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PDX, 4/22/2008: Among Other Things, Stephanie Could See Over The Podium This Time

If you're going to hold a bang-up event for knitters, like the Yarn Harlot coming to town, make sure a yarn company throws it. Better yet, make sure said company's yarns are wildly popular. Then to add all the toppings, make it a local company.

About 30 miles down the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, in a smallish town named Scappoose, there's this little yarn company called Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Maybe you other knitters have heard of it?

Whoooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeee, did we have a fun time Tuesday night!

But it started even earlier than that, for the energetic among us. Get the snacks and something to drink. We're gonna be here a while. I said this was going to be long, didn't I? <eg> Warning: For those of you who haven't been warned before, I do mean long. I'm habituated by con reports, so this is seriously in-depth on detail. Also, of course, I have no life. Heh.

April 22, Earth Day 2008, was a little bit stranger than usual in Portland. So was Saturday the 19th, when a lot of our Earth Day events were held. In addition to the usual sort of green events going on - although it's kind of hard to tell around here; it seems like there's always something 'green' happening - there were knitters scurrying all over the city, inexplicably photographing socks in progress at odd places. And puzzling a goodly number of people while doing so.

Blue Moon had decided to follow the Toronto book launch's lead and have a scavenger hunt of their own; as they put it, shamelessly borrowing some of the ideas from Toronto. A lot of the activities were green-related. Like photographing your sock at any local recycling center. <g> Or - a biggie for points - taking part in any of the clean-up events happening on the 19th. The rest, of course, were Portland-centric goals. If you want to see the scavenger hunt list itself, as of 4/24, the PDF file is still up here. You'll find the pic links later in this post. Blue Moon had some great activities, and if you liked the Toronto pix, you should equally enjoy the Portland ones. Plus, as in Toronto, they make a great mini-tour of Portland.

For those of us not so energetic, the excitement began a little later in the afternoon on the 22nd. (No, I tell a lie. The excitement really started about a week earlier, and had us bouncing like two-year-olds on a sugar high. But you know, one likes to make a pretense of being an adult. Not that that ever works too well.) Of course, with Blue Moon running things, we knew there'd be plenty of seating. But still, we all wanted to get there early to get good seats. So around 1pm Tuesday afternoon, I was beginning to dart around the apartment like a demented packrat; i.e., in my normal way of going about such things. ;)

Luckily for me, I had a partner in dementedness crime travel. You know me and getting places. But this time, Stephanie's talk was going to be held at the World Forestry Center next to the Oregon Zoo, up in the West Hills behind downtown...and no way was taking a cab feasible, that'd run at least $60 for a round trip! Probably more like $80. So I cast myself upon the mercy of the PDX Knit Bloggers list again, and lo, an angel appeared from on high - or north of me, rather. Heide of Serendipitous Opportuknitty would be driving in from the northern parts of Vancouver (Washington, not B.C.; the one right across the Columbia from us), and coming right by my place. She needed a native guide; I needed a lift. A perfect match!

After consultation with each other and the PDXKB list, we'd settled on taking the MAX light rail from a stop conveniently near my place. MAX has a Zoo stop, and runs until the wee hours of the morning. We wouldn't have to worry about parking, rush-hour traffic, or riding back alone at a late hour.

If you want a person to have a great time with, Heide is a wonderful choice. ;) Funny as hell, and a real kick to be with. We hit it off right away; about as soon as she called to let me know she'd been let off work earlier than expected. (She thinks they got tired of her bouncing off the walls from excitement. This was her first time to see Stephanie, of course she was going wild!) She wasn't fazed a bit by me saying something like, "Um, yeah, I am gonna need until 3 or so..." She simply went over to the Grotto and wandered around enjoying the park and getting some nice photos, until I was ready. (Do not forget to go check out her blog; she wrote a great report of the night, and of course has Harlot pix too. I had fun reading her report and seeing things from her POV. Although I repeat, I really don't know every knitter between Seattle and Salem. It just seemed that way 'cause I not only introduced her to the people sitting near us, but pointed out any random PDXKB knitter who wandered within eyeshot. <g> Hey, I was relaxed, and not just 'cause of the Xanax. I had a new friend, we were sitting with the gang, and we were among our people. This is one of the rare times I am relaxed in a large crowd!)

