I had a great time tonight. I had way more fun than should be allowed, and now I’m exhausted and sitting here wondering how Stephanie can cope with not only being the center of all the attention after night after night of events like this, but also being away from home and moving from city to city every day for weeks straight. But she handled it gracefully as ever. I’m getting ahead of myself.
The weather tonight was just plain crappy. When I headed out from St. Louis Park, it was sloggy-cold and rainy, and by the time I came home after 11, it was snowing big melty flakes and every horizontal surface was covered in slimy slush. And the roads were teh suck, but again I’m getting ahead of myself.
Trust me, the show was worth braving the weather, which while freaky as can be in mid-April, wasn’t really scary or anything. I know the weather did keep a lot of people home – heck – there were a few people who showed up at the auditorium and decided to leave before the show because they were afraid driving conditions were worsening. Still, we ended up with a pretty good crowd of well over 400, and as far as I could tell, things went quite smoothly.
Here are our fearless hosts, Maura and Shelly, my bosses at the Yarnery. Maura is the one who did the bulk of the organizing work for the event, and although they are both smiling big in the picture, both of these ladies were running around busy and in demand for most of the evening. They really did their best to make it as good of an experience as possible for everyone there.
And here’s my friend Sarah, who also works at the store. She runs the Socks in the Cities KAL, and does a lot of the Yarnery’s web updating stuff. She is hilariously funny and also takes really good pictures.
Angie also works at the store, and you’ll get to see her in the videos further down – she was the mastermind behind all the song lyrics in the pre-show. Genius!
Here’s a crowd pic – this was a little bit before the show started, and the front row is empty here because those seats were reserved for staff, who were all busy running around still at that point;and guests with special needs. By the time the show started, most of the balcony seats had filled as well. Overflow crowds had been predicted, but with the the weather, everyone who showed up for the show got in, so that was good.
Okay, and here’s my friend and coworker Julie, who was sitting next to me during the speech, and didn’t have her camera with her for a picture. Julie, I’ll e-mail you a full-res one soon! Julie was working the event last year and didn’t know who Stephanie was. I remember she kept saying “I don’t get it – what’s the big deal” in a totally nonplussed way. Tonight was different. She kept saying “I’m really excited. I’m a much bigger fan now. Stephanie is so cool.” Julie’s so cute.
Finally the pre-show started, and Mary Lou introduced the Yarnery Family Singers. We’ll get to them in a minute, but first I want to show you something. MaryLou is a pretty tall person – at least, she’s taller than me and I’m 5′10″. But you can see that the podium was just about the right height for her.
Later, when Stephanie came out, it looked like this. I really wanted to jump up and fetch her a step-stool. But I managed to restrain myself. It seemed to unfair -both to Stephanie trying to talk over the thing and to us in the audience who would have liked to see her face a little better.
And Stephanie did her talk, and it was great. The only bad part was that I had stuck my bag full of junk off to the side back stage for safekeeping while I was taking tickets and stuff before the show. So when she came out and I sat down, my sock in progress was way out of reach. I had to sit there in the front row trying not to fidget. Oh, the humanity! Still, it was great, and my facial muscles are indeed sore from the excessive smiling and laughing. I think I need to find a way to get them more exercise – i.e. more laughter on a regular basis.
She told some of the story about her time up in the cabin in the woods, and you should have seen her impression of dangerous attacking deer. At least I was able to see that around the podium. The story was funny on the blog, but hilarious told out loud and in person the way Stephanie talks.
After the talk, there was plenty of time to mill around and chat with all the other knitters. I got to meet Maura, who had bought some of my hand dyed yarn and brought along her socks that she knit up with it. On the left is the coffee-dyed yarn, and on the right is the one I was calling Electric Stripes. It was freaky-weird-cool to get to see the results of those skeins in person, so thanks again for bringing them, Maura!
I got a chance to chat with Susan and Sally for a few minutes – I feel so badly for Sally, who is out of commission knitting-wise for the next several weeks. But at least she has
The Blankie was with me, and got lots of attention and petting from various folks, not least of which was the Harlot herself. It was such a pleasure to chat with Stephanie again, and she is incredibly gracious. I actually posed with her and got my book signed early on, but then went back for a second try on the photos because both of us looked pretty freaky in the first version of the picture (me more than her, I’m afraid). It’s amazing how if the person taking your picture is short, you look like you have big double-chins, but if they raise the camera up high, it’s quite slimming.
So that picture is actually at the very end of the night when Stephanie has just talked to a million people, but she’s smiling gamely and even had them take several shots just to be sure. Thanks!
Okay, and saving some of the best for last, the pre-show was pretty amazingly funny. Jess, Angie, Scott and Eric from the Yarnery got together to form the Yarnery Family Singers. They performed several songs spoofing Sound of Music tunes, only with special Harlot lyrics. Following are four short videos showing the songs You have to watch these – they are hilarious!
How Do You Host a Knitter Like the Harlot Part one
How Do you Host a Knitter Like the Harlot Part two
And here’s the last one – I have to warn you – this one is probably the funniest, but they had the lyrics up on the screen and everyone was singing along, and I couldn’t help myself I started singing along too…except I’m totally tone deaf. Forgive me, it’s bad. Try to ignore the off-key crooning on my part and enjoy the “real” singers up on the stage.
I think Stephanie really enjoyed the performance from her place backstage, but was also a little freaked out by it. The first thing she said when she came out was something like “I think this has gone a little too far now.” I thought it was brilliant.
Thanks again to Stephanie for coming, for Maura and Shelly at the Yarnery for helping to get her here, to the Yarnery Family singers for being so brilliant and funny, and to all the other fans who were there to watch, rub elbows, pet sweaters, and generally enjoy the spectacle together. I had a blast.
Oh, and the trip home was fun as well. As I walked out to the parking ramp with a couple other knitters at the end of the night, I saw thunder-snow for the first time in my life. It was snowing big, wet, melty flakes again, and the ground was inch-deep in slippery slush. And then there were flashes in the sky and one of my companions said “What was that?” and then there was thunder. Car-ay-zay! But really neat. Kind of like the whole evening.