My day started all virtuous-like. I went to the chiropractor (where I heard, again, that I'm running sideways, and to stretch ALL THE TIME), went to the gym, then stopped at various stores for those necessities I mentioned.
And then apparently I made a vow to devote my writing time equally between normal writing and parenthetical writing (I think it's working out pretty well so far).
So, I ate lunch, thought about what I was going to pack in my knitting bag, showered, and then had like 3 more hours until I wanted to leave for Oak Brook (I wanted to get there early, but 6 hours before the reading started sounded a little nuts, even to me).
What did I do with all that time?
I made the bed (a rare occurance Chez HookOn, unless I've just changed the sheets)...
... I washed most of the dishes and cleaned the counters and (though you can't see it from here) I even swept and sort-of-mopped the floor (I used a wet paper towel to get all the leftover crumbs)...
... and I cleaned the stove (it was truly horrific. The bowls and protective rims that sit under the burners? I'm not sure if I have ever cleaned them, and I've lived in this apartment for three years. They are soaking in the sink.)
At this point I was feeling quite virtuous, and very deserving of a trip to see my most favorite author. I selected projects to take along to the reading, two of which you've already seen...
the grey bag ends (heh) for the to-be-felted bag,
and the second pair of socks (STR Fred Flintstone, lightweight, 2.5mm needles).
(make note of how much shorter the top sock is than the bottom sock... this will come into play later on.*)
The third project is a headband (the same one that Femiknitter made a while back) that I just started yesterday as I waited to leave for Oak Brook. I'll talk more about it later, because right now it is just i-cord, and you know what that looks like.
I left my house about 4:00pm with my knitting, necessities, water, and camp chairs. Why camp chairs? Because I heard that Borders in Oak Brook was only putting out 75 chairs. Then I heard it was 100 chairs. Foolish muggles -- when will they learn?
Laugh at me if you will, but I get a little nervous driving into the suburbs when I'm going somewhere for the first time. I don't get nervous about the actual driving, but I worry that I'll miss my exit and accidentally drive to Indiana (almost happened once).
I arrived without mishap at 5:10pm. Here's the view I had (from the fourth row... yes!!!!)
I walked in and saw the tell-tale signs that I was not the only knitter there. Shawls on shoulders, knit-or-die t-shirts(no actual picture, I was walking out of the bathroom and, strangely, didn't have my camera ready), felted bags... it was great. I bought some books and while I was in line I saw a woman wearing this great pink cabled sweater (do I have a picture? No, of course not) and I asked her if she made it and if I could touch it AND SHE DIDN'T BACK AWAY! She was a knitter and she understood!
I don't know if this applies to anyone else, but I've gotten the feeling that people (muggles) think I'm working a few beers shy of a six-pack when I walk up to them and ask to examine their sweaters. This is off-putting (to me) and makes me feel like my knitting is this highly un-understandable weird anomaly, and therefore, you know, so am I.
But this! This room full of knitters! I felt completely at home and comfortable. If you know me personally, you might snicker at this, but generally I feel kind of shy and awkward with people I don't know. Especially groups. However, this appears to apply only to muggles. I was all over the place, talking... (turns out my one-seat-away neighbor Renae [Hi Renae!] used to live in DeKalb and demonstrated how to use 2 circular needles to make an in-the-round item [a new-to-me concept]) ...and ogling yarn across the aisle and getting up to talk to the knitter about where she got it and what was it, and having a grand old time. Everyone was saying things like "I love that, what is it?" and "What are you working on" and eventually a wise woman stepped up to the microphone and said "While we're waiting, who wants to have a show-and-tell?" So we all showed off what we were working on. It was amazing. It was like this huge stitch-n-bitch full of happy energy. During the show-and-tell (I think), Nick sent me a text message saying he hoped I was having fun. My return text message said "I am with my people!"
Anna (who has written about all this already) and Heather were there by this point, and we were just looking at each other grinning. Grinning like fools.
Then Stephanie appeared. She blogged us blogging her blogging us (one of those infinite cat things... infinite blogger?),
(the Bohus? freaking stunning in person)
and she spoke. And she was hilarious and encouraging and unifying and hilarious and smart and strong and ohmygod was she funny. I saw her two years ago (or thereabouts (I just said "thereabouts." I am my father.)) and I loved that experience, but I had just learned to knit and didn't feel comfortable doing any work while I was trying to listen to her. This time, I had no trouble knitting while she was talking (I knit on the socks only, by the way), and could even look up from my knitting when I got to the stockinette parts! I felt like a real, live, grown-up knitter!
After she was done speaking and taking questions (during which she introduced a seven-year-old knitter to the word "harlot" and some of its meaning, and almost fell over laughing while doing so), we all got in a line to get our books signed (knitters with children first!). Strangely, the three of us all had socks on the needles. A lovely fellow knitter took our picture:
and then I took hers -- blog, meet Rachel. Hi Rachel!
Her sock (that of her second pair ever) matched her knitting bag and her top and jacket ENTIRELY BY COINCIDENCE. She may be the most coincidentally well-put-together knitter I've ever met. (it was great to wait in line with you!)
Then we got to the signing table and I gave Stephanie some wee gifties (from the three of us DeKalb knitters) and I got to hold the sock (!!!)
and of course, we're blurry.
I had the best time.
*(And the socks that were wildly different lengths when I began my tale?...
... I can't tell them apart now!)