April 29, 2005
The Harlot Takes Manhattan!
[I want to say that I have purposely NOT read any of the other accounts out there (of which I'm sure I'll spend the whole day reading) so as to give my own gospel. But make sure you read all the others! And they will have pictures. I didn't drag out the camera - sorry!]
I'll start with this: There was wine. There were traveling hors d'oeuovres. There was a GIFT BAG people!
It was, by all accounts, I'm sure, totally nuts.
Jen and I met in Hoboken to travel into the big city. Midtown was crazy - haven't been there at 5PM in ages (and I'm not going back anytime soon.) Although I have to admit that it was a sight seeing that group of Hasidic Jews outside the Empire State Building mingling with a befeathered and berobed group of indeterminate origin getting out of a van. Only in New York.
We got to Lord & Taylor - and you know - I never read the invite on Stephanie's blog - just sent in my plea to be included - so I had no idea where we were supposed to go. But we were early so we hit the bra floor (no such luck for either of us!) and then we headed up to the 11th Floor. Which isn't listed anywhere. It's like the magic floor.
When we got there - there was already a line and who do you think was at the head? Lovely Cassie, of course! I went over and said my hellos and chit chat as the line grew and grew and grew. Juno soon arrived as well and The Harlot sailed past the line with her handlers. "She's here, she's here," traveled down the pack in hushed whispers.
Soon after, a woman came out and told us they were going to let us in now. We should make ourselves comfortable and be sure to check our bags and stuff - it's pretty tight in there. I looked at her, a wry smile on my face, and said, "No one is checking their bags. That's where the knitting is." The poor non-knitter looked at me askance. "No one," I said, "is going in without their knitting." Poor girl. Just trying to do her job.
So we started to move in and they crossed our names off the list one by one and no one checked anything from what I could tell and there were two seats left at a table WAY UP FRONT with Cassie and Juno and Tree (hope I'm spelling that right) and another woman who I'm so sorry I don't remember your name. It was a wonderful group. Immediately Cassie pulled out her shawl and her new cable wonder (which let me tell you - everyone should consider knitting a yarn on a much lower needle size than recommended - what she's doing with Peruvian Highland Chunky is just amazing - completely different yarn - so much better!) Juno had her cable masterpiece as well in Rowan Highland and I pulled out my measly Short-Rows sleeve which I cast on for just the occasion.
The room started filling up and there was much jumping up from seats and hugs and look at that's and what yarn is that and touching and just amazingness. I've never been to anything like it. The commaraderie was palpable in a room where most of us were strangers.
The wine was served and the hors d'oeuvres and then it was All Harlot! She was EXACTLY like you'd think she would be - funny and shy and self-deprecating and spot-on truthful and nervous and smart and it was like reading her blog in the flesh - if you know what I mean. We had a knitting demonstration by her (WOW - who knew you could knit with a needle stuck under your armpit! And how fast!) There was lots of picture taking. Questions about Hank and the Guernsey and shopping. I think she said arse twice, but Cassie's got the official number on that.
All the while Stephanie was doing her thing, pretty much everyone was knitting. I told Georgie this, and ever sensitive to rudeness, he was horrified. "While she was speaking?" he said. "Of course." "That's horrible." "Everyone was doing it. Even she was knitting." He didn't get it. It was fantastic! (Of course I ended up knitting then frogging six rows, but what the hell. I was there. I had knitting!)
If you told me six months ago that I would be sitting in a room atop Lord & Taylor surrounded by knitters, knitting, listening to knit blogger extraordinaire read from her book, I'd've laughed my ass off. I'm not laughing anymore. (Well I am, but for totally different reasons!)
One thing I was shocked at was the LACK of bloggers. Someone asked Stephanie a question about blogging and if there were lots of other bloggers and she told everyone with a blog to raise their hands. Now my back was to the room, but it only seemed like a quarter of us had blogs - maybe even less. I thought we'd all be bloggers. Go figure. (There are people out there that knit and DON'T have blogs? ;-) ) [ETA: Maybe I'm wrong on this. As I mentioned, Cassie snagged a table right up front so my back was to the room. Other accounts say half the room was filled with bloggers - they're probably more reliable.]
