May 2, 2006

Longest Ever

I think that I am about to break the world record for longest post pretending to be about knitting. I'm going to catch you up on two last yarn parties (Knit! Yarn! Fun!) and show you all of the things the sock has done. Go get a coffee or a tea or if it's night-time maybe you want a beer or something. This is going to be a humdinger. I'll at least try for coherency.

Threaded Bliss
Dudes, the knitters at this shop really had their knit together (To borrow a phrase from Knit One) From the window proclaiming "Harlot is here", spelled out in pictures of me (which flipped me out a little.) to the spontaneous pre-harlot entertainment (Which didn't flip me out much. I live with a record producer, everyone we know either drops guitar picks or yarn.) to the karaoke microphone, and the store dog, this event had a vibe all it's own.


(You know, I don't want to jinx anything, but I do want to point out that our "when knitters run the world" plan may be coming along.)


Meangirl -Jen (who seemed very nice to me, though I hear that she's partly responsible for the multi-me window display and Betty, hamming it up with the sock.

Betsy here showed off her sock and demonstrated one of the best things about being on a yarn crawl knitting book tour. Getting to see yarn. How did I not know about a handpainted Opal? (Did I know and block it for my own good?)

Kelly, who engaged in reciprocal blogging with me. (Can you do the sock shot with a sweater?)

Check this. Tisra, holding a tracing of her mate's feet. She says she's going to knit him socks.

Can't see it real well? Hold on. I'll trace it for you.


Some dizziness and nausea are normal. Knitters, I cannot stress this enough. Tisra is illustrating why it is imperative that you check the feet of a prospective mate before you develop any feeling for them. This poor knitter has a husband with size 14 feet. She's going to need twice as much yarn as anyone else, and way more liquor than is right. Poor thing. Let this be a lesson to you all. It's just as easy to love someone with small feet.

Hope over to Sandra D and see some reasonably sized socks that are entering retirement.

Jinjifore was introduced to me, rather compellingly, as "the fish blanket lady". That seems like an odd nickname, even for knitters, and we call people some odd stuff, so by way of explanation, the following image arrived in my inbox.


Yo. Individually knit and then sewn together tessellating fish. Boggles the mind, doesn't it? She spoke clearly too, which I found remarkable, considering that this project (just the sewing alone) must have melted her brain and had it run out her right ear.

I left thinking that it wasn't hard to tell that Ann and Kay had been there.


You can track them this way. They leave a trail of them in their wake.

The next morning I fueled up on coffee and the car and driver arrived for me. We had a 5 hour drive from Nashville to Lexington KY. I know it should have been shorter, but there was some sort of hold up on the highway, and we had a period of stalled progress.


Luckily for the sake of the blog, this indeterminately long break was spent in the fine company of some well-scented cattle, and I learned some stuff.


I learned that Kentucky has a castle.


I learned that it used to be true that farms raising Standard bred horses had black fences,


and farms raising Thoroughbreds had white fences. (But that's not true anymore). I learned that a thoroughbred sired through artificial insemination can't be registered as a thoroughbred and that stud horses only come in for the finish. A standard bred horse does all the foreplay. ( I thought that this was stunning. Imagine that. He doesn't even have to bring her hay or speak nicely to her.)

and I learned that the first horse race in Kentucky was right by my hotel. (It was at this point that I, being sharp as a tack) began to understand that Kentucky may be a little "horsey".

I went to the reception for the Bluegrass Book Festival Authors (I looked for Jane Fonda but she didn't turn up.) and turned in.
The next morning I was scheduled to sign books at a booth for two hours, then a break, then an hour from 3-4, then a talk til 4. No problem. I'd had some trouble at the reception that had made me nervous though. Standing around with real authors, I had the distinct impression that when I said I wrote "knitting humour" that they other authors might have wondered how well that was going for me. Their skepticism was catching, and by the next morning I was very nervous.
Once again, knitters came through, and by the end of my morning signing, one of the writers from the night before had popped by my booth to tell me that he had decided to put a knitter in his next novel...since knitters seemed to "drive all the book fair traffic".


There was Leah, in a brand new sweater. Kate who had a great sock.


Nancy and Katie, a blurry (sorry guys) mother-daughter team, showing off their matching socks.


On my lunch break, the lovely ladies of Team Thursday ( Debbie, Lindy, Dianne and Jane - shown here protecting fibre from the rain, we have our priorities) took me to lunch and told me about Dianne and Jane's impending yarnshop "Magpie Yarns". These ladies took such wonderful care of me all day. If I ever again have to depend on the kindness of strangers, let it be these women, and let it be in Lexington Kentucky. They have kindness and generosity down to an art.

On the way back, I spotted a protest. Intrigued, I followed up and talked with the gentlemen in question.


Turns out (the things Canadians are not up on just boggles the mind) that these are Vietnam Vets, protesting Jane Fonda's appearance at the book festival based on some of her actions during that war. They spoke to me very eloquently and respectfully about their point of view, and I was struck by how much this meant to them 33 years later.


Leaving them and walking back to the Lexington Center, I met this man, Don. Don is a famous local activist and Vietnam resister from way back, and he held the sock and represented the opposite point of view.
(Never let it be said that the sock is not politically neutral. For wool, it's remarkably bipartisan.)

Seeking the final piece of the puzzle, I made my way back to my booth, thinking that I would quickly sign a few books, and then head over to Jane Fonda's booth and round out the socks experience.
This was not to be, however...since my line looked like this.


A whack of knitters led by Beth generously offered to undertake the mission, and made off with the sock. Unfortunately, for reasons that we will never fully understand, as they approached Jane at full speed, digital cameras, socks and assorted knitting held high...Jane was whisked off by her security team. Coincidence? I don't think so.
They made do with the evidence of Jane Fonda left behind on her table.


I kept meeting knitters and socks...


and had the pleasure of finally putting a name to Stephanie B.'s face.

Turns out that she's as lovely as she is talented. Stephanie's a glass worker, and I've been the lucky recipient of some of her beautiful things, including....


A hand made glass wool-pig. (Mine, mine all mine.)


I gave a talk to another whack of knitters....

(which had the bonus effect of stunning the book organizers.) and went to coffee with some very nice knitters, including Zabet, one of the brains behind the Anti-craft, Janis and Brooke (who designed this and this)


Brooke demonstrated to the assembled throng that the gathering had a downright awesome knitting mojo going on, by finishing her baby sock with this much left of the green.


Extreme knitting, and a sign that all was well in the universe and that Brooke is definitely on somebody's good side.

I owe a special thanks to Janis, who helped me locate the best vegetarian take out in town for dinner. Much appreciated, and an extra thanks to Janis for standing by, holding my sandwich and tolerating the sock rituals while I photographed this.


It's several hundred young people from Lexington, gather together in Triangle Park as a part of the Night Commute for Invisible Children. It was a wonderful way to end it.

Anybody still here? 29 pictures and 20 links later I'm tired all over again and contemplating the bourbon balls graciously gifted to me. Tune in tomorrow when I actually take pictures of, my knitting. I have been knitting. Really.

Posted by Stephanie at May 2, 2006 12:50 PM