Saturday, August 04, 2007

More about The Event

What was it Really Like?

Wonderful fun.

It was Well Run (good job, Borders in Burlington), with Enough Chairs (they actually moved bookcases):

And I knew I was in the right place

before I even saw this:

This is how many people were there an hour before it started:

And look, they made a line on the floor for the signing afterward:

I sat down in a semi-randomly chosen spot, and found that I just happened to be sitting near Korinthe, of Lighted Window*, one of three people in the room that I knew were there or going to be there.

*and not The Passionate Mind, as I first blurted out when introducing her, though that's another excellent blog but a completely different one, sorry again for that, Korinthe

What are the odds of that, does anyone know? One percent, would it be? Is the math really that easy? If there actually were 300 people there (I don't know that for sure, and there weren't that many people there when I got there, but discounting that for the moment), if there were going to be 300 people coming, and I knew three of them, what are the odds that I would sit down near, and begin speaking to, the only one of the three I didn't know by sight? Pretty damn slim, I should think. Knit-blog-land works in mysterious ways. I think the Harlot influences the ley lines, or something (I don't know what I'm talking about, of course, but tell me, do I sound at all like I do?).

So, I saw Korinthe, I saw frequent-commenter Kali, and I saw a woman who has been to my stitch and bitch a couple of times recently, and otherwise it was a seething mass of strangers, all cheerfully knitting. (There sure are a lot of us in this area. Where do y'all hide most of the time?)

Later in the wait, there was an odd moment that I captured on film and thus made stranger. Here, I photographed a photographer taking a picture of a cameraman filming the knitters. I don't know where he was from. It was very circular, though.

Stephanie waits to be introduced. We're getting closer!

And the crowd, of course, knits and waits back at her:

Finally, she is introduced, and a few people threw underwear at her.

She was cracking up. It was pretty funny even before she explained it on her blog.

She spoke for just over an hour. As she has throughout this tour, she spoke with a mixture of seriousness and humor, using examples and stories, about CHOKE (Cultural Humiliation of Knitters Everywhere), and the crowd ate it up while keeping at least part of their attention on their knitting:

We share priorities, right? I'm sure it didn't bother her one bit. She did point out, after asking how many of us tried to explain to non-knitters where we were going that night, that she had to explain to customs ("What is the purpose of your trip to the United States?" "Ummm ... I don't want to tell you...")

Possibly the best quote of the night, though, came when she was responding to a request for an update on one of her crazy neighbors, the half-naked lady in the gold shoes. It turns out that the woman is 'not unknown to law enforcement' ... so you can imagine, there must be stories there. Someone called out that perhaps the woman needed something hand-knit, and Stephanie called back without hesitation, "I don't knit for crack hos!" Slight, perfectly timed pause. "Crochet, maybe."

It was all over too soon. Since I arrived early enough, I got into the first group of wait-in-lines for the signing (other that Stephanie's first group, which she always* says, if you need to leave early for whatever reason, you don't have to say why, or if you have a baby in your body or a baby outside your body, you get to skip the system, and she hoped Borders didn't mind but she always did this at her signings. Borders didn't appear to mind).

*I say this on the strength of seeing her speak twice now: now I'm the expert.

I didn't see as many people wearing fabulous hand-knits as I noticed in New York: perhaps I didn't circulate enough, or perhaps it's just August versus March. Still, a woman near me in line was wearing this:

It took a long time to get through the line, but I was okay with that because to me, it meant that no one was being hurried through The Presence. When it was my turn, I got her to personalize my book, and I gave her some chocolate from New England, which I'd decided I wanted to do for reasons which escape me now (I mean, why not, but I don't remember what made me think of it in the first place).

I picked Harbor Sweets, which is Massachusetts-based, and Lake Champlain, which is from Vermont, and both are delicious (of course), got a couple of different bars, and put them into a gift bag. When I gave them to her, and said the magic word (chocolate), she said, "Do you know what I call this?" I said no, and she said, "Dinner, and then do you know what I call it?" I said no, and she said, "Breakfast, and then do you know what I call it?"

I said, "Lunch?" And she said yes, and thanked me, and we took the sock picture.

And, goosefairy? It really is her holding my sock. See?



Blogger Annalea said...

Someday, somewhere, I hope to be smiled upon by the Knitting Fates, and get to go see the Harlot herself. :o) Unfortunately, I live in the underpopulated 2/3 of the US, so it may be a while.

And thanks so much for the nice compliment and link!

Someday, I'll get to blog my own event. . . . ;o)

9:39 PM, August 04, 2007  
Anonymous MonicaPDX said...

::laughing helplessly:: Oh, ccr, this was so good! So many great points. Enough Chairs! The line on the floor. Lots and lots of photos, yay. "Knits and waits back at her." (I love that line!) The throwing underwear from the audience POV. Finally getting the crack ho bit. The chocolate. Everything! Great, great, great; best report I've read, again. Thanks so much, glad you had such a fun time, glad you got to see her again. And hey - the sock looks good, too!

Whew. Funny, I feel tired now for some reason. ;) And I want to go read it again...

11:55 PM, August 04, 2007  
Blogger Leslie said...

It sounds like you had a really good time :) She is quite a good speaker, leaving you with good memories and some "deep thoughts" all ingrained with smiles. I do love the line on the floor and the fact they actually moved shelving to make room! Obviously, somebody at Borders in Burlington reads her blog.

9:52 AM, August 05, 2007  
Blogger Jennifer Saylor said...

Wow, I have GOT to see the Harlot sometime.

I LOL'd too at "waits back at her."


2:55 PM, August 05, 2007  
Blogger goosefairy said...

Ha ha! You rock girl! I hope to be able to see her Harlotness in person some time. I loved your circular photo. Circular photo; circular knitting?

Of course, now that she's actually held your sock does that mean you can't wear it but must get it framed instead? :)

9:39 AM, August 07, 2007  

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