Saturday, June 2, 2007

Still on a Harlot High...this is a big post!!!

First off I have to tell you that if Stephanie is coming to your town or a town 2hrs have to go!!! Handsome Hubby(HH) and I had an absolutely wonderful time seeing her. We are so happy that we did not miss the Web's book signing event or any of the great knitters we met.

Before I talk about our adventure to Northampton I just want to say thank-you to Stephanie for sharing your humor, views and wonderful personality with us for the evening and for signing our book. I'm only sorry that we kept you from home on your daughter Amanda's 18th birthday. Your letter to her on your blog was just beautiful. I never thought that anything could top your blog or books but to "see" you is to love you. While still famous in my eyes, you are also a genuine down-to-earth woman, sharing your passion and views about knitting and the world with others through your writing and everyday life. You say many do not view you as being a "real" author. Not only are they wrong, but you are able to reach and have a greater positive impact on more people and cultures than those they consider "real" authors any day! Thank you for viewing us a worthwhile group to share your talents with since there are obviously so many that don't view us as a viable target market base!
I would also like to thank the owner's of Web's ~ Steve and Kathy~ for hosting a wonderful event, and the Web's staff for taking such good care of all of us! The fans Steve brought out & the water from the employees were greatly appreciated in line! We hope to come back over soon.

Sorry about the blury pictures below! (I'm so embarrased by my picture I look terrible, but there it is for all to see.)

And our adventure begins...
HH and I didn't head out till after 1pm but we made it to Web's before 4pm to pick up a couple items before things got busy later at the book signing. I bought a pkg. of T-pins and the Sweater Blocker (items I forgot to buy during their Tent Sale earlier in the month. At the register a Web's bag caught my eye that I couldn't pass up for the price. Come to find out they were brand new, from the looks of it they were going fast too!

After Web's we drove into town and parked at the long-term parking garage and walked towards the Calvin. On the way we saw this cool VW Punch Bug...

Can you see the plate... "WTRMLN"

We made a stop at Northampton Wools, the owner was very helpful and the woman with her was the 1st person to "recognize" what my altered market squares bag was suppose to look like so I gave her a prize. I had brought a jar of Wool Wax hand cream for the 1st person to know what my bag was, with out me having to tell them. (This made my day especially since no one at the NH S&W could figure it out, even when I told them! Post more on this later.) We bought a few things here and at their 2ND shop right next door which is a boutique geared more towards yarns & patterns for children.

-a Handy Caddy in pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness, Karabella yarns~"Chameleon"(colorway is brown/pink/cream- my new favorites) and Filatura Di Crosa Baby~"Party"(red, white & blue)

Then we crossed the intersection to get in line at the Calvin Theater. There were maybe 30 people at the most in line when we arrived. I joined in with the others in line knitting on my Tidal Wave sock. HH kept an eye out for accidents since everyone was gawking at us trying to figure out we were all doing as they drove by. It was pretty funny! While we waited I saw Karin a friend from home that used to own a LYS and is also a very accomplished knitter & designer. We always bump into each other but this was a really long way from home and a very welcome surprise! (Karin you are greatly missed and congrats on your pattern in No Sheep for You , hope to see you again soon!)

Karin & I, the scarf I am wearing is from Morehouse Knits book using their lace yarn

The doors opened at 5pm and we were handed goody bags upon entering the Calvin and a ticket with the time we were to return to Web's for our book signing (being in the beginning we had 7:45pm). In the goody bags were a pair of US #8(5.00MM...."for the rest of the world" lol) needles and a ball of Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran to knit an afghan square for Warm Up America! HH's yarn was a beautiful teal & mine a pretty cream. I really wanted to sample this yarn so the squares will be a great way to try it & then mail them off, HH is still on his 1st project & I was laughing to hard to knit! I don't even need to drink...I get laughing & my gauge is all over the place!