So I'd finally gotten myself together (and re-wrapped my leg after the Ace bandage decided to escape a couple of times; this after remembering I needed to wrap my leg in the first place; found my cellphone after carelessly letting it leave my clutch before it was safely in my backpack; plus a few other minor little contretemps - you know; my normal insanity) and eventually downstairs. I rather breathlessly climbed into her van while introducing myself, and we were off!

All of about another half mile, if that. <g> I said the MAX stop was close! We piled on board and settled in to have a good get-to-know you talk, and show each other our current projects. I will confess right now that, again as usual on these occasions, I didn't get a lick of knitting done. I'm still in the middle of turning the heel on my second Rare Gems sock, plus had to rip back a few rows anyway. (I'm not quite as able to go through a sock without double-checking the finer points as I thought I was.) I didn't think I'd be able to concentrate enough to work on it, but brought it along with the finished one anyway, as proof that the second sock of the pair was progressing. I also had some yarn to start a new sock...but of course, didn't get past the cast-on. Hey, I was busy taking pictures! And talking. You know. ;)

Heide was wearing her Arwen cardigan. Which, despite her saying it'd been a real pain to put together, looked gorgeous. As does Heide wearing it.

Heide and her Arwen on MAX

She also had a small project to frog; a pretty, lacy knee-high sock she was trying to remember what she'd done on, so she could start the second (it was a pattern she'd come up with, and she didn't have the notes); and a lace shawl. (Yes, let's all chorus it together now: "No, I don't remember what pattern it was." <g> I'm pretty sure I should, too; I think it was one I've heard of before.) So she was being productive while I was trying to keep my stuff out of the way of other riders - the train got fairly crowded as we approached downtown - and yacking with her. ;)

Plus taking photos here and there, of course. So was Heide. We may not have been participating in the scavenger hunt, but we were performing inexplicable knitting (and blogging) behavior!

Crossing the Willamette on the Steel Bridge; looking south, with downtown Portland on the right

As you can see, it was a typical Portland spring day: cloudy, somewhat windy, and variably rainy. It's been a fairly cold spring this year, and this was one of the colder days for this late in the year. Although at least we weren't having snow showers, like we did last week. That was the odd weather.

It was after I got home that I realized that if I'd been participating in the scavenger hunt, I'd inadvertently racked up a few points. Well, sort of. I didn't have a sock in progress showing in any, so they would've been disqualified. But I'd gotten a pic of another knitter while traveling via MAX to the signing; a river with bridge in the background; and in this next one I got a picture of a Benson Bubbler. (That's the newfangled name. ;) Like NoPo for North Portland. When I was a kid, they were just called Simon Benson fountains.) A far-away and dim photo, admittedly; but it's there. That's the four-basin water fountain you can dimly see in silhouette under the neon sign in this next pic, if you peer hard. These bronze water fountains are all over downtown. Simon Benson, a local timber baron, put them up in hopes that loggers fresh from the woods would drink from the fountains rather than going a bar like Erickson's Saloon and getting roaring drunk. Naturally, his plan didn't work too well. <g> But we still have the fountains, running with some of the purest water you'll ever taste.

The undercover location of half of the Portland Saturday Market, beneath the Burnside Bridge in Old Town

Right after that, I got another one:

The Skidmore Fountain, Portland's oldest piece of art, in Ankeny Square, Old Town

I'll leave it to the interested to count up my points if I'd had a sock in these. ;)

Anyhoo, eventually we arrived at the Oregon Zoo stop and managed to work out where the operating elevators were. That MAX stop is 260 feet underground. To quote Tri-Met's blurb on it, "...the deepest transit station in North America, and the second-deepest in the world. Passengers travel from the underground platform to the surface in four high-speed elevators. Each elevator can comfortably carry up to 39 people from platform to street level in about 20 seconds."

And boy, do they mean it when they say 20 seconds. It takes less time than it does in some buildings to go between floors.

So Heide and I safely made it up into the open air, and shortly thereafter were seeing other knitters. Kathleen (kfajardo on Ravelry) of Busy Digits slowed down when she saw me - she'd been in the same group when we'd gone to Yarnia, the wind-your-own-cone store I wrote about back in February - so we all three walked over to Miller Hall. Slowly, because of my leg. ;) So Heide got her first introduction, and at least had a little time to get acquainted with Kathleen. She didn't have so much time later; intros came thick and fast. <g> I hadn't realized I'd gotten to know so many local knitters by sight now! It hasn't been quite a year since Stephanie was last in Portland, and asked the audience, "How many of you are bloggers?" That was what gave Judy Becker of Magic Cast On fame the idea to start a Yahoo group for Portland/Vancouver metro area knit bloggers...and a week later, she and Bobbie had run with the idea. Now we have over 100 members. But our real first anniversary isn't until June!

