April 14, 2008

Up, down, up, down

Sorry about the blog downtime there guys. I did The Yarnery event and then the Ann Arbor Event and a couple of things that the publisher makes me do are part of the job and then I went home for fourteen hours before leaving again, and as much as I wanted to, I just couldn't see spending even two minutes of my fourteen hours with Joe and the girls on the internet. The internet is everywhere all the time and my family is just in that one place. So I skipped it. We watched a movie. We had a great dinner. I took my clothes out of my suitcase, washed them and put them back in, then I slept for five hours and then got up at 5am and left again.

Now I'm at Sock Camp (where there actually is no internet in the rooms, so the blogging will likely happen at really odd hours as I write the entries when I have time, and post when I find signal. Please bear with me) which I will tell you about tomorrow. for now, back to The Yarnery.

The Yarnery is in Minnesota, so the weather was a surprise after Nashville, although I did feel oddly at home with the snow falling on me. I checked into the hotel (after having a coffee in the coffeeshop about Garrison Keillor's bookstore - which seemed to me to be a very Minnesota thing to do) had a brief "nap" (a loss of consciousness would describe it more fully.) Then went over to the event, which was being held in on the campus of a University. (You can imagine what they thought of us.)

That was when it started to get weird. Good weird, but very weird indeed. If you do nothing else today, please follow this link to see The Yarnery Family Singers. (Ok. I lied. The Yarnery doesn't have theirs up yet. Go see Shelley's in the meantime.) They were the first act, and they were so awesome that I considered not going on after them. There was no way to compete. My favourite is "Our Favourite Things". Listen. Love.

I did go on after them, mostly because The Yarnery people were smart enough to block the exits, and this is what I saw.




That's a lot of knitters, my friends. A lot of knitters. Enough knitters that when I stepped out there after the singing and the planes and the hotels and the everything that for one second, all I could think was "Wow. Who's life is this? How does this happen? How do you end up somewhere like this doing something like this and what am I doing? What is this?" Then I remembered that I don't have time for existential angst.

Knitters and little knitters to be? You bet.
This is Aileen and Lily


Kate and Veronica:


These guys aren't babies (clearly) but they are a whole family of knitters. All of them, Noah, Nathaniel, Mackenna, and their Mum Heidi.


Does it get any cuter than that? I don't think so.

Do all of you remember Shelly? She wanted to make a blanket out of leftover sock yarns? I asked you to bury her house in sock yarn (I'll never do that again. The woman scarcely survived with her sanity. You people know how to go to town) and last year when I visited she was working on it, and this year...


It's done, and what an incredible thing it is to. Shelley's got an info thing about it on her blog, since I know you'll have questions.

First Sock Brigade: Brett, Alyson (technically 1st slippers, but she just learned to knit) Courtney, Jennifer, Kathryn in Minnesota (who also brought a survival kit (whether that is a reaction to the tour or the recent trip into the woods, I just don't know) Melissa, Mara (those aren't first socks, they are stalking socks)



Emily knit a pair of Lenore's


(a sock I designed for the Blue Moon Sock Club, not for sale yet but will be)

I love it when I meet bloggers I've loved from afar forever. This is Cursing Mama.




That messed me up so much that I'm afraid I may have gushed. I hate it when I meet famous bloggers and act like an idiot. I was all "Hey Susan, that's so cool, you're getting your sister a book" and she said "This is my sister" and then I went all fangirl and acted like a moron. They were so graceful and lovely and I really wish I had that 4 minutes of my life to do over again. Sigh. Maybe I should start practising.
I later recovered from that with the help of Gwyneth.


Last but not least, Angie.


Angie was the singing/knitting/genius who wrote the lyrics to the great songs they did at the Yarnery, the songs that totally made my day. Mercy it was fun. The Yarnery throws a hell of a knitter party, let me tell you, and their organizational skills are fantastic. The whole thing was huge, wonderful and very nearly seamless...with the exception of one thing.


They forgot to book better weather, or maybe I brought it with me. In any case, everyone who came to the event had to slog their and back through this, and especially on the way home, it was pretty challenging driving. Slippery as all get out. I sat there, MInnesota event behind me and looked at the weather and thought...

Who doesn't want me to go to Ann Arbor... and Why? I have more trouble getting there than anywhere else, and when I saw that snow, knowing i had a flight early the next morning, all I could think was that if the weather didn't clear up I was going to rent a car and start driving, because there was no chance that Ann Arbor was getting screwed two years in a row. No way. I went to sleep (briefly) with my fingers crossed, and I guess it worked, because in the morning my plane flew out in between waves of bad weather, and a had the bumpiest flight of my life into Detroit where I made my way forward to Ann Arbor, where I attempted to take sock pictures in a Tornado warning. These were taken in rapid succession while the lovely lady Presbytera of the comments tried to cram as much in as she could.


There was no snow.


There was an M in the "diag" at the University.


Apparently if you step on it you'll fail your first exam. I don't know what that could do to a book tour, so I steered clear. She showed me this big cube thing, and if you push it it spins around. See?


See too how it got darker? From there the weather went seriously downhill, but the knitters came anyway.



Plus the knitters in the "overflow room".


(I know. Seriously weird.)

First sock brigade of Ann Arbor, reporting for duty. Rita, Alice, Liz, Hadley/Emily/Rebecca, Samantha, Amy, Kate, Cesarina, Valerie (it was her birthday too.) Robin (who also gave me a great hand massage) Erin (those are her first split toe socks)




Harriet knit me a tiny little mitten that fits on the end of my Sharpie.


I find it so charming I can't even tell you.
Look! It's my buddy Abby!


Abby is absolutely the most infectious fibre person I've ever met. Want proof? This nice lady, Melissa, happened to have the good fortune to be sitting next to Abby in the audience. A little time with Abby?


She's a spinner now. Abby makes them everywhere she goes.

Here, right in front of you is Juliet and Connie, who together have been LLL Leaders (like I used to be) for 39 years.


Kat's tat.


Joe knit his own kilt hose and sweater.


Nikki made me a washcloth, and Amanda made me two.


Karin is a lovely 10 year old knitter.


and Kaarina has only been knitting for two weeks, but somehow got herself wrapped up in this.


Here's Carolyn and Spencer, who is so far, the only baby on tour who wouldn't smile for me.


I totally get it though. They were the last people in line, and Spencer - little dude, I get it.

Finally, those of you who've been reading for a while will notice that someone who is always the heart and soul of the Ann Arbor events (Next to the lovely people at the Ann Arbor public Library, who led by Tim, do an honour to librarians everywhere) Our Lady Rams of the Comments couldn't be with us for this event, since she had a sad bit of business to attend to. We missed you Rams. Presbytera did her best to fill in for you, and was stellar in her own right, but as she had to admit on her name tag, she was:


We missed you.

More tomorrow. The knitters are beginning to arrive by car, bus boat and sea plane at sock camp.

Posted by Stephanie at April 14, 2008 2:32 PM