We could of sat in the chairs down in front of the stage but choose a few rows to the more comfy chairs. Highlights before Stephanie took the stage were...Karin met up with us & we sat together, HH knit in public for the first time(I was so excited for him), Steve from Web's turned the house lights up in the theater and said "this is as bright as it gets, they don't normally have people wanting to knit in here", I kept thinking we all should of had knitlite needles! I met Jessica, she was handing out buttons to promote her website ravelry, which is an awesome concept & I can't wait for it to go "live". At the end of our row was Cait, she is also a new blogger & was kind enough to take a group photo for me in the theater. (Thank you Cait!)
Steve and Kathy took the stage to let us know about the Boston Knit Out & Crochet Too and the goody bags & squares, as well as our donations for the hats & the Kid's Summer Food Program donations(we really felt good about this program & were very happy to bring a bag of groceries). Just as any married couple, Steve and Kathy were to funny together.

When they introduced Stephanie I thought the place had gone wild! Right after she got to the podium Steve brought her a real brew, not an mass produced American beer. She waited to the end to take a drink as she said we would be better off! Let me tell you I have read the blog & her books so I knew she was witty. What I didn't know was that while she has here serious moments of concern, she is so hilarious that I laughed so hard I was crying! Thank god I didn't have to pee or else we would of been in big trouble! I don't want to give her "monologue" away in case someone finds this that hasn't seen her yet but let me give you some highlights that I loved...

CHOKE(very serious and I have run into this in many of my other crafting hobbies), her mom's reaction to her award, the world without wool, Mick, gauge and so many others! Oh yeah and "we're watching you, and we're writing it down and we have no editors and we can't get fired!"During the question & answers we really got to see her in action, she had a comeback for everything(and my family thinks I'm funny!). Her reactions to being caught off guard here were woman asked about Sir Washy & does she have a dryer? When Stephanie said yes, the woman asked why does it have to live in obscurity in the shadow of Sir Washy? Stephanie was laughing, then said was it possible to feel guilt over an appliance? Karin shared her experience with the bank when starting her LYS up, you had more patience than I would of! Then there was one guy that said he was only going to knit 1 scarf & that was it, Stephanie set him straight even when he "asked" if we were some kind of cult! lol Then she was outed as a D&D player during another question and hid behind the podium, it's ok we all have our secrets! The question and answers section is definitely not something you want to miss if you see her!

Everyone gave her a big round of applause when it was over and while I wanted to give her a standing ovation I was to shy. HH said that everyone probably would of joined me but I was to worried I'd look like a fool so i just tried to clap really loud! lol I worry to much.

As we all filed out onto the streets of Northampton something very crazy happened! The small gathering prior to the event that caught attention by the locals turned into a huge knitter march! While there were groups on either side of the street preparing to cross, once the light was clear, the left group decided to jay walk through the intersection creating a swarm of knitters taking over the street.
HH & I picked up our groceries from the parking garage and walked to Web's. It wasn't terribly far but the heat & I don't get along. While walking HH said that he thought Stephanie was really funny. He said that it was totally different than what he expected after going to the other book events we've been to where the author does a reading from the book. It was like a monologue, hilarious, she should charge admission!

At web's we worked our way into the warehouse & got in line at 7:45pm. The water passed out really helped me feel better, I didn't think to bring any. While waiting we met a very nice young couple Carissa & Joe. You have to read about Gertrude, she's so cool!(Best of luck with your move & have a safe trip!) I received lots of nice compliments on my scarf & bag which made me really excited because these were my peers so I know I must be doing good with my knitting! (Once we returned home I saw that Amy had brought the famous Giant Glove, I can't believe I missed it. I will have to watch if it is making anymore rode trips!)