Despite my slowness, we finally made it to the hall, and boy, was that a familiar sight. Not the hall; the crowd of knitters! Blue Moon had a table full of Stephanie's books, and a big display rack of the special Socks That Rock lightweight colorway they'd created for the occasion: Knitters Without Borders. (Which should be available on their website next week, if I remember right.) That lobby was packed. Nearly everyone came to a dead stop as soon as they got through the door, and started drooling. <g> We did too, until we got bumped. Then we separated briefly. I had my book already, so Heide, bless her, offered to grab me a skein of yarn while I went and appropriated a couple of seats. I headed into the main hall - stopping briefly as I was given a raffle ticket for a yarn prize drawing - and headed straight up towards the front rows. I knew the early PDXKB gang arrivals would've grabbed a section. <g> Which they had, and I found two unclaimed seats next to Sharon (stitchjones on Ravelry), and of both Chickenlips Knitting and Stitchjones Yarn. Yes, Sharon's a local indie dyer, who dyes sizzling yarns named after rock stars and songs. Her sales site isn't fully up and going yet, but will be soon!

After saying a quick hello to Sharon and waving to everyone else already there, I dumped my excess stuff and headed back out to join Heide. She'd picked a lovely skein for me - thanks, Heide! As it was much shorter, I got into the cash line. Shortly later Heide was through her line, and we went to get settled in.

And oh, boy - that's when the introductions and photo ops came fast! <g> Poor Heide; her head must've been spinning! Plus like me when I first meet people, she probably didn't retain half of the names. ;) I tried not to overwhelm her, but I'm afraid I was kind of enjoying, for once, actually knowing several people, instead of just a few. ::guilty look:: No doubt babbling again. Well, it was hard not to. Brace yourselves; the photo inundation starts here.

I introduced her to Sharon, of course (pic in a bit). Then I pointed out several people further away or as they passed by, until Deb of Fearless Fibers Yarns (FearlessFibers on Ravelry, and her shop is on Etsy) came by with her friend Tess, designer of Polar Bear Patterns. Deb's another local indie dyer, who does fantastic kettle-dyed yarns. I'll have a pic of her in a bit, too, but here's Tess:

Tess Mattos, designer and knitting teacher, of Polar Bear Patterns.

I presume she's on Rav too, but I didn't remember to get her username. Didn't get to talk to her much, but she was very nice!

Deb is a sweetie - she's the person I bought my very first skein of sock yarn from. And the next. And the next. And... I think I got about eight skeins or so from her before I branched out to other sock yarns. <g> Very convenient to have a dyer living right across town from you; the ship time is amazing, LOL. Of course, we have a lot of other excellent indie dyers littering the landscape, too, such as Sharon. Portland is a positive Mecca for 'em; it must be infectious.

So we oohed over Tess's sweater, and talked just a bit with her and Deb - and I remembered to give Tess one of my ubiquitous blog cards. <g> (Plus Sharon - hadn't got her yet - and Heide, of course.) Deb herself was handing out cute little mini sample skeins of three of her yarns; one each of her superwash Merino sock, superwash Merino sport wt., and Merino laceweight. She carries cashmere, alpaca, mohair and blends, too. Everything dyed in gorgeous colorways that seem to melt from color to color. Yeah, I love her colors. ;) She's got a lot of colorways some of you guys might appreciate; more subtle colors, but still plenty of variegation. She does plenty of brighter colorways, too, but dyes a nice balance of brights and darks so there's something for everyone.

And drat, that's the picture I didn't take this er, yesterday morning; her mini-skeins! Ok, that settles it. I have more photos - yes, folks, even after tossing the screw-ups and almost-dupes, I ended up with about 90-some pix. I'll just have to do an extra post consisting of mostly photos. Oh, stop running! I still won't use all of them. <g> It's just that there were some shots of nice FO's and people and various others that I simply could not fit in. At least not without having visions of my readers screaming. Especially anyone on dial-up.

Moving slowly along... ;) Here's Sharon:

Sharon of Stitchjones and ChickenLips Knitting

One important person was missing from our bunch - Judy Becker, creator of the Magic Cast On, and our instigator founder. Otherwise know as The Famous Judy. <g> Her company had sent her out of town! Talk about rotten timing. We missed her.

