I swear that I had meant to post about the Portland event the day after I did it, as I made my way home, but something happened the minute I did the last event... as the relief that the whole tour was done and the realization and that I was going to get to go home came over me, and I crashed. I was a zombie in the airport, and I tried to do it on my layover, but all I could do was sit there, trying to stay awake. It was like I suddenly had permission to be tired, and all I've done since then was sleep and rest, which has been amazing because (deep breath) I leave again in the morning to do the Colour Retreat up at Port Ludlow, which will be a heap of fun, but really turns coming home into a quick three day stop at home just to unpack from the tour, do laundry, and repack to be right back on a plane to the Pacific Northwest and yes - I do know that it would have been easier to just stay, but today is Joe's birthday, and I really wanted to be home for that. In any case, here I am, and here is the Portland report.
(Apologies for anything I get wrong, by the way. I've discovered today that one of the problems with doing the reports a few days later is that I have trouble deciphering my notes. I scrawled something about a flub, for example, and it was only a minute ago that I realized I meant flute. The pictures help. Flute you ask? Yup. You'll see it when it goes by.)
Behold! The knitters of Portland!
Look! It's Judy Becker, and she brought me a copy of her book , which is amazing. You'll love it.
I didn't take her picture, but Laurel Coombs brought me her books too - booklets with socks Inspired by the Lord of the Rings. (Number one and two) Very geeky, and very nice.
I got to see some nice future knitters and their knitter mama's, like Katie and Ellie,
and Jane and Gus,
Rochelle and Christine
(There is nothing I like more than babies in woollies.)
and a whole family of knitters, three generations of them. This is Debbie, Bonnie, Shega, Christina and Renae - all knitters.
(I don't even want to think about what the competition for stash is like around their place.)
Libby brought Gertie (9) and Ira (7)
Both fine knitters. This is Timothy, Laurie and thier family,
the lot of them showing up to show off all that Auntie Amanda has made for them. (Say it with me.... Awww.)
Eileen, let me tell you about her. This is her blanket, but really, this blanket is much bigger than it looks,
because she had to knit a big chunk of it twice after a the first swing at it was stolen out of her car. (I know. I have a lot of respect for anyone who starts the same thing again after that. I'd have been two demoralized by the loss. The only thing you can hope for is that it was stolen by some poor desperate knitter out of yarn. That would be a comfort, but since they took everything else out of her car too I don't think that was it.)
This is Katie, and she played us "Mary had a little Lamb"
It was a perfect choice. (And she knits.)
It was close to Hallowe'en, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised to find the very crafty Margo masquerading as the very crafty Molly Weasley...
and yes, she did make her top, and also? She dyed her hair to make it perfect- which is it.
Jae got a present for Roxanne.
And Karen showed off her first pattern, The Bridges of Marion County.
Then there was the predictable parade of first socks, which also predictably, got unpredictable. Fox showed off her pair - which are only sort of a pair in her mind, but she had a tiny cute sock, so who cares.
Lisa brought her first socks, and Kevin showed off his first hat - which is also the only knitted thing he's ever produced.
Jen had first socks,
and so did Laura and Barry.
This is Marta's sock, which isn't her first sock. She was just showing off, which I think is wise, considering how nice that bad boy is.
and this is Caitlin, who didn't have her first socks, but brought these to be their spiritual stand in.
Denise knit these socks for her husband Marion - and heck yeah, that's a lot of knitting.
Laia, perhaps inspired by the tiny chicken the other day, had no first socks but brought a knitted Kiwi instead. (I know. What can I say? There's a small knitted bird thing developing that I can't really explain.)
and Laurie brought her first sock, which is not at all the size that she wanted it to be...
and Karen brought a first sock that remarkably, came out exactly the size she wanted. (I think she said it was a Christmas stocking. Man, I hope that's what it is.)
and with that... it was done, except for one great moment that I loved. The knitters were clearing out, and Tina noticed a piece of paper on the floor. She dashed over and picked it up, and sure enough it was a chart and pattern. Worried some knitter was going to be desperate when they discovered it gone, she asked around, and then went to the info desk and asked if they could make an announcement - because this knitter really was going to want this. They agreed, and we all had a smashing moment, when over the store loudspeaker system we heard:
Would the knitter who was knitting gnomes, please report to the red info desk. WE HAVE YOUR PATTERN.
Couldn't have been a better way to end the tour. Worth it just for the looks on the faces of the regular customers. (The knitter did come back, by the way. It's a happy ending.)
So that's it. One book tour under my belt, many knitters met, many books signed and talks given, and I want to really thank everyone who came out, and every one who bought a book or showed me support in anyway at all. The kindness of knitters made the whole thing a remarkable event in my life - and the coffee and chocolate some of you brought made it possible. I'm deeply in your debt. Even if your contribution was reading the blog and hanging in with me, I thank you. It made it less lonely in my hotel rooms to have you guys with me, in a virtual sort of way.
(PS. Thank you extra actually, because as of a few days ago, this book was on the New York Times bestseller list, and it's all because of the power of knitters.)
(PPS. My sister won the furnace wars this year. Joe wimped out on account of "the cat looked cold" and I wasn't here to stand between him and the thermostat. Victory belongs to Erin this year. Next year, game on. )