2 very hot hours later it was our turn to get our booked signed...I had it made out to both of us since HH waited with me & is a knitter now too. What happened next took me off guard. I was in awe, handing Stephanie my book to sign I said hello & told her I thought she was awesome(who even uses that word anymore). She said hello & started to sign it but paused, looked at us & said, "have we met?" I told her no. She looked at us again & said that she knew us, like she was serious! I was racking my brain hoping for a connection but couldn't think of one. I started to worry how she thought she knew us, was it a good "I know you" or a bad "I don't want to know you" I told her we just have familiar faces! lol (I am the world's biggest worrier, yes Stephanie worse than you!) She said it must be another Diane & Eric then, maybe we do know her. Or will someday, I'd love to sit & knit with her. She didn't seam to notice my scarf or bag. I told her how HH just learned to knit so he could knit that day. I asked if I could take a picture with her & she said of coarse. A very nice Web's employee took the photo so HH could be in it to. Stephanie had us come behind the table & let HH hold her ball of yarn & I held "THE SOCK"!!! I also held mine in front of Stephanie while she held the yarn connecting hers to us. It was so cool!

I thanked her and gave her one of my blog cards I took with me. I resisted hugging her, I'm a hugger!lol She said good-bye & wished HH luck with his knitting!

I wanted to buy the audio version of the book & a shirt to frame for my knitting room(they're never in my size) but I forgot. I'm sure I'll find the audio book but unfortunately not the shirt. We tried to go back after dinner but they were closed.

When we left the store I can't tell you how happy I was to have met "The Yarn Harlot". My knitting is very important to me. While I still enjoy my other crafts, knitting has helped me over the past 2 years when I don't think anything else could of. Many people find comfort and joy in knitting like I do and to meet someone that is passionate about something very dear to you and can make you be proud of it and also laugh is very exciting. I knew it was a good night when HH said, "...look at you smile!"

We walked back towards the Calvin and ended up at the Northampton Brewing Company for a special dinner. I wanted to go up to the Beer Garden to see if any knitters were up there, but we were worried about getting bit outside. The meal was really good & then we headed for the long ride home.

I really couldn't of asked for a nicer day. The weather was beautiful, I was together with my husband and met Stephanie. I really felt like I belonged to something, the sense of camaraderie was amazing. This was a day I will remember for a long time. If you're reading this Stephanie thank you again!
Knit your dreams,

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

18-1/2hrs to a Harlotty Good Time...

Actually less then that because we have a long ride from NY to Web's in Northampton, MA! Now you would think that there is nothing more exciting than going to see Stephanie the Yarn Harlot in person. I would totally agree especially since I was so upset about being unable to attend the Represent event in NYC. But I must say I'm glad that things worked out the way did. Handsome Hubby has taken tomorrow night off to take me to the event & book signing. When I signed us up I told them that I was the knitter & he was the enabler! Well things have changed here in Knitty City! Last month Handsome Hubby mentioned to me in a LYS that he might try to knit. I was in heaven just with the fact that he was contemplating the idea of knitting. Well, last week we sat down together & Hubby learned to knit! He is doing extremely well, at least in my eyes. His stitches are a little tight, but he is getting better already I told him. I am just so proud. He is making a scarf with yarn I had left over from making him a hat last Christmas.

Many of his fingers had been broken as a teenager so the needles are akward for him to hold but he isn't giving up. He got upset when he dropped a stitch or had something go oddly wrong but I was able to fix any "mistakes" he came across. (There are no mistakes, only creative embellishments!) I remained very encouraging and told him we all have been there & still visit often. After promising not to "watch" him, we also had to turn off the tv to allow for better concentration, gee I remember those days. (We watched a Horror movie a few months back & I got so scared I tossed my needles & lost all my stitches. Wonder how funny he would think it was if it happens to him now! I'll wait as I don't want to scare him away!) They only stipulation I told him there is about knitting is that he better get his own stash. Little does he know that this will also mean that since I am the senior knitter in the house I can acquirer anything from him stash that I deam necessary without any reprocutions to my stash!!! Nice rule huh...not bad if I do say so myself!(Insert Evil laugh here!!!)