Naturally, with our bunch, someone came up with a solution. Behold; Flat Judy!

(The Famous) Flat Judy (JudyBecker on Rav, and of the blog Persistent Illusion), rocking the PDXKB sign. Possibly due to be known as The Infamous Judy, after events to be somewhat explained later in this, er, novella of a post. I haven't gotten the full story yet. But I'm investigating.

Also present, to much glee, was the wonderful, elegant, and delightful Roxie of Sanna's Bag. A local published author (hey, that'd be another scavenger pic...if I'd had a sock in it...and was competing...); two children's books, go check out her blog for 'em. Plus a great report on the evening. A most elegant knitter, and apparently now instigator of a recent Yarn Harlot Portland signing tradition; to wit, the wearing of art like this:

Roxie and her awesome Lizzard Queen hat, trimmed with flowers, rose quartz leaf beads, pearls, and more beads; here posing for the paparazzi admiring knitters.

In case that pic doesn't clue you in, Roxie also has a wicked sense of humor. ;) Last year she wore her Farseeing Hat - which had antennae sticking straight up, eyes on the end of them. And yes, both years she wore her hat the whole time. Marvelous! She gives excellent hug, too. I know; I made sure to waylay her afterwards and get one from her. Don't forget to visit her blog; she got a photo of the woman who was wearing a necklace of mini-socks!

For those of you who haven't been to a Yarn Harlot signing, this is what it's like. You get there a couple of hours early to make sure you get a chair - although with Blue Moon running things, there were plenty of chairs, hallelujah! Then you pull out your knitting - or in my case, your camera. (I have a tradition so far of never getting any useful knitting done at any knit gathering I've been to. It's because I'm taking all these pictures! <g> Who has time to knit when you keep pulling your camera out?) And you show off your FO's...

Heide's sock that she can't remember what she did on. <g>

Chat while you knit...

The Crowd. And that's only part of the room. Around 450 people showed up, and as far as I know, no one had to stand.

Talk with friends while they take pictures of your FO...

Bobbie (tiggywinkleknits on Ravelry) of Tiggywinkle Knits with her "Loose Change" shawl, made up on the fly and knitted out of recycled yarn while commuting to work on MAX.

Or work while having fun...

Peg of the OregonLive! website's knitting blog, K2TOG - the pro at work. (Peg is a reporter. She is a professional. She can take photos and make notes for articles and still manage to concentrate enough to knit when she sits down. We might turn
kind of greenish around her if she wasn't such a nice person. Hi, Peg! <g>)

And more people keep arriving...

Duffy (fiberqat on Ravelry) of FiberQat - that link's to her report on the night, which you will want to go read. Trust me. You won't want to miss it. Or the video I'll directly link later. You'll see why, and you've gotta hear Duffy's side of the tale; but the video gets the whole thing, unlike photos!

Isn't that a gorgeous sweater Duffy's wearing? Almost makes me want to take up a sweater's worth of stranded knitting, and steeks. Almost. ;) Behind Duffy are, l-r, Deb of Fearless Fibers and Tess of Polar Bear Patterns again. Seated in the foreground is Kathleen of Busy Digits, who walked up from the MAX stop with us.

You finally get photographs of some people you missed at first...

Deb, Fearless Fibers Yarn

Yet more people arrive to join those already there...

It's Rodger! (RodgerPM on Ravelry) Who works at one of our LYS's, Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks, and writes their store blog, Over Abundance. He's standing with Bobbie and Cindy (maxfun on Ravelry) of Knit for Joy.

It's hilarious...Rodger and I have both been at some of the gatherings of the PDXKB folk before now, including our very first one in the very crowded basement room of Knit/Purl; but we never managed to talk to each other. I've carried on conversations with him in the Ravelry forums, and we even talked in a late-night Ravelry chat once, but face to face? Nope. Not until Tuesday night. I keep telling everyone I'm shy...

Well. It wasn't quite a conversation. We managed to yell Hey!, and How are you?, and Good to see you! across about three rows of chairs. But hey, we exchanged words, at long last. That's the important thing. Oh, Rodger? Didn't manage to yell this--Nice hat! (Nope, still not on schedule. Now unscheduled blogging, too. I started on this sucker yesterday morning, would you believe it?!? Uh, yeah; I do mean non-stop, except for breaks.)

