Sunday, March 14, 2010

Detroit Day with The Yarn Harlot

Yesterday was Detroit Day, 3/13 a.k.a. 313, the area code of Detroit, MI. What better way to celebrate than with a visit from The Yarn Harlot!

I got downtown around 11:30 and parking was already at a premium. I had to park several blocks away, which normally is no big deal, but it was raining pretty hard. It didn't bother me though. When I got inside the library, you could instantly tell where all the knitters were: milling through the neat little yarn market they had set up. I passed through once but didn't find anything I wanted to buy. Lots of good stuff though!

I settled down in the auditorium downstairs and, with an hour before Stephanie went on, started knitting. I got several nice comments, being one of (I think) only two knitting guys there. To those that asked, the pattern I was knitting is Shur'tugal and the yarn is Knit Picks Memories in Redwood (sadly discontinued).

The Yarn Harlot photographing the crowd

A big cheer went up when Stephanie came on. She took pictures of us with her current sock and we all took pictures of her. She begin by telling us how nervous she was and of course everyone laughed. She talked about writing - what a difficult and nerve wracking process it can be. She told funny stories about harassing editors over her books and the evil corrections they make and how their job is to point out how stupid you are. She told us how society automatically discounts/discredits knitters and knitting, about dropping a 'K-bomb', and how she and Tina struggled to make the convention center they chose for sock camp believe that yes, there actually are that many sock knitters in the world. She read a passage from her book (I didn't catch which one) which, based on her explanation, seemed like the first time she had done so. The passage was on Knitting Self-Esteem and talked about how being good, really good at pulling loops through loops with sticks can quiet that self-doubting voice we all have inside of us. It was a great talk, we all laughed and got mad along with her. And we all ooh-ed and aah-ed when she showed of her Dale of Norway Knitting Olympics sweater. It was BEAUTIFUL.

When she finished, she sat down to sign books and take photos. I waited while everyone else lined up and made excellent progress on my Olympic Redwood Socks. It's easy to do when you sit in an auditorium for three hours surrounded by knitters. I got far enough that I was able to finish them late last night. Hopefully I can get some decent photos and blog them soon.

I knit her a washcloth...

When I got through the line and up to meet Stephanie, I introduced myself and she actually knew who I was! She said, "You're campingjason. Your tweets are funny." I was quite taken aback. She signed my book for me and I gave her the shamrock washcloth I knit for her. She took my picture, so I'm guessing I'll end up on her blog recap of the talk (there I am...). She was also gracious enough to pose for a photo with me, and we held each others socks.

We swapped socks

The biggest takeaway I got from meeting her, besides the fact that she's really, really nice, was that she's get an extremely sharp wit. She asked what pattern I was knitting and I didn't know how to say it (how do you pronounce Shur'tugal?) so I kinda stumbled and I told her I would email it to her. Then she asked what yarn I was knitting with, and before I could answer, she was like "well you're a wealth of knowledge!." Ha ha ha Steph.

Finally, to cap everything off, I stopped by Good Girls Go To Paris Crepes for a Nutella and banana crepe. Delicious. It was a great day and I'm so glad I went. I don't think I'll miss out on any of her talks in the future.

P.S. RoxanneZYG on Ravelry posted this video of the Yarn Harlot talking about the 'Shaky Diet'.

P.P.S. More blog recaps here, here and here.


Ms. Kimba said...

So jealous...I'm glad you had a great time. Did your wife go with you?

Camping Jason said...

No, she enjoyed some alone time at home while I was gone.

Anonymous said...

saw you there! hoe could i miss the hideous colors of u of m (JK). what yarn are you using?

French Press Knits said...

Loved reading your account of the day- sounds like it was great for you too! I posted the link on my blog post :)

Ms. Kimba said...

Seen you on Stephanie's website too..great!!!!!! So jealous right now

Juliet in Grand Rapids said...

Great account of Steph's speech.

I think she read from her newest book about knitting self-esteem. The reading brought tears to my eyes. It was her first reading, and now another Harlot book to add to my collection.

And Steph knew about the UP. That is cool!

Juliet, the one with a carrot