Now if you are going to Web's Harlot event tomorrow & you come across us please do say hello. I will have my Market Squares bag with me, the one that I have to explain about it being a flower. Handsome Hubby and I will be knitting unless he gets nervous KIP(Knitting in Public). At some point I must go to bed or else I will sleep through the whole day tomorrow!

Knit your dreams,


Friday, May 18, 2007

Stalking the UPS man...

OK, so I can be a little impatient sometimes. But honestly I had a really good reason this time! I waited ever so patiently for my wheel to be delivered all day. I woke up extra early so that there was no issue with the delivery like last time!
(I was expecting a package a year ago, a gift, but it was never delivered the day tracking said it would be. When I called UPS, I was told that no one was home to accept the package...I was furious! I was home all day waiting for that truck, there was no note of failed delivery left... someone just didn't bother to deliver it. So the next day waiting again for the package I hear a truck and look outside only to see the UPS truck pulling away. They dropped my package on the porch & just left. Gee, why didn't they just do that the day before!)

So back to the matter at hand, I wasn't letting this happen with my wheel! I was awake at 6am & ready to jump at a moments notice! After feverishly checking the tracking site for UPS(which I'm shocked I didn't single handedly crash) I saw that at 8:31am it went "OUT FOR DELIVERY". Well now I was ready. I tried to get some housework done but realized I couldn't do the dishes because I'd have to dry my hands, grab the camera & run to the door at the same time! So I fiddled around the house and jumped at every noise I heard...of coarse the neighborhood saw to much action, the garbage truck, the oil truck, school buses. I was going insane!

Tic-toc, tic-toc...the wait was starting to scare me, what if they have to many deliveries today & postpone mine till tomorrow! I told Handsome Hubby that I was making a phone call if I didn't see a truck by 3:30pm.

I kept thinking who would want to drag that heavy box back to be loaded on yet another truck for tomorrow? Oh no, what if it was to heavy & got damaged & they just didn't want to call me!

Just when I thought I would loose it I saw the UPS truck backing down our the wrong house!!! He went to far & walked it to ours. All my fears disappeared as he walked up the path, I swear the box was glowing...OK maybe it was the sun in my eyes!

I flung open the door like a kid at Christmas & just about hugged the man. After explaining how worried I was about him not coming & what was in the box, he shocked me! He was genuinely interested in the wheel, come to find out he delivers to a woman all the time down the road from us & knows all about us knitters & spinners. The woman was the same great lady that was a vendor we met at the NH Sheep & Wool! What a great way to end a long day.

Handsome Hubby helped me get the wheel together and photographed my new treasure in all it's glory. Within 15 minutes I was up & spinning. About an hour later he seriously & looking sad said "You didn't even ask me if I wanted to try it!" I didn't know what to say,and obviously the look of "pure terror & are you nuts" said it better than I could of! I told him sweetly, "In due time grasshopper, first knitting!" Hmm, I just may get him to cross over to the yarnside yet!

I started with some roving I bought at Rhinebeck last year but quickly moved on to the Icelandic Wool that came with my wheel. I can spin it, but I'm not crazy about it. It seams very different from the Merino & other rovings I spun in December on the Joy. It seams very hairy to me, maybe it's a beginner thing. By the end of the knight I had filled almost the entire bobbin with what I hope to ply as a sport weight yarn. I feel like I have alot more control than I did with the Joy but I think I am just more comfortable because I know this is MY wheel so I'm not as nervous. I am a HUGE worrier so for me this is a good sign!

Now that I talked your eyes off I must spend some quality time with my socks. I am already worried that my knitting will be neglected! See I told you I worry to much I haven't even had the wheel an entire day yet!
Wishing you days filled with fibery goodness,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It's almost here!!!