Oh, see the evidence of buttons? Even one on the side of Rodger's hat, if you look closely? The blue and white one is our brand-new, official PDXKB button, designed by Duffy and Kerin. The smaller orange one is from Blue Moon, a Yarn Harlot Tour 2008 button. I'd spaced on even noticing those when I'd been bopping in and out and back, and Heide kindly went back to get me one so I wouldn't miss out. (Didn't I say she was a sweetheart?) I got a yellow one, as orange is not my favorite color. ;) Pix of both much later in this.

Then there are those people you don't know, but who make an entrance without even intending to...

Bob (Badger on Ravelry) of grandcarriage was wearing testing the sweater he made for his dad.

Bob got lots of cheers and whistles (especially when he bent over) whereat he blushed...but rallied to inform us all of his Ravelry name, and asked if anyone got good pix of the sweater, to let him know. And not to tell his dad he was wearing his sweater. ;)

Somehow I think he'll probably get a lot of messages about sweater pix. I'll bet every blogger in the room got a shot of him. <eg> Purely for the beautiful sweater, of course. ::tosses in an innocent look, just for tradition's sake::

While you're not-knitting, you notice the professionals have finally been able to take a pause from work and get to important stuff, like knitting...

Mims and Peg, again, both of OregonLive!'s knitting blog, K2TOG. Both Mims and Peg are professionals. Both are reporters. Both are really nice. Remember we are not jealous because they can walk and chew gum carry on a casual conversation and knit work and knit at the same time, unlike us, because they are both nice, especially about posing for a photo when they finally have a chance to relax. Wave at Mims and Peg.

They've already got an interview with Stephanie up, and a post on the signing; and will have some video with Stephanie as soon as they can, so don't miss their blog! Don't forget to check for pre-Tuesday posts, too. They had a Stephanie-related contest going you might want to read about.

So we all had a great time doing all this stuff, and Heide and I giggled a lot and got to know each other better - in between me burying her under names <g> - and then suddenly there was a Blue Moon staffer at the mike, and they were saying hello, and briskly moving into sorting out the scavenger hunt contestants. They had everyone stand up who'd gotten a certain number of scavenger points...then had lower-number people sit down as they went up the numbers...until finally, the last person left standing had managed to get 88 points! Unbelievable! The happy winner got to go up to the mike and briefly told us how she did it (up at 5am?!? did it all on Tuesday?!!!!), at which we were rightly awed and amazed. Dang, that's one determined - and energetic - knitter!

Here is where those photo pool links come in. ;) There's the official Portland Inexplicable Knitting Behavior Scavenger Hunt pool on Flickr. Then there's a smaller pool set up by the Portland Is Awesome blog; the link to their Flickr pool is the "extremely strange photo" phrase. Portland Is Awesome's post also has some great quotes from random sock-holders!

Then they called out raffle ticket numbers for prizes - neither of us won anything - and then...They introduced Stephanie, and we all started cheering and clapping, and there she was...

Stephanie and the Traveling Sock

...up on a chair getting her blog pix!

Then she started to talk.

We could see her, too.

She started with how smart she isn't, providing examples. <g> And we found out what the heck the word "cowgirl" has to do with anything in her life. (Oh lord.) Then she started getting down to it. Talking about something she's mentioned before, that knitters don't fit any demographics. Ages, sex, lifestyle, income, by any measurement you can think of...we can't all be stuck in neat boxes. And how she as a knitter looks at herself, vs. how non-knitters look at knitters. That led, by degrees, into different brain states, and then into a study done by Cambridge University...out of which came a conclusion that included the statement - and she quoted - that it's "...not practical to expect people to carry emergency knitting..."

Yah. The whole room erupted. In fact, despite the many times she must have repeated that line, Stephanie was having hysterics, too.

Cambridge University, folks. Riiiiiiiight.

There was a lot more. A lot. All of it very good, and very, very funny, as we've come to expect. We laughed until we were crying, and enjoyed every minute. We laughed all the way to the end, and if our brains weren't in a nice theta rhythm by the time we were limp and exhausted from laughing - well, it sure wasn't from Stephanie's lack of trying. I think she convinced us we were smart, too.

The thing I found interesting was that despite the humor - and make no mistake, the hour was hilarious - it struck me as the most serious talk I've ever heard her give. Yeah, she's made plenty of serious points the two other times I've seen her. And of course she's done the same on her blog and in her books. But while we were giggling or cracking up every few minutes, the underlying theme of the whole speech left me a lot more thoughtful than the other two I've heard.

