September 8, 2008

The more things stay the same

Sorry for the delay in getting this report of events up.. .I was sorting through it yesterday morning, when suddenly I got a hold of myself and realized that I was spending my last day in London (and my only really "free" day blogging. I immediately snapped my laptop shut and left the hotel room. I love you guys... but there's just no way you win in an arm wrestle with London. Now I'm getting Saturday up today (waiting to go to the airport) and I'll write up yesterday while I'm in the airport waiting for my flight, and then I'll be caught up in real time. (Ditching the blog yesterday was totally worth it.)

For all of my astonishment over the last few days, as I stagger through London working and looking (and trying to get out of working so I can look) gasping with stupefaction at how different everything is...Saturday I discovered what exactly is the same here. The same as it has been everywhere so far... The Knitters.
I was really freaked out Saturday, pacing around in a little curtained room off to the side, listening to the room fill and generally figuring what I had to change in my life to make sure this never happened again - that's a plan I always make, right before I walk on stage... and this time I think I was totally extra flipped out because people had paid to see me, and somehow even though they hadn't paid me- that was making me feel an extra burden of responsibility to them and to Gerard and Craig and the publisher -everybody who did have a stake in it, and the whole thing was making me feel ill. I was just about at the peak of my breakdown, when out of nowhere - in bounds a fast moving beautiful woman with an Irish accent, the smilingest eyes I've ever seen (I mean it. I dare you not to think that all is contained in her is happiness, adventure and intellect the minute that you look into them) and she scoops me up in this big hug. (Two - actually - I've got one to give to Rachel H.) ...

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and she's Celtic Memory Jo (which I should have suspected, having seen her on her blog, and enjoyed a peripheral, albeit vague cross continent relationship, but memory always fails me while I'm scared.) who has simply (and thankfully) muscled her way backstage saying "Oh, they'd have trouble keeping me out"... and somehow, that just broke the ice on the thing. Once I saw her and understood that really, the audience was just more Jo - and knitters like Jo, knitters that I really already knew on some level... I reverted to my normal (reasonably manageable level of abject horror, and decided to go out there. It was a moment that I'll owe Jo thanks for as long as I live - and likely Rachel too.. since I suspect that she's the one that harnessed that. Behold. (Some of - because there are way, way more than this...by a lot.) The knitters of the London (and The rest of Engand, and Belgium, and Ireland, and Scotland, and France, and Germany, and The Netherlands, and Italy.. and ... well. They were from all over.)

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Other than a microphone incident (which scared the snot out of me in a tremendous feedback thing - heck of a start really) it was great. I did what I do, which was fine, and they knitters did what they do... which was spectacular. There were some babies, and you know how I like me the babies, this is Ella and her Seth, and Jennie and Marianne (Click to embiggen small knitters) and a very enthusiastic young knitter.. Catriona, 10 years old.

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There was the First Sock Brigade: Charlie (who is making a baby to go in those socks) Saira, Sarah, Helen, Bec, Erin, Suzi, Sarah, Mandie, Lynn (double qualifying with both a first toe up and a first top down), Gabrielle, Kayla, and Jenny.

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I met Jenny, who brought a photo of her knitting daughter who couldn't come

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That's Jenny, showing off her first sock (and first baby Theo).

Jane turned up bearing socks made of yarn she won in one of the KWB draws...

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Speaking of KWB, Natalie from the Yarn Yard turned up..

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you should pop over to her site and see what she was up to on behalf of MSF UK. (Aug 20 entry). She's a nice lady, I tell you that. Jeni from Fyberspates had one long sock....

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The other leg was bare.

There were knitters bearing washcloths. (I don't care what some people have to say about the washcloth. I believe it can be a vehicle for the highest form of art.) This is Liz and Ann, Michelle, Diane, Claudia, Alex and Sophia,

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and Alex also had a little knitted Dalek.

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(What? It's London. There practically HAD to be one.)
Anna double qualified with a pair of first socks - and a washcloth.

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She was also wearing a Hey Teach, and hers had buttons and everything.
This is Kat (sorry, she's less blurry in real life) and I laughed because after about 30 minutes at iknit day, she'd resorted to pinning a note to herself to head off inquires.

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It reads "YES. It's Kauni"

This is David and Alison, and David was one of the best sports ever.

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That day was his 37th birthday, and Alison, overwhelmed with the thrill of Iknit day, had bought her tickets really fast, without thinking about the date at all - and David, who happens to be a non-knitter, found himself celebrating his birthday amongst knitters and a lot of yarn.

Finally,

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The Dutch Knitters, a force to be reckoned with... all three wearing the finest examples of lace and littering iknit day with Stroop Wafels (which happen to be very yummy.) There was a ton more to this day, not the least of which was what looked like awesome workshops and shopping - and I have regrets that I missed that. I had interviews right up until it was time for me to talk, and then I talked, and then I signed until all the yarn was packed up and put away, so I missed all the shopping, and didn't get to meet the fabulous Sasha Kagan or Jane Sowerby, or Erika Knight... but such are the perils of tours, and really, it was a ton of fun to see what other people were buying and admire their scores and imagine what was there to be had - and if I had to choose between meeting knitters and shopping for yarn....
I'll take the knitters.

Posted by Stephanie at September 8, 2008 6:47 AM