the gift bag. I’d like to give that away to a reader who won’t have the chance to see Stephanie in person. Please leave me a comment and tell me where you are and why you won’t be able to see her. I’ll randomly pick a name – you’ve got the weekend to try for it. Peo
ple outside the US are indeed welcome.
Baby’s Got Back!
I was so excited when I got home last night I finished this:
There is some subtle shaping at the waist – so it’s not as wonky as it looks. I am VERY happy with it. The front should be a breeze. I’ve calculated that I knit this sweater three times over already – since I’ve redone the short rows sections about three time each (I’m really not kidding here.) So assuming I can get through the front with a minimal of re-knits – should be cake.
Of course, I’m trying not to think too hard about this:
Cause that might make me cry. (I just flip it over and I’m happy again!) The duplicate stitch is working fabulously:
As I said, I cast on for a sleeve last night. Should go pretty quick – well, not that quick so I can weave in the ends on the back before I start the front. I’m going to be diligent – weave in a few every day – I swear.
Have a great day!