Monday, July 31, 2006

Good clean Harlot fun!

Everyone, including myself, had a great time on Saturday at the Yarn Harlot's book signing. Congrats to the staff at Hill Country Weavers for organizing and running such a smooth event. With 200+ knitters in attendance the Baptist Church was cool and comfortable, providing ample space to spread out in the pews with our bags of knitting and books for signing. Stephanie spoke for at least an hour and took questions at the end, then we all took our #'s that told us when, approximately, our time would come to get in line for the signing. Knitter's lounged, shopped, enjoyed scrumptious brownies and longnecks, and bloggers conversed. I dallied in the church and ended up in the last group to get their books signed.
Here I am, knitter/fan # two hundred and something and Stephanie is still smiling. It was a pleasure to hear her speak at the church because it allowed me to put a voice to her words (her voice was deeper and more resonant than I expected) and if possible, made her writing even more funny and witty for me than it was before. She has a comic timing that rivals the best stand up comedians. When she told the story of how she was introduced to an entire party of her husbands coworkers as a "knitter," and looking to him to give further explanation, she's a doula, a freelance writer, etc., discovered him nodding enthusiastically, I laughed heartily - we all did.

It was upon receiving her first book as a gift that I fell down what Stephanie called "the proverbial blog rabbit hole." I discovered as so many others have before me her blog and then the knitblog community at large. After starting my own not to long ago I chanced to meet through comments local knitbloggers. Eureka! Up until now my circle of knitters was much to small - my 2nd oldest sister, who taught me to knit, and two coworkers that knit scarves occasionally. Finally, my own kind! My own fiber obsessive knitting kind! So to thank her I did give her the Daisy Sock Bag, of which she remarked that the green was a favorite color of hers (a happy accident I thought at the time) and the bag would come in handy at the airport. Hurrah! I did feel strangely nervous though, or was it just plain silly? I work in theatre and have even done a little movie work (I'm in the credits for A Scanner Darkly, the new film out directed by Richard Linklater. Ya'll should see it, it's a trippy good time!) so I've met and worked with "famous" people. Because of that I feel strange about autographs, so I had to tell myself that a book signing was different than asking for an autograph, but rather a chance to meet and speak to the author. I, and I think many others as well, think of the Harlot as more of a sister or friend. When we read her blog, or one of her books, or gather at an event like this, it's as though we're all sitting down for a collective cup of coffee together (or beer).
The three other bags found homes too. Tina and I agreed to trade some of her lovely stitch markers for the blue bag. I'll do some investigating and post all the details of how you can purchase them from her Etsy shop soon. My computer and Blogger do not always get along so I'm trying to get this post in before the hissy fit ensues and the entire business freezes up.
Christine from Big Pink Cookie and Kristin from Yarn & Order found it in their hearts to give the pink and orange bags homes.
Christine gave a great play by play of the day over on her blog, including the total of our bill at Guero's after the book signing. Here we are taking over a large portion of their backroom. When I walked over to the restaurant and entered I had become so comfortable carrying my sock with my own sock bag swinging from my elbow that I didn't think twice about it still being in my hand and in full view of the busy front room. The hostess took one look at me, looked at the sock, and said simply, "Your group is in the back."

I met so many great people and I know I'm forgetting most of you here besides those I've mentioned above - Julia from Yarnmaven, Kelly from Kelp, Alicia from Knitnmama, Caro from Splityarn, and many many others. I so enjoyed talking to all of you and look forward to seeing you all again in the future. Kudos to Christine for helming the meetup at Guero's.

On another note about Saturday, I got several comments and had discussions about how I carry my yarn. One person remarked that I knit "Continental." Another simply commented about how I use my left middle finger to wrap the yarn. The truth is that for several years, although I knew that not all knitters carried their yarn alike, I wasn't around anyone to compare with. Even the sister who taught me to knit commented on this. I pointed out that I must do it the same as her but no.
At some point in time after she taught me how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off, I developed this way of carrying my yarn. I have to admit, sometimes my left pointer finger cramps up a little, but it works for me.
Does anybody else carry their yarn like this? I'm curious. I decided to try some other techniques later Saturday evening. Carrying the yarn on my right hand led to a revelation as to why I rarely ever get gauge with the recommended size needles when I'm using the recommended or a comparable yarn. I am a loose knitter. Apparently a very loose knitter. Don't worry Mom, this only pertains to my knitting tension and nothing else! When I carried with the right hand my stitches were super tight - not bad, but it slowed me down alot. I think I'm going to stick with the loose knitting and just swatch right off the bat with a size or two smaller needles.

In exploring this I remembered that on the cover of Knitting Rules! Stephanie herself is knitting, so I picked it up to decipher her yarn carrying technique and what do I realize? How long have I had a copy of this book? How many ads for the event had the book cover art as part of the ad? Isn't it in her sidebar? This same book that as I smiled with surprise when she said the green of the Daisy bag was her favorite color as she was handing the book back to me - what color is the yarn she is knitting on the front of the book?

Lime green. Daisy Sock bag green.

I might want to work on my powers of perception before I start grad school.


At 5:49 PM , Anonymous susan said...

It was really awesome meeting you! I know we only chatted briefly coming out of the bathroom but it's great to meet other bloggers and knitters!

Your bags are awesome, by the way!!

At 6:29 PM , Blogger Monika said...

Hi, it's me again. Would you like to talk about the Koigu and bag exchange more private? You can e-mail me at monikaatacidotondotca
My e-mail can be also found under my profil on my blog. Koigu is hard to come by for me. I have two different shades of color for two pair of socks. If you like i could take a picture and e-mail it to you, so you could choose. Please let me know. Thanks! ;o)

At 8:53 PM , Blogger Tina said...

I *should* be mailing those stitchmarkers tomorrow - it depends on whether or not I am running late to work again (like I was today). Unless you want to go knit somewhere and I can just give them to you? I know Bluebonnet's meetup is Wednesday nights, and I'm off work all day Thursday, as well.

At 4:58 AM , Blogger knitncycle said...

It was so great to meet you! Stay in touch and let me know how grad school is treating you! I love the texas sweater in your photo sidebar!!!

At 6:51 AM , Blogger Mel said...

The event sounds like so much fun. So far the Y.H.'s itinerary doesn't include Southern CA, but I'll keep hoping.

The bags are adorable. The daisy was my fav.

I knit/carry my yarn almost the same way, though I usually do a loose, double loop around the index finger. A slight modification of the way I learned.

At 8:51 AM , Blogger Kim said...

I love the bags. I'm only sorry I didn't get to see one up close on Saturday - they never made it to my end of the table.

I might try holding my yarn like you. I am looking for a way to hold yarn so I can try lefty knitting.

At 11:18 AM , Anonymous kristin said...

It was great to meet you, I had so much fun. We are definitely going to have to get together again. I love my bag and it is getting tons of use. I have it at work with me right now! (shhh..don't tell anyone)

At 2:41 PM , Anonymous Stacy said...

Reading everyone's own version of the day - and finding new Texas Knit Bloggers has been so much fun! I have to know - where did you find the graph for your Longhorn Hoodie? I have to make my Hubby one of those!!!

At 8:26 PM , Blogger janna said...

I saw and admired your bags, but didn't get to meet you on Saturday -- I was down at the San Antonio end of the table. Any chance that you'll be selling those cute bags?

At 1:38 PM , Anonymous Stacy said...

I can't find your email link either - you and I must be at about the same blog-skill-level(ha!!) you can email me: stacyklaus-at-allstate-dot-com


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