Well, That was Fun.

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 a sweater or two to keep her warm. Both Susan and Sally had on their fabulous sweaters tonight, and although Susan hates having her picture taken, I think they are both quite photogenic. Susan, I’ll e-mail you a copy in the next day or so as well. And by the way, if you don’t read their blog yet, you really should. They do amazing work, are quite prolific, and are great about sharing the details of technique and finishing.

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

Favorite Things

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.

44 Responses to “Well, That was Fun.”

  1. ColoradoColumbine says:

    Thanks for sharing the videos. They were great. I’m one of the lurkers out there, have never commented before. I think your blanket is incredible. You and the Harlot both inspire me to keep trying at this new-to-me thing, knitting.

  2. Mary Lou says:

    Really, I’m only 5′9″ — I must have good posture– I didn’t have my knitting within reach either, but I was laughing so hard it didn’t matter!

  3. Jennu says:

    That was hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

  4. SwissKnits! says:

    OMGoodness!! That song in hilarious!!! I will be chuckling all day long!!

    I really like the picture of you, Stephanie and Blankie…

    Glad you had a nice evening!!


  5. katrynka says:

    Thanks so much!! I did not get to go see her on this tour, as I had knee surgery, and am not allowed to drive. I did not realize soon enough that the date was going to be during my no driving time, so was not able to arrange a ride:(

    I also love when people do a song with changed words, so the videos are great!

  6. Jess says:

    Hey Shelly!
    Thanks for recording the videos!
    Last night was such a rocktastic time, see you soon,

  7. Jennifer Morgan, says:

    Oh. Oh my. Those songs are GENIUS!! I’m seeing SPM at WEBS in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait, but I doubt they can top that wonderful performance. Thanks for sharing with those of us who couldn’t be there.

  8. Diane Thornton says:

    This ROCKS! I hop blogger is ready for the bandwidth. Thanks for including the rest of us in your night of Revelry with Harlot.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the videos. They were great! Congrats to the Yarnery Singers for a wonderful job.


  10. Meema says:

    Thanks for doing the videography last night, Shelly – they turned out great! (I gave you credit on my blog as well.) ;-)

    See you soon!

  11. KellyD says:

    I smell a tour coming on. ranklin has mentioned on his blog today that he wasnt to tour with the Harlot. We need to get the singers in on it too…

  12. Zabet says:

    I. Love. This.


  13. Janis says:

    These are awesome, although the last video seems to be no longer up. Sad!

  14. Debra says:

    The Yarnery did a fantastic job on planning the program this year! I thought the ‘Yarn Harlot Family Singers’ totally stole the show. Angie’s lyrics were hilarious. I was humored to find the links on YouTube this morning at 8:15… :) Did someone load them up last night???

    At any rate, I didn’t get a chance to pop over and say hello. (I was on the other side of the room.)

  15. knitbysue says:

    Those videos were very funny and very well done. Did Stehapnie hear the performance? I wonder what her reaction was. How does a person take the stage and follow a performance like that.

  16. Carie says:

    Oh I needed a laugh today and that will keep me chortling for hours – sheer genius from the singers and thank you for recording and posting it!

  17. Ellen says:

    I knew I’d read you before – thanks for all the videos! See you on Saturday.

  18. Grace Yaskovic says:

    I am so happy you shared the videos they were great, I almost felt like I was there!!!!
    Back in the day when I sold Longaberger there were the Longaberger singers who rewrote songs in the same manner about baskets and associates, they were fun and did a CD maybe the Yarnery Singers have a future, they definitely have wonderful voices!

  19. Lisa from NB says:

    Thanks for posting the videos! Sooo funny. You guys know how to host a Harlot! And by the look of Stephanie’s face on the big screen, I’m sure you made a great impression. Can’t wait to read her blog tomorrow.

    BTW your finished blankie is fantastic. I’ve finally started my own. Fingers crossed it won’t take me 10 years to gather enough scraps!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the videos and pics. I am feeling the need to grab my socks on the needles and head out to meet the Harlot when she arrives in Seattle. I have missed her the last couple of times but am heading over to her site to check out her tour dates.


  21. Tammy says:

    What a creative and wonderful welcome you gave Stephanie. I own and have read all of her books and just bought the new one last night, can’t wait to get it started! The singing was great! The “Sound of Music” tune with the lyrics were awesome. Would have like to have been there too! Thanks for sharing on your blog. A beautiful picture of you and Stephanie and the blankie. Reading about you guys and the blankie are three of my favorite things.

