Yes, that's me and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot herself.
(I know, I know, you M-D readers knew Ann and Kay were swinging through Philadelphia and you thought that was my big news. Well, I spent most of last week in bed with stomach pains, and just managed to turn the corner on Friday afternoon. And never mind that one of the *BIG CONS* of my current living situation (languishing in the 'burbs -- LITB) is that getting downtown to various cool events (such as the Loop event, or the Franz Ferdinand show, or seeing the Neil Young movie on the big screen) are often such feats of logisitics, made more difficult with the incredible traffic and inadequate roads, unreliable public transportation, parking woes, etc. never mind babysitting, etc. So when the great convergence of both M-D and Yarn Harlot hit my area, I picked one.)
If you ever have the chance to attend a book-signing or reading with Stephanie, you won't be disappointed. She was, first of all, hilarious. Her talk was pretty fresh material, too, considering that I have read all three of her books (Knitting Rules arrived Friday morning). She talked mostly about her observations when nonknitters (she calls them Muggles) meet knitters. She talked about the Knitting Olympics, and what it is like to be interviewed by the non-knitting media. She is very self-deprecating and very unneccessarily so, since she was funny, entertaining, warm, and just what I expected her to be.
The community of knitters that came to hear her surprised the owners of the Doylestown Bookshop, I'm sure. Everyone was there, playing Name that Pattern, Identify that Yarn. "Is that the Lace Leaf Pullover? What yarn did you use?" Note that I am wearing my Sitcom Chic -- Steph complimented it! -- and Steph is wearing her Diamond Fantasy Shawl, which is, predictably, gorgeous. I have never seen so many hand-knitted socks in one place, nor have I seen so many socks being knit simultaneously. There was Laurie to my right, knitting with STR, and Amyto my left, who asked, "Are you making Conwys too?" Our Conwys made friends, and discussion ensued over the pros and cons and pooling and flashing in variegated yarns. I will say, for the record, I like my Conwys in Koigu, but I like hers in Lorna's Laces better.
I got my book signed ("Obsession is normal"), bought my MSF pin, and -- are you ready?-- Steph said she KNEW OUR BLOG! Now, I don't know if she was just being polite, and if she was, how nice...but a few weeks ago, I left a comment on her blog. It was a beautifully written post, and I just needed to, in that writerly way, acknowledge the quality and the music of that particular post. I always hesitate to leave a comment on the blogs that get a ton of comments -- why add to the barrage -- but I had to say something. She did e-mail me back a sincere thank you, and I have not deleted it. I know, I know, a Marcia Brady/Desi Arnaz Jr. moment. So perhaps she did check out our humble blog at some point...In either case, she responded graciously and kindly, saying she knew XRK, and enjoyed checking us out.
I hate to be so gushy about a very normal person, someone who, as she says, does laundry and cooks dinner, and writes knitting humor books. I mean, no offense, but it's not like she's Mick Jagger. But Steph's appeal is that she tells us our secrets, acknowledges that our thoughts, obsessions, guilt-relationships with stash, everything, is normal for knitters. Her self-deprecating way mirrors the way we often feel about our craft among the Muggles, and her essays capture how we truly feel about our craft, when among those who understand. I admire her, too, for being a writer. I admire anyone who writes, as that is my life's aspiration. (Did you think these lengthy posts were just an extension of my natural gift of gab?) And a good writer too. As well as a Mom, wife, knitter, spinner, and everything else, she has managed to combine knitting and writing into a career. Steph, it was a pleasure!
And if the day could not have gotten any better, there was actually a yarn shop NEXT DOOR to the bookstore, so a little more sock yarn made it into the sock drawer.
Sigh. Will have finished pics of Conwys to post, progress on Picovoli, and the beginning of the Simply Lovelies...
Love you guys and wish y'all could have been there.