We had an idea that we knew the bookstore, and surprisingly for us, we were right. We had planned to have dinner first, but once I saw that several women, and one man (muggle boyfriend), were already sitting with purchased books I convinced Bill that I had to stay. I staked out two seats, third row back, on the isle, and Bill generously went to purchase my copy of
"The Book".He came back with my "B" group card stuck inside. Even though it was 5:20 and she didn't speak until 7:00, all the "A"s were gone (about 20 in a group). One woman had been there since 2:30, another girl, Vicki, had driven down on her birthday from Buffalo, (about 3 hours drive), and had purchased hers online from Joseph-Beth when she first heard that Stephanie was coming to Pittsburgh. I put my "donation hat" on the seat next to me, to save Bill from having to stand, pulled out my on the needles Panda sock and began to knit. Bill decided that he would scout out the store, upstairs he found a Caribou Coffee, and the financial/business section. He came back with a berry smoothie for me, called the restaurant across the street, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, and made reservations for 8:30 (what a guy). He then opted to return upstairs and pursue the "financial" section of the book store. I did what ever other knitter does in a room full of knitters who are strangers (note, I did not say "strange knitters"), asked what was on the needles. There were alot of socks, a couple of sweaters, a shawl, and a beautiful hand painted pink feather and fan scarf from Renee who came all the way from Michigan. By about 6:30 Pittsburgh was pretty well represented, I gave Bill the camera and he ventured past the knitting frenzy to snap a few pictures for me.
As you can see we are all hard at it. Socks galore, being crafted on those needles by knitters of all ages and experience. Don't you just love knitters, we never judge, we only admire the work on the needles and encourage each and every knitter to continue on the wonderful journey.
At around 6:00 pm it became standing room only, as you can see from the back. Later I got talking to Jeffrey, who handles the events as Joseph-Beth and he confessed that even though they had expected a large turn out, unfortunately their stock of available seating was lacking.
Stephanie arrived, we cheered, we hooted, we applauded. She set up her camera to take the obligatory picture of.............the sock.
She changed position to get better lighting and snapped the little green gem. Her talk was wonderful, she spoke for about 45 minutes, and made each and every one of us part of the conversation, for that is what it was. A conversation about knitting for knitters, and a few muggles, who also got the joke. Bill sat beside me and laughed just as much as I did, he was wonderful, he listend to why I have to have my stash, and the value that it brings to my life. How it is more than just a hobby, but my life's passion and more importantly joyous pursuit. He didn't choke when Stephanie mentioned how knitters sometimes are not exactly honest with their significant other when it comes to the actual cost of that precious hand painted one of a kind sock yarn. He smiled, laughed and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
At the close, Stephanie, took questions from the assembled, I put my hand up and asked, "As a Canadian, I justed wanted to know, how does it feel to have surpassed Jim Carey and Howie Mandel as the most famous Canadian in the US".
She asked where in Canada was I from and I and answered, "Guelph".
"Oh yes, I know Guelph", she said.
The whole time, my right leg is shaking uncontrollably and I am thinking, "I am having a conversation with the Yarn Harlot".
She asked did I want to take the "Canadian Citizen Test", at the prospect of having to give up my passport I answered "ok".
She looked at me and said "Ready, here we go. When you eat your Smarties do you................................"
At this point I answered, "eat the red ones last".
And we both broke into the Smarties song. The Americans around us looked at us with questioning eyes, only a Canadian could understand.
We explained that Smarties in Canada are not the hard little multi-coloured fruity concotions they are in the States. That Smarties are soooooo much better than M&M's, in fact, they are larger, flatter and a true chocolate sensation, and with the added bonus that they will melt in your hand.
They called up group "A", then group "B". I waited inline about 25 minutes for the moment when she would sign my book.
She thanked me for coming, meanwhile she's the one who climbed on the plane, what a star. Others brought all four of her books to have them signed, I explained to Stephanie that although they are in my library, being Canadian I couldn't bring myself to impose, I just had to keep that understated and unassuming nature, eh.
(Note: this is the only time you see pictures of me on the blog, believe me, if Stephanie was not in the pictures, and I wanted to prove to myself that I had met her, they would not be posted).
To pass on good Canadian karma, I held her sock, and she held mine. I told her how much I loved the bohus, she said thanks and that not many had mentioned it - what they heck were they looking at.
Bill and I headed over the restaurant, literally just across the street, I had two Bellini's and blackened scallops, Bill enjoyed a couple of Coors Lights and Fish and Chips.
What an unforgettable night.
The book is great, so if you really want to represent
get out there and buy it.
Post Script: two boxes arrived today:
Pick Up Sticks: Zen Garden Cashmere and Handmaiden Sea Silk (thank you Connie for the sock blocker key chain)
Bill just looked at me and said, "More sock yarn." (gotta love that man)