I mentioned it to Heide when we were leaving - much later <g> - and her reaction was, "You mean she can be funnier?!" I assured her Stephanie could, indeed, be even more hilarious.

But I wonder... Did something about it just hit me the right way, or is she making a message a little clearer this time?

I'd be interested to know if anyone else had the same impression.

Regardless of any potential seriousness, or not, it was the usual great time. And o bliss, there were no worries about a store wanting to close up, with staff trying to chivvy people along. We got our Q&A session. The answer about Millie left us flat again. There were a few questions that had Stephanie saying something about boy, we Portland knitters were...uh, well, I think she used the word "serious." <g> If anyone can remember more precisely, feel free to correct me. You know my memory, and I sure as hell don't take notes. (Ok, ok, my memory for some things! Inane stuff like the minutiae of how long it took me to stand in line to pay for my yarn, yeah. Precise quotes from Stephanie, no. Heh.)

Then Stephanie pointed at Duffy, who had her hand raised for a question. And we of the PDXKB sort of collectively tensed in anticipation. <eg>

Yeah, there'd been a leetle bit of plotting going on. We'd seen the videos of what happened at The Yarnery, of course. Well, we don't have a group. But y'see, we do have a Duffy. As in, a Duffy who sings with the Confluence Willamette Valley LGBT Chorus.


So Duffy wangled her way up to the podium...and sort of mumbled something while unfolding a piece of paper...

Then launched a cappella into, "The Traveling Sock." To the tune of "Little Deuce Coupe", with lyrics re-written by her.

Stephanie. Cracked. Up.

The audience cracked up. And cheered. Then started clapping along, and singing along on the chorus, and meanwhile Stephanie's doubling over in laughter, and we PDXKB'ers over on the side are trying to sing and laugh and clap all at the same time, and oh, it was a magnificent thing to be there for!

The triumphant finale. (Just think of the blurries as a special effect, ok?)

When Duffy stopped singing, Stephanie practically leaped at her to give her a tremendous hug. (Duffy, that one came out really fuzzy, dammit. Too much movement. :P But if no one else has any still of it at all, let me know. I'll do what I can with it and send it to you. It'll still be blur city. I suppose you could always think of it as an action shot? Yeah, I didn't think so.)

The audience gave her a standing ovation and thunderous applause. It was glorious!

And akimbo - she has the same name on Ravelry - of ...on the fritz caught it on video! <vbg> Plus has three other videos. The video with Duffy is the last. After you see her sing, be sure to back up and catch the other three. Unless, of course, you don't want to be spoiled, as the first two are parts of Stephanie's talk. The third one is Stephanie answering the question about Millie, and expanding on it. So that's a non-spoiler. They're all great! Thanks for posting them, akimbo!

If anyone wants to know the exact lyrics Duffy sang, I'd suggest leaving a comment on her blog and asking if she'd post them.

That put a nice period to the presentation, to be sure. <g> Everyone madly applauded Stephanie, and the signature line began to form. Those of us able and willing to wait sat down, or headed to the restroom, or bought some more yarn. (They had a few boxes left over, so you were allowed to get more than one skein then. And yes, I did, heh.) Or headed outside to cool off a bit; it'd gotten warm in there! Besides, you know me. I had an urgent desire for a smoke. Don't worry, I brought along the Febreze.

We ran into Dawn (FiberDawn on Ravelry) of Dawn's Projects on the way out, with her incredible Stormy Sky Norwegian pullover in bamboo. (Dawn's own pattern.) So Heide got to meet yet another person. <g> Dawn's a TKGA Master Knitter, and she and her sister run a knitting business together. Some great patterns; and if anyone needs a pattern in Norwegian translated to English? Go to Dawn and her sister.

There was one more warped sneaky plan the PDXKB intended to put in motion before we split up, however. My memory's a bit fuzzy on precisely when this took place. (I'm gettin' tired, here. Yes, I can see you nodding in agreement. Well, hey, you guys can give up on it for a while and come back later. I've got to spellcheck and post this sucker yet! You know what'll happen if I stop before I'm done. Three and a half weeks later... Yeah. So onwards!) Anyway, Sharon had gotten in line fairly early, and was going to give Stephanie a skein of a one-off colorway she'd dyed for her. (Stephanie loved it.) The masterminds of the PDXKB had Flat Judy, the sign, and a plan.

As Stephanie was standing there, new yarn in hand, all unsuspecting...

I think this may be a startled deer look.