Can I tell you how wonderful my husband is? Not only did he convert 1 of our 3 bedrooms into my scrap-booking & craft-room when we moved here, but last fall he gave me the other tiny bedroom for my knitting room. Everyone loves him when they meet & hear how supportive of me he is. If that wasn't enough now they will really love him! We went to the NH Sheep & Wool Festival last Saturday(a 3-1/2hr drive for us) and the day before we go he says that I will have to look for some roving when we get there. I ask why because I haven't tried needle felting yet & am not ready to. He says "no but you can spin it right?" I told him yes but I don't have a wheel. He then tells me "No but you will next week when it gets here!" I just about died right there, I am so excited!!! We have been saving but I still felt to guilty to get one so he decided the sale The Woolery had was to good to pass on and placed an order. I learned to spin on an the beautiful Ashford Elizabeth 2 & rented the Ashford Joy. I really want an Elizabeth but I also liked the Lendrum DT more & more to & loved spin on it when a really nice woman let me try hers last month. He bought me the Lendrum DT. He wanted me to have that one since it came with alot for the money and was portable. Later on when we get a bigger place we can try to save for the Elizabeth! I am still in shock & am just so excited to be getting a wheel since it is not a purchase I could "justify" to myself.

I received the tracking number yesterday & it should be delivered Thursday so I can't wait for it to get here. I came down with a bad cold these last 2 days so I am doing everything I can to make myself better for when it arrives! I tried to think of a name for her but haven't come up with anything yet so feel free to offer any ideas! I did get some great fiber at the festival and really inexpensive...$10 a lb.!!! I couldn't believe it and it's really nice. I bought a few others that were very affordable so I have differnt things to try before the VT & NY festivals this fall so I know what I like to spin. I told my husband not to get mugged as we were leaving the festival because he was carrying all my treasures! He said that he loved seeing my smile so much again & he even had a great time to! We had such a greatday together & the drive was nice to. I will try to post after the wheel arrives tomorrow although it may be hard to pull myself away. I have already pre-drafted some of my roving so I can start spinning!


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Please don't call me Martha....

Everyone has always told me I am "so crafty". My mom says I should of been born 30 years earlier. If there was a college that had a degree for "Domestic Arts" I would have easily earned a 4.0! Cooking, cleaning, sewing, crafts, cross-stitch, scrap-booking, gardening and even home improvements have always been my specialty. So many have said "You're quite the Martha Stewart", I considered myself more of a Martha Stewart, Carol Duvall, Betty Crocker blend with alittle Mr. Clean & Bob Villa(although I'm more hands on the Bob) thrown in for good measure!

I always wanted to learn to knit but my mom crochets so I had no one to teach me. Well, I decided enough was enough and bought a kit with a book called "Taught Myself Knitting" and figured why not. knitting kit

Now 2 years and a new fiber addiction later I can't believe what I'd been missing!!! I LOVE knitting, I started with a garter stitch baby blanket and then a lace baby blanket. Moving onto scarves and childrens sweaters I never thought I could figure out DPNs so I thought that was a s far as I could go. But no, my husband found me a lys when ours closed and I took my first class...mittens!!! With some wonderful help I mastered the DPNs. There was no stopping me now...more mittens, hats and all by myself a pair of socks!!! WooHoo!!! I was so excited.

In November at the same great store, I took a class on spinning with a wheel and while I didn't have much confidence, Claudia the instructor & owner had me spinning in no time. She is amazing! My husband rented me a wheel for the month & during that time I spun 12 skeins of yarn that impressed even me the perfectionist. I even figured out how to plythem on my own! I plied 3 reds together & 1 red with a white & knit myself a hat for Christmas in red with a red/white "candy-cane" brim which I wore proudly everywhere I went.

Since Christmas I have started felting which I get so excited about because it's like magic! I have made 2 Booga Bag's and my first Market Squares Bag using entreloc knitting(another first) then felted from the XRX book, Bags: A Knitter's Dozen.

Now that I have chatted your ear off, hopefully you will want to visit often & join me on my knitting adventures!

Knit your dreams,


P.S. I am a horrific speller & famous for run-on sentences so please forgive me!