18 September 2006


My Icarus shawl had quite a thrilling day yesterday. She met (and was occasionally fondled by) many, many cool knitters, two of whom are also famous and among my personal heroes.

She met the Harlot, and the Harlot's Icarus:

She and the sock also met, and actually got to spend three hours hanging out with, the fabulous Amy Singer:

...who is knitting a gorgeous wrap of out sea silk, as many of us know. But unlike many, I got to SMELL the sea silk!! It really truly does have just the slightest scent of the seaside about it. I met several other super-cool knitters there as well, whose names and blogs are going to show up soon on Amy's blog, so I'll add the links here after I copy them from her, since I was too dumb to write them down. The Point is a really cool place too; I'd never been before, but I'm definitely going back. I'd go back just for the lime-green floors and the quiche, never mind the yarn and the nice people! Oh, but what about Amy, you ask? What's she like, the founder and editor of knitty.com and general doyenne of the online knitting community? She's awesome, just as you'd expect, and we all just had a lovely time stitchin' and chatting (there wasn't much to bitch about, in that we were all having such a great time). Veronique was there and showed off a sweater that just might be turning up soon in a knitty near you, and I for one am already plotting which stash yarn to use for it.... And we all made fun of poor Hubbster's super-wide feet, as I was knitting the second sock of the mis-matched pair. More on that in a bit.

Later, in Brooklyn, the knitters gathered to see the Harlot. Poor Stephanie was given some very bad advice (cab from Canal to Park Slope in 40 minutes?? I don't think so!) and so she came racing in about a half hour after the official start time for her talk, but since the audience members all handily had their knitting with them, the extra wait really wasn't a problem. I met some really cool people while we waiting (again, the links will follow soon), including Jen and Andrew -

Andrew was with us earlier in the day at The Point, and by this time had made very noticeable progress on his Leo! And Jen is wearing the gorgeous shawl from A Gathering of Lace that's also on my to-do list (the pink one around her shoulders; in her hands in yellow is a lace scarf).

This is my fellow migraine-sufferer, Spinning Spider Jenny, who was spinning the most gorgeous teeny tiny yarn on the most gorgeous teeny tiny spindle...awe-inspiring!

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is Nishanna. Look closely at Nishanna's t-shirt. Brilliant, super-cool Nishanna has put her Knitter's Geek Code on a t-shirt! Never mind how incredibly amazing it is to meet a stranger and see something you made up on their t-shirt, but how awesome of an idea is that?! I'm totally going to put mine on a t-shirt, too. What I most love about it is that it's all about knitting, yet looks so math-geeky that instead of muggles getting that, "oh, a knitter, how silly, old-fashioned, and kind of dumb," impression, they get this completely contradictory math-knitting-math-knitting signal. I love that.

Oh, and Nishanna's knitting a gorgeous Icarus of her own. I met a couple of other Icaruses, too, over the course of the day - one in incredibly gossamer thin yarn in a seafoamy colorway that looked like a little puff of air...

Okay, um, so then...The Harlot Arrived. What can I say, she rocks. Her talk was hysterically funny, and for someone who claims to be so nervous when she speaks, she came across as completely at ease and so totally in control of her audience, in the best possible sense. And she has the most adorable, catchy, irrestible grin. It just makes you want to giggle madly and knit. Of course, we were all already doing that, but everytime she grinned, you did it even more. I got all three books signed, and even cooler - though not as cool as the picture of the Icaruses - I got to touch her (in)famous Dale of Norway Olympic sweater. It is a stunning piece of workmanship, and as Stephanie pointed out, she has now scientifically proven that such a sweater can be knit in sixteen days. Though perhaps not without tears.

Here's Stephanie just after taking the famous sock-and-audience picture:

I don't care what her teenage daughters say - she's way cool in my book.

And I'm not going to say a word about the thing involving the cell phone, and Seattle, that she told us not to tell anyone about.

So I was working on that second sock through this whole day of celebrity stalking, right? Well, it turns out, I was having such an awesome time at The Point with Amy and her gang, that I accidently knit at least 8 rows too far before turning the heel. And, of course, I was way too excited to notice this, but just kept going, and then about halfway through the Harlot's talk I looked down at the sock and realized I had been knitting away in such an excited frenzy that it had already gone way beyond where I was supposed to have started the ribbing. So, on the train on the way home from Brooklyn I tinked back a few rows and started ribbing. When I arrived home I tried it on Hubbster and found out about the little problem of also having started the heel too late:

Oops! What is that thing growing out of the heel? - no, really, my husband's feet aren't that weird!

Accurate knitting and stalking just don't mix, my friends.

