June 4, 2007

Mission Impossible

Clearly, in the last several days, I haven't been myself, as witnessed by the lack of blogging. It's been a lot like Mission Impossible to move at this pace over the last few days, and I suppose it was inevitable that with this much going on, something bad would have to happen.

1. After leaving at the fantastical hour of O-dark hundred hours on Wednesday, I suffered a tremendous shock in a Northampton pub when I finally succeeded in getting Jayme-the-wonder-publicist to knit a sock.

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She's doing fine (in no small part due to the fantastic Mind's Eye sock yarn she's enchanted with) but it really knocked me for a loop to see her sitting there, just knitting away. I never expected it to take mere months to bend her to my will. Now that I have her held tightly in my thrall - there are other things I will be sorting out. Like the flight at 0-dark hundred hours. (For any Storey Publishing people reading this blog, that's definitely not Jayme's beer. Definitely. That's my beer. For sure. I just like, put it by her.)

2. There were this many of us at Webs.

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That is not a normal view my friends, not any way you slice it. No way. Even I was flipped out, and I've got the strangest possible life and some experience with whacks of knitters in one spot. Dudes, it was a LOT of knitters, and the Webs people were dynamite. Absolutely incredible. They were on fire with the organization and the chairs and the everything, even bringing water to knitters on trays in the back warehouse while they waited and/or shopped. Kathy and Steve really demonstrated that they know how to treat an economic force for good.

I managed, in the whirl of knitters and yarn to pin down a couple of examples of the sort of people I'm meeting out there.
Here's Kait. Kait knit a washcloth for me that takes care of two states with one skein. This way is Vermont...

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and this way is New Hampshire...

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and she selected the colors green and white because "Vermont is green in summer and white in winter (generally) and Vermont is the Green Mountain State and New Hampshire is home to the White Mountains." See that? A washcloth with that much thought in it? Not a normal day at all. Not normal, and exactly freakin' cool. (Also not normal? A bunch of people let Kait and her mum move up the line because they were having car trouble and didn't want to drive in the dark. Very nice.)

Remember when I linked to the big knit glove?

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Amy borrowed a pick-up (since the thing won't fit in her little civic, and hauled the thing to Webs. I laughed and laughed and laughed.
(I admit, up until she popped out of nowhere with the thing a little piece of me thought it might be photoshopped.) Amy? Wonderfully weird.

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Monica brought her 1st sock.

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Robyn brought me baby Sean, all the way from Montreal. (He's so cute it gives you a little cramp.) Yes, he has a hockey bib on. That was one of the few normal things.

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Charlton was knitting some pretty big kilt hose of his own devising.

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Morgan and Alexandra are just as cute as little ladybugs.

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Karin signs her pattern (the Berthe Collar) in No Sheep for You, while I sign a book for her.
This?

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Perhaps we don't explain this. Some things just....are.

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Aimie proves that it isn't (as some had implied) too hard to knit MA into a washcloth.

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Jessica, the woman behind the buzz that is Ravelry.

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Caroline and Jennifer show off 1st sock mojo.

And Matti....

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Matti learned to spin that night, and this is her very first yarn.

Finally, my beloved Marcy,

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hostess with the mostess of one of the most interesting blogs out there. (If you don't read it, you're missing out. Marcy has a huge collection of knitting, spinning and fibre postcards and images, and she writes about them.)

Here is how many squares Webs collected,

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here is how many hats Webs collected,

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and here is SOME of the food that knitters donated.

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While I have come to expect the generosity of knitters, I do not think it's normal. At all. A whole lot of people are going to have a life a tiny bit easier because of knitters. May a thousand stars shine upon the lot of you.

3. This hotel drove me insane and frayed my last nerve.

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I swear that every single hallway looked exactly like this, and the place was a maze. I was 10 minutes late meeting someone in the lobby because I was wandering hopelessly around the place. These are hallways to nowhere.

4. From Webs I went to The Flying Fingers yarn shop in Tarrytown NY. (HA! You didn't know, did you! )

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Here's Denise and Elise in this totally charming shop (Home of the famous Yarn Bus) where the yarn is almost stacked to the ceiling all the way around. I had a lovely evening (and got some lovely yarn. I'll show you later.)

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It was really a fantastic evening, (not just because of the beer [which was excellent] or the yarn [ which was just excellent too]) but because it's been forever since I hung out with a small gathering of knitters and just talked and hung out. While I was talking, I happened to mention the Principles of Knitting, and how this book has become almost an urban legend. Tales are told of knitters who just come across one at a garage sale being flogged by someone who has no idea of it's value, or a knitter who owns one and is unaware that having it on a shelf is like having hundreds of dollars of yarn money in the bank. Meet Olive.

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While I was talking about that she got this crazy look on her face.
Yup. She's got one in her attic, and she had NO IDEA what it was worth. This event at Flying Fingers was small by design, and I want to thank Elise for being willing to do a little one that suited me just fine. It was weird to be normal, which probably means I should do it more often.

5. I went to BEA. BEA is pretty darned weird all by itself, and if you aren't freaked out when you get there, you are going to be seriously flipped when you leave. Lucky for me, I had been pretty shaken before I got there, so I just rolled with the weird. BEA is an industry tradeshow for publishing, and you can't go unless you are involved with it somehow. Authors, publishers, booksellers, librarians...you get it. You can't just walk in off the street. This makes it very difficult for your average Yarn Harlot to stack the place with knitters...but I managed. Here, in quick order and click 'em if you want em big, are the random knitters I found at BEA.

Knitter11Bea026Knitter10Bea0206Knitter9Bea0206

Knitter7Bea0206Knitter6Bea0206Knitter5Bea0206

Zabetknitsbea02056Knitter4Bea0206

Knitter3Bea0206Knitter2Be0205Knitter1Bea0206

We are everywhere.

6. The sock now has ONE DEGREE of separation from Stephen King, since that hand that is holding it shook the hand of the man himself at the Rock Bottom Remainders Concert. (Please know, with some sadness, that it is not me that is holding it, but a knitter who works for Storey Publishing. I feel better about this knowing that all she could manage to get out while she met the man was "I love you".)

Stephenkingdegree0206

While I have never been the same since The Shining, I will tell you that his last two books, Lisey's Story, and especiallly On Writing. have turned me into a serious, serious fan. One Degree. Sigh.

7. Dudes! It's Crazy Aunt Purl!

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She's there pimping her new book, and I have procured two copies of the advance reading copies. One for myself, and one for a lucky knitter who wins it in Claudia's MS ride give-away. Visit Claudia to make a donation and to get a chance to win some of the very good things.

8. I saw the Empire State Building with all these smiling faces of New York projected on it.

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It is so beautiful and weird that I can hardly tell you.

9. Debbie Macomber held my sock.

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10. Finally, I got to see something really weird. Really weird indeed.

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Ann and Kay in one place at the same time. Totally trippy. This last bit of weirdness (and the knowledge that I had to run really fast to catch a plane) was probably what put me over the edge. The knitters, the hallways, the yarn, the books, the signing, the other authors.....it was all too much and I finally lost whatever thread was holding my careful mission impossible together...and there has been a casualty.

Ann and Kay have provided me with a proof of life photo that demonstrates without a shadow of a doubt that my sock was alive and unmitered on Saturday after I lost it at BEA, but there is little that I can do.

Harlotsocknytjune3

Though that lovely sock was a valuable member of my operation, it knew when it joined my crack team of travelling knitwear that if any member of my team was ever caught or killed, I would have to disavow all knowledge of it.

Godspeed and good luck little sock.

Posted by Stephanie at June 4, 2007 10:45 AM