If you knit, or spin, or raise sheep, or otherwise enjoy yarn in any capacity, and you haven't heard of the Yarn Harlot, you have some catching up to do.
I started reading the Yarn Harlot's blog back in the early spring of this year. I think I stumbled upon her site while looking online for mitten patterns, and Google came back with something called Tricoteuses Sans Frontières, or Knitters Without Borders. I checked it out, then went back to Google some more mittens. I can't remember why I went back a few days or a week later, but when I started reading her site, I couldn't stop. I ended up reading through all of her archives, spending nearly all of my free time catching up on her hilarious perspectives on yarn, more yarn, and tiny metal pointy sticks.
Luckily for me, it was only a week or so after I finished all of the archives that the Yarn Harlot's first book was published, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much. Not willing to wait for shipping from Amazon, I found it at Barnes & Noble and was unable to put it down. I've heard about all of these people who read a little bit each day and savored the book slowly. Not me. I was up into the middle of the night, unable to stop until I turned the last page. And then for the next couple of weeks I carried the book around with me everywhere, reading parts of it to anyone who would listen (thanks, Mom!). I told everyone about it.
Then, on the Yarn Harlot's website, she started posting tour dates. New York. Toronto. Boston. Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon? Ohio? I had to be there. So I made plans and left work early on April 26 to drive the three hours to Mount Vernon (in the rain!) to see the famed Yarn Harlot. I was one of the first people there. I sat in the second row. I would have sat in the first row, but in my defense, the first row was awfully close to the podium. I didn't want to scare her. I pulled out one of the three projects I was working on and talked briefly with the knitters around me. And when the guest of honor arrived? Just like everyone's experience, she was wonderful. Charming, funny, (she only said "arse" a small number of times); I thoroughly enjoyed her speech.
After the speech and some questions, we meandered down to the yarn store in Mount Vernon, Craftsman Hill Fibers, for the book signing. I had brought my copy with me, but since Craftsman Hill was donating the proceeds from any book sales that night to Knitters Without Borders, I bought two more (one for my knitting teacher and one for my sis-in-law) to have them all signed. It was even better talking with the Harlot one on one. She remembered me from the lone comment I had made on her blog, complimented my mitten, and took my picture for her blog. I have to admit, I was starstruck. If you're interested, here's my debut on the Yarn Harlot's blog.
At the same time, knowing how the Yarn Harlot likes to show her socks a good time, having them pose in famous places or with famous people, I thought I'd do the same for my socks. Unfortunately all I had at the time was a lame disposable camera, but I suppose it did the trick. For the first time, here are the pictures of my socks posing with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.
She made me take two, in case she looked drunk in one of them. I'll let you decide.
These socks are from the Dublin Bay pattern, modified so that the lace pattern goes all the way down to where the decreases start for the toe. I can't remember the yarn, but I love it. The orange in the colorway caught my eye at the yarn store, and I love how the socks turned out.
When it comes to knitting socks, I have a Cinderella theory: whoever fits in the socks keeps them. These ones fit me! I rarely make stuff for myself, so these socks are extra special. Here they are finished in all their nearly-symmetrical glory:
And a close-up, for good measure:
And if you're wondering about the mitten from the Yarn Harlot event, it's the Greek Mitten from Folk Mittens, only I started mine at the cuff instead of at the fingertips. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've only almost finished one of the pair, shown here, sans thumb.
Tomorrow: Part 2
Tuesday, October 11, 2005