At the end they gave out gift bags from Lion Brand - yes, people - there was swag! Now before you start thinking that there was fun fur and stuff like that it was actually a GENIUS idea. There was, of course, a signed copy of the book - WAY COOL - and even better a big skein of Wool Chunky with patterns and a pamphlet for the Dulaan Project. Couldn't have been done better in my opinion. Just wonderful.
Highlights of the evening include - introducing myself to Stephanie and asking her to sign my book and SHE SEEMED TO KNOW WHO I WAS!!! Really. I mean, it may have been in that polite sure I read your blog kind of thing, but I don't think so. She really seemed to know me which made me feel like I had ARRIVED in blogland. I mean, if the celebrities know you - c'mon! That's something!
Every other highlight involves people: I finally met Enchanting Juno - whose blog name could NOT be more perfect - a stunning woman. Truly - it was great to meet you! And I finally met up with Cassie again. And I met Kay together with Phyllis - we talked family dynamics and religion - what could be more fun! I met Cari, who was so kind about my photographs, along with Valentina, who asked about the show thanks to Colleen talking me up and Mindy and so many others who I can't remember! Please forgive me. I can see all of your faces! Really I can. I hope we meet again! And it was so great to be out and about with Jen - my first real knitty friend! Hey Jen - I was knitting, even if you weren't! That counts right?
Thank you Lord & Taylor, thank you Lion Brand, thank you Craft Yarn Council - and of course! Thank you Stephanie for giving us an excuse to celebrate knitting and well, just celebrate.
If I screwed up your name or link - please let me know in the comments! I apologize!
Paying it forward.I want to pay forward the generosity I received last night. I had already purchased a copy of Stephanie's book - way before I knew she was coming. She signed my copy last night. Which means I have the free, signed copy they gave out in the gift bag. I'd like to give that away to a reader who won't have the chance to see Stephanie in person. Please leave me a comment and tell me where you are and why you won't be able to see her. I'll randomly pick a name - you've got the weekend to try for it. People outside the US are indeed welcome.
Baby's Got Back!I was so excited when I got home last night I finished this:
There is some subtle shaping at the waist - so it's not as wonky as it looks. I am VERY happy with it. The front should be a breeze. I've calculated that I knit this sweater three times over already - since I've redone the short rows sections about three time each (I'm really not kidding here.) So assuming I can get through the front with a minimal of re-knits - should be cake.
Of course, I'm trying not to think too hard about this:
Cause that might make me cry. (I just flip it over and I'm happy again!) The duplicate stitch is working fabulously:
As I said, I cast on for a sleeve last night. Should go pretty quick - well, not that quick so I can weave in the ends on the back before I start the front. I'm going to be diligent - weave in a few every day - I swear.
Have a great day!
What a fab night out, listening to the Yarn Harlot and knitting, am very jealous as I live in France, so no chance of getting to see her here!Your short row sweater looks great.
Posted by: yvette at April 29, 2005 10:44 AM
It was great to meet you last night! See you next Friday, yes?
(PS: It works fine on Netscape. Seems to be a Safari issue)
Posted by: cari at April 29, 2005 10:47 AM
This is Cari. Not the Cari you met last night. But the Cari who lives in Iowa. Also known as the abyss of the knitting world. (There are SHEEP right here in our state...why so few LYSs?) :) Anyway, I also have a copy of the Harlot's book, but sadly it is destined not to be signed (again - the whole living in the abyss thing). I love your idea of paying the generosity forward, so I am shamelessly posting a comment to throw my hat in the ring. I've already done a Dulaan project hat, but whether I get the signed copy of the book or not, I'm inspired to do another one because of your 'paying forward' give away. Happy knitting.