...the herd of wild bloggers approached, with cries of glee, bearing Flat Judy and the PDX Knit Bloggers sign, amidst much babbling and flashing of flashes, like a skulk of paparazzi.

This is where I really start to lose track, because Heide and I were sort of on the edge of the herd bunch gang, and back a person or two. We'd sort of spread out in a flying wedge formation by then, except that if we were a wedge, we were advancing to the rear, formation-wise; the widest part of the wedge was facing Stephanie. Anyway, in no particular order, the following happened:

There was the taking of pictures by Stephanie and Tina of Blue Moon.

This is the time during which it is believed the outrageous Kerin, aka pdxyarnho on Ravelry, of pdxyarnhoknits, in collusion with Flat Judy and the PDXKB sign, may have flashed the cameras. We do not know for sure. Duffy, who was more in front, says Kerin was deliberately blocking her from the cameras. Kerin denies that anything happened, and is declaring herself completely innocent. (Since she is thereby by stealing my line, your scribe has her own doubts as to the veracity of this claim of innocence. Yeah, right.) Investigations are continuing, because dammit, I wanna know. Besides, RachelH asked me what the heck was going on in "that picture", and as she advised me on what kind of beer Stephanie might like - thanks again, RachelH! - I owe her one.

Currently, all we know for sure is that obviously, as evidenced above, something at the front of our group was provoking gigglefits. The reverse of the above photo has not appeared in any location known to your scribe as yet.

Stephanie kindly came and stood with us for a picture - and no, I have no idea who the heck may have that/them. I certainly can't remember if any of our group tore themselves away from the huddle around Stephanie to take a picture instead of be in it. I don't even know if we all fit into a pic; I sort of doubt it. We did try to inch closer together, but we were already in lockstep, and the space-time continuum just refused to cooperate, y'know? It's quantum. Whoever took pictures, I suppose possibly a copy may eventually show up in the PDXKB group files or somewhere. Whatever. I'll keep an eye out.

Here the Nefarious Kerin (I've decided she needs a nickname. We've gotta warn people!) is shown explaining Flat Judy to Stephanie, and requesting a signature.

Which is why The Famous Judy may become The Infamous Judy. Stephanie - probably due to brainwashing by the Nefarious Kerin, who somehow might also be behind this whole "hit all the tour stops in one swell foop" thing, I wouldn't be surprised at all - signed Flat Judy on the ass. So to speak. (I did not come up with that phrase! I overheard someone say it after it happened. Or during. Sometime. That was not me you saw laughing her head off at the phrase, ok? At least not until the deed had been done and someone had said it already.)

Thus, fittingly enough, our...stampede...came to...well, an end.

After that, of course, there was quite a wait for the line to get down to reasonable proportions. Whenever it was we went outside or came back in, sometime in there we got in line. ;) Angela of Girly With A Twist happened to joined the line right behind us, and we slowly moved our way up. Finally it was Heide's turn, and she got to meet Stephanie! I set the beers down on the table and was able to get what I later saw thankfully was a good photo of the two of them. (Good camera.) Stephanie looked really interested in Heide's sock, and Heide was just shining when she went to sit down and wait for me. That was great to see!

I'm pretty sure this is Stephanie signing Heide's book. The beers I brought are sitting on the table, anyway, so I think I'm right.

Then it was my turn, and I handed over my book with the slip of paper with my name on it - and nearly broke my head grinning when Stephanie gave me this wry look and after saying hi, added, "I know who you are!" Gee, I wonder why? <bg> So I gave her the beers and told her I'd asked RachelH (of the comments, of course) for advice--to which she said if anyone would know what she'd like, it'd be Rachel. ;) In case you're wondering, one was an orange-honey-wheat; Rachel had said a wheat beer or a honey brown at this time of year, and the guy helping me at Belmont Station couldn't find any that specifically said honey brown. No, I have no clue; I just gave him the info and my trust. The other was a Rogue Kells Lager. I think the honey-wheat was from the Rogue Brewery, too. Ghu knows if the poor woman was able to even pack 'em; I doubt she drank any before leaving! Her latest blog entry said she got to bed at 1am, and had to be up at 4am to get to PDX. Yeah; I mean the airport this time. Yikes!

