April 3, 2008

New York, New York

The morning after the launch (I am still reeling over how fun that was) I got up early, ate a Montreal bagel and some squeaky cheese (transported here by the lovely Barbie) and went with Jayme-the-wonder-publicist to the airport, where we talked about how she was coming to understand that knitters were everywhere and how incredible that is, and she kept talking about the flickr pictures (which are incredible and way, way beyond my wildest dreams - I mean, have you seen them? Ms. Atwood holding a sock for all knitters in support of a Canadian Author? The woman's got class, and not just because she's a famous author, but because she's equally respected for her valuable mentorship of up and coming writers. It's profoundly decent that she bothered with me and I'm so absolutely remarkably, surprised in the best way possible that I can hardly talk about it. I've started a thank you note to her 26 times, and have deleted them all when they either make me sound like a moron or a sycophant or a moronic sycophant. In the end, I may just go with "thank you", and hope that she understands.) ...in any case, Jayme and I were talking about how knitters are everywhere, just everywhere, and I looked up and ...

Glennandiairpor0304

Glenna! Another knitter, found in the airport. We sat down to chat and knit (she'd been at the launch the night before) and while we were chatting, Jayme took our picture. We're laughing because yet another knitter was walking by. (We are everywhere.) As a quick aside, Glenna just finished her thesis, and that sweater, and she said that she wasn't sure which one she was more delighted to have finished. It is a really nice sweater.

Glenna got on one plane, we got on another, and soon we were in a cab headed for a lunch meeting in New York where I found something remarkable.

Nycspringtrue0304

It's spring! (Hold on Eastern Canada. If it's here, it has to be coming our way soon.) There isn't a single pile of snow here, not one. Not in a corner, not in a shady alley...none, and I looked. There are blooming trees, and tulips and I even saw some trees that had leaves. Actual leaves. I just about walked into the trunk of one of them I was so stunned with the verdant glory of it. Just imagine, tiny, perfect, fresh leaves. It's glorious. That would have been enough for me. It really would. I could have gotten back on a plane right that minute and gone home and carried spring in my hopefully little heart, but my day got better. I had lunch at my favourite restaurant (HanGawi. I love that place. Ms Too Much Wool took me there after my first book conference in NYC, when I was somewhat emptied by the joyless soul-suck that is the Javits Center. She promised me that it was the spiritual opposite of a conference centre, and she's right. I try to eat there every time I go. You get to take your shoes off at the door, which is totally another reason to go if you happen to be the sort of person who, like me...is likely wearing great socks.) and then I went to the bookstore and then I saw this:

Nycknitright0304

Nycknitleft0304

Knitters of NYC, in all their quirky glory. (My apologies to the knitters on the far left and in the centre I didn't quite get you into the picture and didn't realize it because I was busy freaking the frak out and trying to look like that's not what was happening.) The talk went well (I think, it's hard to tell from my position) and after the sweaty podium part, I got to do the part I like better, which is just talking to knitters individually, which isn't really all that scary.

Remember Kimberly? First class stalker, finally remembered to bring her much promised and much maligned first sock. (It is a little questionable.)

Kimberlystalksme0304

Bakerina came, but ...didn't bake. (What was in the bag was really good though.)

Bakerinadidn't0304-1

This is Holly, with the third thing she has ever knit, which clearly means that she is destine for a greatness that should both frighten and inspire us all.

Hollysthirdthing0304-1

That goes for Melanie, who's holding her first sock, which is a perfectly executed monkey sock.

Melanie's1Sts0304-1

Jenn with her knitting tattoo.

Jensknittat0304-1

and this is Liz, being a book sherpa for her mum Maggie, who was on the phone and was very nice. (I got to talk to her.)

Lizmaggie0304-1

When it was over, I showed the sock Times Square at night,

Sokcintimessqure0304-1

a sight that I think every brand new Canadian travelling sock should see at least once, and went back to the hotel where I immediately lost consciousness I was so tired. Crazy tired. All these knitters can tucker a girl out. The next morning I had a meeting at Workman Publishing, which was fine, because everyone there is nice, but still made me want to hide in a closet because of how badly unsettled I am by meetings with big tables, many people and men who wear ties. (It is good that I have chosen the career I have, since most of the time I just have to see the cat.)

I regained my equilibrium two ways. First, Peter Workman (inspired by what aspect of my nature, I cannot guess) gave me a copy of the book Stuntology, which promises to teach me how to open a beer with my eye socket, a skill that I feel will vastly improve my book tour... and secondly, while he was talking, I slipped him a little sock action.

Peterwsock0304-1

I am not even sure he noticed, which is extremely satisfying. I just sort of put it in his hand and took the picture before he really knew what was going on, which is seriously in the spirit of the game. Very good.

From there, I went to the Newark airport, then flew to Denver, making for a great deal of knitting time. I finished the Sock Ease socks on the way, and as a little bonus, I left the remaining half a skein of yarn in the seat pocket. I hope a knitter finds it. All that remains to be done is to kitchener the toe,

Lbsedonealmost0304

but alas, I have packed like a moron and can't find a darning needle. I'm going to try and borrow one from a knitter at the Tattered Cover tonight. (Note that you can email the Tattered Cover and ask for a signed copy, should you want one, and live too far from anywhere I'll be.) When I finished those, I cast on for the first of two pairs I want to knit over the next little bit, and I'm really loving the combination of pattern and yarn.

Egplantrivendell0304

This is Janel's beautiful Rivendell sock pattern and a fantastic new-to-me fingering sock yarn from Dyed in the Wool Handmade, (Happy Birthday Maggie) in a colourway called "I am the eggplant", which makes me laugh every time I think of it. Which is lot. Eggplant. Snort.

Finally, now that I'm in Denver (where I totally have to go wash my hair and put on clothes to do this thing) I keep seeing signs like this

Tornadoshelterseriously0304

It says "tornado shelter". Denver? Is there something you'd like to tell me?

Posted by Stephanie at April 3, 2008 1:50 PM