I met the Yarn Harlot. And she knew who I was. Or at least she knew who The Unique Sheep was, and I say that counts. If you have a chance to meet Stephanie and to attend one of her talks/booksignings, by all means GO. Her tour schedule is posted here. Charlotte was a smaller crowd than most, I don't think the Borders (or whoever was responsible) did a very good job of promoting the event, but we still had 150-200 people show up. My friend, Alli, and I were among the first 50 to show up, so we got special orange wrist bands and got to be in the first group to get our books signed. But I'm skipping ahead. Before the book signing, Stephanie talked for about an hour. She is hilarious. Seriously. We laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes. It was amazing how we all got the jokes, jokes that non-knitters wouldn't have a clue about. A lot of what she talked about was the culture and community that knitters have, how we, as knitters, are special and different from other people and how we should be proud of that. It was interesting, and funny. And over and over I found myself agreeing with her or thinking of times when I've had the same experiences (like non-knitters saying "I wish I had time to knit..." or "I was I had the patience to knit..." Its like she knows me. Creepy.
And then after the talking there was some time for Q&A (during which I thought to myself "Questions? I have no questions. Everything I might wish to know about you I can read on the blog") and then the book signing itself. We formed a big line and one by one stood across the table from her while she signed our book, gave her our gifts (yes I brought gifts. I know. dorky), showed off our knitting and took pictures. Lots of people brought their first socks to show to Stephanie, but my first socks were a gift and the recipient probably wouldn't understand if I took them back, so I took my wedding stockings instead. I got a lot of work done on them while we waited for the event to start, then during the talk and while we stood in line. And they are fun to work on in public because they are very long and people are always curious about them. In the picture up at the top of this post you can see one of them wrapped around Stephanie's shoulder. The sock I'm holding belongs to her. Allison brought her first sweater to show off-- isn't it cute? Its for her son.
All in all it was a really fun evening. I enjoyed the 1.5hr drives to and from Charlotte (thanks for driving Alli!), hanging out with all the knitters waiting for the event to start (a couple of familiar faces, but mainly strangers brought together by a shared obsession), the talk was funny and inspiring and actually getting to talk to Stephanie, even if only for a few minutes, was great. I don't know how she has the energy and sanity for a whirlwind tour like this, but some how shes managing.
Oh, and the book. I bought two copies of the book and had her sign them-- one for me and one for my mom. I've only had a chance to read the first few chapters, but so far its great. Thats no surprise, of course. I heartily recommend it. And, unlike her last couple of books, its small enough to fit into a knitting bag or carry with you for when you have a few free minutes to read a page or two.