Posted by: Cari at April 29, 2005 11:23 AM
Thats so cool - getting to knit with way awesome bloggers while listening to the Harlot! Love the way short rows is shaping up, all those ends would scare the begeebus out of me, but I'm sure you'll deal with them masterfully.
Posted by: CursingMama at April 29, 2005 11:26 AM
I won't get to see her. :( The closest she is/was is Columbus, OH earlier this week (I'm in Cincinnati, OH--about 2 hours away), but it was during the day, so that 8-5 workday thing got in the way.
I do already have a copy of the book, but if I were to win the signed copy, I'd then pass my unsigned copy on to someone else who doesn't have the book yet.
Posted by: Natalie at April 29, 2005 11:35 AM
I'm as envious of your meeting so many bloggers as I am of you seeing the Harlot!
Posted by: margene at April 29, 2005 11:47 AM
Aw, I won't get to see her! She's actually coming to Boston tonight, but I can't go tonight either. (Stupid law school.) And, sadly, she'll be with everyone else at Maryland while I will be dolefully studying for my Contracts final. Joy.
It sounds wonderful, though, and I'm glad you had such a fun time. I love the way Short Rows is shaping up - the colors look fab!
Posted by: Anne at April 29, 2005 11:53 AM
Posted by: Judy at April 29, 2005 11:53 AM
I was so happy to meet you finally.
And so impressed with the way the contruction on the short rows has gone from 0 to 100 in what - a couple of weeks?
Looks great and making you a better knitter - what more could any of us ask? The bit on the back where you've already sewn in the ends look amazing.
And thank you for bringing the Teva Durham book. I mean - wow. What amazing designs.
Posted by: Juno at April 29, 2005 11:55 AM
Hi Cara! So glad you had a nice time in NYC--I can't wait to meet Harlot at the festival.
Your short rows pullover looks amazing! Way to go, C :)
Only 8 days!!!!!!
Posted by: Lolly at April 29, 2005 12:48 PM
So glad you had such a fabulous time! ; )
Posted by: Vicki at April 29, 2005 12:55 PM
You are so freakin' lucky. Yarn Harlot isn't coming to my area, so I have no chance to get a signed copy of her book. Thus, I am joining the bandwagon and putting my name into your hat.
I'm in Northern Indiana, and the nearest Stephanie will be to me is Kalamazoo, Michigan. *sigh*
Posted by: Madalyn at April 29, 2005 12:59 PM
Also, measly my ass.
Posted by: Juno at April 29, 2005 01:28 PM
i was there too! did i see you? did you see me? lol... i loved how new york it was! the wine, the majority male servers, the goody bags. we definitely need more of those here!
Posted by: joy at April 29, 2005 03:12 PM
I will not be able to attend any of the events because none are being held in my area. A signed copy of the book would be cool though, and I have heard many great things about it.
Posted by: Anita at April 29, 2005 03:14 PM
Sounds like you had a good time. Blogging is still a relatively new idea, so I'm not surprised. But I know the most fun is meeting other knitbloggers!
Posted by: MJ at April 29, 2005 03:51 PM
Hi, found your blog from Marmalade - and i looked in the archives but didn't see the answer - where is that short row pattern from? it's really gorgeous, and yours is turning out lovely!! I'm going to see the harlot in seattle this summer, but it's great fun to read all the reviews today of last night's fun!!
Posted by: gaile at April 29, 2005 03:51 PM
P.S.: Found a picture of you on Jen's blog! It was really sweet of you and the others to knit the afghan for her...
Posted by: MJ at April 29, 2005 03:55 PM
Cara, I'm so excited to see your Short Row in progress, because that's one I'm wanting to make and have the yarn for ~ so thanks for showing me the way. Yours looks really great. Sure am jealous of the Harlot event last night, but I'll hope to catch her ~ and maybe you ~ in Maryland.
Posted by: maggi at April 29, 2005 04:44 PM
first up - short rows looks amazing! I can't wait to see it done now that you are powering through it. I would love your spare copy of Stenphanie's book, I am not aware of any plans to tour Australia with it so, um, not likely to see her in person :-(.