  22. kmkat says:

    Omigosh, that was the famous Shelly Kang with the blanket! (yeah, I’m a dork. and dumb) I was sitting right behind where Maura was standing with her socks. Thanks for taking the videos — I linked to them (with credit to you) in my blog, too — the singers were fabulously hilarious.

  23. Rachel H says:

    Those videos are fabulous. Fantastic job by the Yarnery and the Yarnery Family Singers. And may I say Steph was so chuffed by them she sent me here while on the phone this evening to get me to watch.

    I love them. And your blanket is beautiful. Wonderful work all round.

  24. rams says:

    Dear. Merciful. Heaven.

    Stephanie told Rachel H. told me about the videos, and before your comments swamp and sink under the praise, I just wanted to go on record as being gobsmacked by a) the quality of the lyric-warping/writing b) the quality of the singing (mighty fine pianist, too) and c) your filming and posting. Thanks so much. I’ve had the visitation and funeral of a good friend the last two days and this laughter was so needed.

  25. Catherine says:

    I haven’t visited your blog in a long time and didn’t realize that you had finished the blanket. Wow! It really turned out amazing. I missed the Harlot event, but the videos are hilarious, thanks for sharing!

  26. MadMad says:

    Oh, those are awesome! Thanks for sharing! Love the blankie, too! I remember when you just started it! I can’t believe how big and beautiful it is!

  27. Lene Andersen says:

    That blanket’s fantastic!

    Thanks for the videos! I laughed my arse off – how creative!

  28. WonderMike says:

    So unbelievably AWESOME!!! What a clever parody but what LOVELY singers! The Harlot must have been floored.

    And your blanket? A work of ART.

  29. Janet from Chanhassen says:

    I’m so sorry that I missed it this year. I was laughing so hard I was crying. I hope the singers are there again next year.

  30. BearyAnn says:

    You guys really know how to entertain a queen like the harlot. The songs were great. Thank you for videoing them so that those of us too far away were able to participate in the fun. The blanket is beautiful.

  31. Lucia says:

    This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in quite a while… of course Stephanie’s current tour hasn’t made it this far east yet.

  32. KarenJoSeattle says:

    I’m so glad you put the videos up. The songs and singing were great. There’s no way we’ll match that next Monday when Stephanie’s here in the Seattle area.

    The blanket is an heirloom, for sure.

  33. Eric says:

    I’m so glad you captured the songs! It was a fun night–and fun seeing you at Yarnover as well.

  34. Fujiyamamama says:

    Thanks for posting the videos, the songs were fabulous, and it looks like the event was great fun!

  35. Tan says:

    I really enjoyed watching the videos, but I have to tell you that you were matching pitches while singing along; part of the time you were an octave low, but on the right note, and at the end you were on the right pitch. So I bet if you worked with a good voice teacher you could learn to sing. My two bits. I can’t sing any more because of thyroid surgery (like Julie Andrews, only in my case it wasn’t a tragedy). But I bet you can.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for the videos! That was HYSTERICAL!!! The Yarnery Singers were awesome!!!

  37. toni in florida says:

    Ohmygoodness! You managed to combine three of my favorite things – the Harlot, the Sound of Music, and laughter – for a delightful post. I wish I could have been there!

    Lovely blankie, too.

  38. Danièle says:

    Sitting in front of the computer in Paris France and feeling like we were part of it too , my husband and I thank you bunches for the pleasure of reading your blog , listening to wonderful videos and laughing !

  39. the boogeyman's wife says:

    WOW. those songs were awesome and funny. please tell the singers! thanks for sharing the vids. they cracked me up.

  40. Astabeth says:

    When I try to view the videos, it says “We’re sorry, that video is no longer available.” How can I see them?

  41. halfasheep says:

    First, I have to say that I had heard of the blanket (being a Harlot follower as well) but the reality of it is much more stupendous that I had imagined! What a wonderful whack of knitted goodness! Pat yourself on the back, many, many times!
    Second, the videos are amazing! I laughed until I nearly choked! I’m jealous that you have such creative knitters (or that y’all have that kind of time!) It reinforces my belief that all creative things come to those who knit! Thank you so much for sharing them!

  42. Amy says:

    Thanks for the videos. They were fabulous! The weather kept me from attending – I hope my ticket went to someone that hadn’t seen her before (I’ve had that pleasure twice – but now am sorry I missed the Yarnery singers)!

  43. CiCi and CAJtalk says:

    I love the show,, awesome job. Btw,, I loved your blankie. thanks for sharing with us

  44. [...] you haven’t seen these videos yet, go now. It’s the Yarnery Family Singers, with a spoof of Sound of Music songs to honor [...]

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