Wednesday, May 30, 2007
A hat...and sock Mojo (Yarn Harlot style)
RIB BRIM HAT (my own design)
Caron Simply Soft Shadows, "Autumn" (150 yds per ball) less than 3/4 of a ball
US 8 Denise circular needle, US 8 dpns
I knit this hat the other day:
Using this yarn:
...which, while acrylic, has interesting color changes -- and it's machine washable, a good thing (I hope) in a garment I knitted for charity.
It's convertible (if you don't mind forgoing the use of your vision):
I knit the hat to take with me to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, a.k.a. the Yarn Harlot, this evening in Northampton, Massachusetts. She has been encouraging people to knit hats for local charities and bring them to her book signing events for collection.
My husband and I arrived a little over an hour early and decided to go get some ice cream (pistachio!) down the street from the Calvin theater. Newly fortified, we entered the theater to find a lot of knitters (and their friends and family members) already in attendance.
I was handed a ticket that told us what time we should get to Webs to meet Stephanie and have her sign our book. The Webs folks were trying to avoid the huge line (snaking around the store and into the 800 aisle) that they had last time Stephanie was in town, by spreading us out temporally. This was a good idea, however, I knew something was up when I learned that our time (7:45pm) was evidently the first time slot available -- and there were at least a hundred (I'm no good at judging crowds, so there could have been more) people already in the theater when we got there (all of whom had tickets for 7:45, if they had tickets at all).
We found seats toward the front left side of the theater and starting knitting afghan squares for Warm up America with the yummy Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and US 8 needles we received in our goody bags. We talked a bit with some friendly knitters, and Jess was passing out buttons for Ravelry, so I took one.
Around 6 pm, Kathy and Steve Elkins (Webs owners) introduced Stephanie to the crowd that had been growing steadily in size.
They gave her a big frosty glass of beer (which she didn't touch until the question period at the end). It sat on the podium throughout her talk (I guess she didn't want to speak "under the influence"!).
Here Stephanie takes a "sock photo" (we got gently chastized for all our cameras flashing while she was trying to take a picture):
Note the strand of yarn draped between her ball (on the podium) and her sock (in her hand).
Her talk was great -- very funny! -- as was the question period at the end. Stephanie almost had a heart attack when she learned that Kathy and Steve had two helpers with "roving" wireless microphones in the audience for questioners to use. Someone (UPDATE: Thanks, Leslie, for letting me know it was you) asked for an update on Sir Washy (her trusty washing machine), as she hadn't blogged about him in a while. Not to be outdone, another person asked why Stephanie's dryer lives in obscurity.
There was a guy who said he had knit himself a "manly" hat and was working on a "manly" scarf (which he held up for us all to see). He claimed he planned to stop knitting entirely after the scarf was done, but he said his knitter friends all told him he wouldn't be able to do it. He called them "yarn pushers" and accused them of exerting peer pressure on him. He was quite the ham and got a lot of laughs (he clearly enjoys knitting and the company of other knitters, so I think his "plan" is not going to come to fruition).
Then a woman described how her house burned down, and she lost everything (including her yarn stash). She said that a mention of her situation on a friend's blog resulted in people she didn't know from all over the country (maybe the world, I don't quite remember) mailing her yarn. Stephanie offered to hook her up with some Cormo wool (which she especially missed) -- "see me after" she told the woman.
After the questions were over, we headed over to Webs for the book signing. I dropped off my finished afghan square (garter stitch -- hey, we were knitting in the dark), the afore mentioned hat, and some food for the Kid's Summer Food Program, then started to search for the end of the line.
Just as I had suspected, a large number of people appear to have received tickets for 7:45, so a line quickly formed that, after not too long, extended into the warehouse and down the dreaded 800 aisle (I didn't see where it ended). It was a bit toasty in line in the warehouse (no a.c. in there), but the Webs folks brought around cups of water and had chairs available if people wanted to sit down. They were all working very hard.
Lots of knitting was going on the line. The lady behind us finished knitting a rose she would felt later. I worked on my first sock (!!) which I had started earlier in the day. I have been wanting to learn how to knit socks, so I signed myself up for Sockapalooza 4. I decided I should knit myself a pair (or at least one sock) before I start on my Sock Pal's, for practice. These 00 needles sure are tiny!
A knitter ahead of us in line entertained Stephanie with her cute little baby (who giggled and stared at Stephanie, who was holding him and bouncing him in the air, while his momma tried to get him to look at the camera). UPDATE: Thanks to soknitpicky I have learned the identity of the knitter and baby. See knit and purl mama for a great recap (with lots of photos) of the Yarn Harlot's Northampton event.
When it was our turn to meet Stephanie, I petted her gorgeous Bohus sweater (don't worry, she wasn't wearing it -- it was hot today!) and mumbled something unintelligible about my first sock. She told me I had first sock Mojo ...I'm hoping she gave me some first sock Mojo ;), and said I should let her know when I finished the sock (does she really want to know? jeez, her inbox must fill up quickly!).
Here's the super flattering (not) photo of our socks meeting:
It was a fun evening (though I wish I was less shy)! I hope Stephanie enjoyed it, too (I'm sure the beer made it all worth while).