Posted by: Jo at April 29, 2005 05:13 PM
Dearest, most darling Cara,
I would like to announce my entry into the quest for the extra signed copy of Harlot's book.
There are many, many reasons why you should pick me. First and foremost is that I live on Long Island. This, as you know, is within spitting distance of Manhatten. Imagine my agony at not being able to attend!
Why was I not able to attend? Somehow I missed the skywriting that said there would be a Harlot in the City. Then when I did get wise, I had child care issues. As you probably know, my daughters are not little -- they could certainly take care of themselves for an evening. However they were having a party last night. (they have been home all week on break -- that's a good enough reason right there!). Anyway, my house was filled with high school aged girls. My husband keeps a keg of beer in the house.
I could not leave. ~sob!~
even though I tried to tell myself, so what? they wouldn't be the world's first drunk teenagers ..... I couldn't do it.
so close and yet so far.....
and if I do win, I would like you to sign it as well, personalize it ---- if you pick me, you will get to personalize Harlot's book!
Posted by: ann at April 29, 2005 05:21 PM
your account was great - the only thing missing is the pictures! (I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I'm kidding!!! :) ) I'm hoping to see the Harlot at some point in May, so please don't include me in the drawing. (I just need to figure out which spot is closest and if I can get there from here! She's going to the three states around me....)
Posted by: Kristen at April 29, 2005 05:53 PM
ooh, i'm so glad you had fun! thanks for the post, i felt like i was a part of it all. :-) and i'm glad you met valentina, and cari, and mindy...they are cool peeps. i'm with ann -- i'm entering your drawing for the book (we had one of the husband's best friends come to visit from LA), and if i win, i'd like you to sign it. :)
hey -- i think we really might get to the festival!!!
Posted by: mrspilkington at April 29, 2005 07:18 PM
Hi, I would love to be entered in your drawing for the book. I live way up north in a small town so we I definately won't be getting to see yarn harlot. In fact she isn't even coming anywhere near my state!! Thank you so much!!!
Posted by: Lor at April 29, 2005 08:35 PM
wow, what fun. your rows looks fab!
Posted by: froggy at April 30, 2005 03:50 AM
Cara, your way of telling the story was awesome! Now, my account of the Vermont portion of the tour will most likely be night to your day or day to your night -- or something! I guess I should just say "Vermont to your New York City." That would pretty much capture it, I guess.
Posted by: Norma at April 30, 2005 10:40 AM
Cara, thank you SO much for insisting I come out - Harlot was *awesome* (and she liked my shirt!), the gift bags were great, running unexpectedly into knitty friends was fun, and making new friends very exciting...but I have to say it was such a huge pleasure just hanging out with you again. It's been too long. MD S&W will be fantastic. :) - Jen
Posted by: Jen at April 30, 2005 06:40 PM
Hey! It was great to meet you too - an excellent account of the evening, much better than my lazy-ass copout.
Yeah, I think I was expecting EVERYONE there to be a knitblogger. Or most of them.
I'm just stunned by those short rows - that's pretty goddamn amazing. Hope to see you Friday!
Posted by: mindy at May 1, 2005 09:53 AM
I am in MN and although I would love for her to come here, the nearest she will be to me is MI, no way. If I win I will pass along my unsigned copy to another knitter.
Posted by: Susan at May 1, 2005 05:04 PM
Did you already give away your extra copy of the book? I missed The Harlot by an hour! I was planning to go to her appearance at Circles in Jamaica Plain, MA, but I had to spend last week in Texas traveling for work. Despite my most persistent pleading with the travel agent, I couldn't get on any other flight that would get me back to Boston in time to see her. Now I'm trying to vicariously experience the event through other bloggers' accounts of her in-store appearances.
Even if you give the book to someone else, I think it's great that you're giving it away. More proof that knitters are some of the nicest people ever :)
Posted by: parikha at May 1, 2005 06:54 PM