Saturday, August 4, 2007

Yarn. Harlot.

Wow, so the evening was a mix of ups and downs that ultimately balanced out on the positive. I suppose you can't ask for much more in life, you know? I may go into detail later, but for now, here's the recap:

Went to see Yarn Harlot in Madison, CT at RJ Julia Bookstore. Of course she has a name (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) but since I talk about like 8 million people here, I am not going to add yet another girl's name to the list. So she's YH for this entry. (Sorry, Steph!)

We got there about 20 minutes late due to waiting for someone who had specifically told me he'd meet us elsewhere (major mistake on my part and MAN am I sorry), trying to stop for gas at a gas station that was...closed(!)...and a set of the very worst directions I have EVER gotten from Google Maps. No, really. I have no clue why we ended up on back roads when there was a perfectly good highway nearby! Grr.

Still, we got to hear YH speak, and I got one good picture of her--because we were late, we sat on the floor almost at her feet. Here she is:

I tried to get a few others but they didn't come out. :(

So she finished her talk, and then everybody piled out of the room to get their books signed. I met up with Jenni and Briana, two more of my friends, and bought my book for YH to sign. We got in line to wait for the signing, dragged out our knitting, and just chatted for a bit.

Then this other girl came up to me and asked if my shirt was a Threadless shirt, which it was. And then it turned out she was on Ravelry. And so I brought out one of my Moo cards--the ones with my yarn on them--and I said, "awesome, friend me on Ravelry! I'm on there as Divinebird."

She blinked. "Are you a Yarnie?" she asked, and when I nodded, she said, "I need to give you a hug! OMG! I can't believe it's you!"

WTF? Someone recognized ME? Huh? Had she bought yarn from me before or something?

Turns out she was the recipient of a yarn swift I'd made. The moment she told me her screen name, I almost freaked out. What are the chances, really?? I hadn't thought about her being in the area, and I'd never seen a picture of her. Man, that ruled. So we all ended up at the back of the line, and I realized we needed pics all together. It was like Six Degrees of Yarn Harlot.

YH signed my book and chatted with us for a while, and then we got this pic (ignore my exhausted-hot-out-of-sorts expression--I wish I'd hopped to the back of the pic, for reals! And wtf is up with me looking taller than everyone?? I'm like 5'4".) of the whole group.

We all decided to go over to Village Pizza for dinner, as I had not eaten a real meal all day and it would give us a chance to hang out & talk. YH asked if we knew of a place to eat in the area. Props to Briana for immediately suggesting she come with us for the pizza. :) YH agreed, and we planned to meet over at the pizza place after she finished up some of her work at the store.

Briana was laughing at me when we walked down the street (we were on our way over to a new little tiny yarn store that had stayed open for the event) because apparently she's never seen me fangirl anyone before. I guess she's only seen me around people who, though famous in some way, don't impress me the way YH does.

To put it another way, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is one of my personal heroes. Not because she's a funny writer who writes about knitting (though that does make her COOL), but because she uses her powers for Good. She never shoves it down our throats, but somehow she manages to convince her fans over and over again that Medecins sans Frontieres could use a few bucks. She turns her tour stops into opportunities for local shelters to receive hand-knitted hats before the winter. She raises our collective awareness of individuals and groups in need of help--monetary, emotional, and physical. She seems to do this as a matter of course, and that's an aspect of her personality that I would like to emulate. I always fall short, but it gives me something to which I can aspire. It's like thinking of others and how we can help in a tangible way is something that's second-nature to her, and through it all she remains an exceptionally cool chick who enjoys a drink and some pizza with absolute strangers.

So yeah, I fangirl her. I can't help it.

Meanwhile, back at the description of the evening...the wool shop was tiny. No, smaller than that. And it was warm. I mean, something like 8 people who are already warm from walking on a hot night suddenly pile into a small room filled with wool--that is a recipe for HOT. I grabbed a card, though, and I will def. stop back in next time I'm in the area. When I'm not distracted by personal heroes and heat and a strong desire for food.

The Village Pizza folks were lovely and very tolerant of our taking over the middle of their restaurant, half an hour before they closed for the night. We hung out, had some food, drank some birch beer, and generally had some nice conversation. I do hope I didn't make too much of a fool of myself (see above fangirling) though Melissa and Lilith said I wasn't too bad. ;)

After YH left to go back to her hotel, we headed out ourselves. We made a quick stop for gas (at a gas station that WASN'T closed, take THAT, other gas station!) and water at a grocery store, then got on the highway.

I don't get down to Madison often. On average, I go once every year or two for specific events. I don't know the area well, or oh, which exits to take on the way home. I somehow missed the exit for Rte 9 and didn't realize it until I'd gone about 20 minutes past it. We got our bearings again, turned around, and went BACK to the right exit. Once back on track, we didn't have any problems the rest of the way home.

This was totally going to be a short entry but I guess there's no way to talk about the evening in ten words or fewer. I kicked myself all night about missing Aaron, because that really was my fault, but there wasn't anything I could do by the time we connected. Lilith DID say later, "Jenny, next time we go to see YH, we are leaving TWO HOURS EARLY."

Sounds like a plan.


Jen said...

Hey, you were sitting in front of me, kindly picking up the toys my toddler was throwing at you and trying to knit a sock. It sounds like you had an awesome time. Me, jealous? No way. (NOT!) Anyhow, I just wanted to tell you I really like your art and that I'm glad I found your blog--I'm totally bloglines-ing it!

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

It was so awesome finally to have met you in person! I really should get back to posting on my blog too. Thanks for the reminder! :)
Bunny hugs,