I proudly showed her my finished sock...and a funny happened, if I'm not mis-remembering. Stephanie said something about the yarn being gorgeous, and Tina of Blue Moon, who was sitting close by, agreed. I responded that it was a Rare Gems heavyweight. Tina looked a little surprised, then grinned, and Stephanie said they'd have to try and do it again! I wish they could; I fell in love with the colors as soon as I saw it. Then somewhere in there, things segued to the point that I told Tina I used to live up by Chapman, outside Scappoose, and she got a startled look at that and said something I forget. (Of course.) I do remember I came back with, "Right on the other side of the hill, in Spitzenberg" - which in an old German dialect, means "wide spot in the road and 5 houses" - and she said, "I'm on Mollenhour Road!", and I said, "I know!"--'cause the business address, at least, is on the website, after all--and it probably got kinda weird there to her, for a minute. So no, Tina, if you run across this by some miracle - yeah, like that's likely - but just in case, I'm not a weirdo stalker. ;) Just lived out in Spitzenberg the last three years of high school, and graduated from Scappoose High. Plus we had some Mollenhour neighbors up the road, and knew more through the Grange.

Oh; you might wonder what Stephanie said about my sock? <g> Yeah, you know I can't wait to tell you. ::bounces in excitement:: I nearly squee'd for real! She told me I'd done beautiful work, and when she first picked it up and felt it, she actually said something like, "Now that's what a sock's supposed to feel like!" (It's sportweight yarn, gauged at 6 sts/1" on US 3-4. Since I knit loose, I used US#1's in the Knit Picks 2.50mm size. I'm getting 6-1/2 sts/1", and it's tight. I think that sucker could nearly shed water.)

So I almost broke my head grinning again, thanked her fervently, and got my hands on the traveling sock (very pretty yarn, nope, can't remember, think it was Regia something), and Heide took a photo of us.

Gee, I look insufferably smug, don't I?

Also, I really think I need a new bra. Or something.

Afterwards, I thanked her for about the third time, LOL, said goodbye, and got the hell outta the way for the next person. Notice the windows in the photo above? Yeah. That's night outside. As in about 11:30 or so. Poor Stephanie didn't get out of there until around 12:30, I guess. Eesh.

Thus Heide and I beat feet for the elevators. After a brief encounter with a cute security guy (stop that! just a look to make sure we weren't assaulting a building, and an "Oh, hi, everything ok?" - nothing interesting.); and a slight tussle between lack-of-brains (mine) vs. elevators (smarter at that point), we got to the MAX platform in the depths of the earth just in time to catch a train eastward. As we were half asleep by then - somewhat like I am now - we chattered somewhat more slowly than on the way out. Got back to Heide's van safe, if damp from the rain; she drove me home, where I double-checked with her on the route back to the freeway, and she waited to make sure I got inside ok; then I collapsed.

Into a chair, not bed. I was whacked, yes, but too wound up to go to sleep. So I got on Ravelry for a while. <g> Finally made it to bed about 3:30.

And did not take the last pic until today, before I started going through that gawdawful number of photos. As stated, this colorway will be up on Blue Moon's website soonish, and they have much better photographers than I, so I cropped the heck out of this. But here you are - Blue Moon/Harlot/PDXKB schwag!

Blue Moon Socks That Rock Lightweight, Knitters Without Borders colorway, two skeins; left to right, BMFA Yarn Harlot Tour pin; Inexplicable Knitting Behavior scavenger hunt pin (they had leftovers, they let us get 'em for a KWB donation); and PDX Knit Blogger's pin.

That's a sheep blogging with a laptop on the PDXKB button, btw. ;) In case you can't quite read the text along the lower edge, it says, "Stalk My Blog."

Whew! About time, innit? At this point, I'm not responsible for any typos that spellcheck misses. I'll worry about that...uh, much later today. Obviously I had a helluva good time. Thanks much, Heide! Wouldn't have made it without ya.

And thanks to Stephanie, of course. For everything from sockBorging me back in the compliments on the first sock I finally finished! I hope to Bog you finally get some sleep soon!

As for me, I hope I'll

--eventually finish the first three socks I started in the years between 2006 and February, which is when I started The Finished Sock;
--get this up successfully without LJ telling me it's gone over the character limit;
--or finding tomorrow I've made some some egregious spelling error that turns out to be startlingly obscene;
--get to bed soon;
--find that I really did count right and have 96 stitches cast onto that #1 needle I took to Stephanie's talk.

Because that way I can start another sock in that pretty custom-dyed green yarn.

G'night! (No schedule, remember?)
Tags: blue moon fiber arts, book signing, knitting, pdx knit bloggers, pdxkb, str, things i learned from knitting, yarn harlot, yh in portland
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