I have to also admit that by the time I got home from all this excitment I was totally exhausted. Just the business of getting my knitting together, the address of the yarn shop and the book store, the Icarus, wearing something that would go with the Icarus yet still be comfortable, etc, a bag to hold all this and the books to be signed (Damn! Totally forgot to get Amy to sign her book; I'm an idiot)...then hours of meeting awesome new people and chatting like a magpie and knitting like the wind, on a total yarn high the whole time...when I woke up this morning I felt like I had a hangover, even though I hadn't had anything to drink but tea and water. How, how does Stephanie do this day after day, in city after city, keeping in mind that she's also the one who gives the talk and signs all the books and has something riotously funny to say no matter what is going on??????

Anyhow, so when I woke up this morning I had a bit of a headache which threatened to turn migrainous, so I ended up not getting to the Knit-Out in Union Square until 2:30. By this time it very much appeared that the fun was over.

Stephanie and Amy had moved on, I didn't see anyone I "know" (I think), and the booths, sadly, were as dull as they were last year. I think it's probably good for people who have always wanted to learn to knit or crochet but haven't yet (there are lessons) or who are new to NYC (you can get cards from some of the main yarn stores), but otherwise I'm honestly not sure what the point is. The booths just have fliers and, sometimes, a very few samples, but there's nothing to buy. There's much less to see and touch there than at a slightly-below average yarn store anywhere. It'd be a great place to find and meet up with other knit-bloggers, but I think I was a bit late for that. In any case, it was very hot and sunny and I'd forgotten my sunglasses, so in my headache-prone state I decided it was better to just go home and rest up. Any of you out there who are in NYC - let's just all arrange to go to a stitch and bitch on the same night somewhere, eh?

But lest you think my weekend ended anti-climactically, I must tell you that this afternoon, after frogging half the @#$% sock, I finished the last few rows on the body of the Palette Sampler sweater, bound off, and crocheted the steeks. I haven't cut them yet - that I plan to do in daylight, when I'm well-rested and have NOT just drunk a glass of wine! - but the crocheting went really well, thanks to the fantastic step-by-step tutorial by Eunny. Pictures of the crochet, and the cutting, in my next post!!

Also, thanks for all your awesome comments!! And go see Susan's blog - she's the Susan who read my essay on Cast-On, and she's really awesome and did such a fantastic job!! And Sophie - so good to hear from you! It feels like we're old friends, doesn't it? "Oh, remember the days when we were first starting Icarus..." :-) And Cookie! - we were all raving about you at The Point, and how completely in awe we all are of your designs, and of course the 'leg pictures'! Everyone who's commented - you guys always make my day! And hello, too, to all the new people who, according to my hit counter, are coming here from Cast-On, and Cookie's site, and Eve's Yarnival! Please come in, make yourselves comfortable, and leave a comment!

EDITED: to fix names I screwed up, to add links, and to say: Ravi, it's high time you got your blog going, girl! Let us know where to find it when you do. Go see Ravi in Amy's post about our day at The Point, and just a little bit of the many cool things she was knitting. We watched her learn to knit Continental in less than 30 seconds, right before our eyes!


Laura said...

what a fun day of knitting! i am insanely envious. amy singer and the yarn harlot on the same day. wow. :)

Marianne said...

Laura took the words right out of my 'fingers' , what a fabulous day you had! Looking forward to seeing FI sweater.

aija said...

It looks like you had such a great time :)

Kirsten said...

Argh! You're killing me! I was so close to Knit Out, (I was down at CBGB's) but we had a busy weekend with our kids and I couldn't get there. Well, at least I still have Rhinebeck.

Specs said...

I'm so jealous of you socializing with other knitters -- I haven't run into ANY in Knoxville yet. And I dig both your glasses and your Icarus!

cookie said...

That sounds like so much fun! I loved Stephanie's talk and meeting her afterwards. And I love reading about all her adventures, and then reading everybody's takes on her adventures. It's a vicious cycle of never-ending blog reading, really.

The double Icarus shot is fabulous! And seeing a knitter's geek code t-shirt is way cool.

spider said...

Hi Kate,
It was nice meeting you at the Harlot's talk. Would love to be included in a Stitch and Bitch if one ever occurs when I land in Brooklyn again. Happily, I tend to make the trek from VT to NYC at least once a month to see my son. Great write-up about the weekend! Cheers, Jenny

Leah said...

Wow! That is a great day! I love the double icarus shot as well! I'm pretty envious myself! ;)

bakerina said...

Hi, Kate,

It was so delightful to meet you on that festive Saturday night in Brooklyn, and to ooh and ahh over Icarus. :) Congratulations on the steeking. I am in awe here. :)