Sunday, August 05, 2007

muggles of Madison

As early as possible on Friday afternoon, Leah and I packed up our handknit hats for charity ...

and headed for Madison Wool, where we bought some beautiful handpainted yarn from Blackberry Ridge. We mentioned being in town for the Yarn Harlot event that evening and the owner of the store was surprised that we would drive "so far." She was planning to close at 5:00, as usual, but we told her she just might want to reconsider that plan because there would be a steady stream of knitters coming this way throughout the evening. Before we left the shop 15 minutes later, three more knitters had arrived and we passed another on our way up the lane. It is possible that the owner was beginning to realize this would not be the usual evening in Madison, as she was making phone calls and arrangements when we left.

We meandered along Madison's delightful Main St. and a sculpture trail, taking note of a pair of women up ahead, one of whom was wearing a lacy knit summer top and carrying a felted bag. She's one of us, we nodded to each other with a smile. We made our way to RJ Julia Booksellers, where Leah bought Knitting Rules and then we parked ourselves in the children's section upstairs to browse the books, finish work on a pair of mittens, and generally chill out. The staff members talked among themselves about how many calls they had received about the evening to come and that the store would be "crazy" later for the standing room only event. Other customers wandered by, some giving a knowing smile as they'd turn a corner and I'd notice a sock-knitting book sticking out of a purse or a Sockapalooza bag hanging from a wrist. One customer asked an employee what was going on with "all those people gathered downstairs," and was informed the author of a knitting book would be in the building for a book signing later in the evening. Yup, the muggles could tell something was up. We joined the knitters downstairs and played a game of "Hey, I recognize you from your blog!" and "Hey, I was talking with you on Ravelry!" as the party atmosphere overtook the previously subdued bookstore.

Eventually the store moved tables aside and set up chairs, which were filled almost as soon as they were set out. It was a little snug, given that they had to fit as many chairs in the store as possible to accommodate the pre-registered crowd and that every single one of us had a knitting bag at our feet, but they were gracious hosts. One of the store folks asked Leah to come up to draw the raffle winner's name for a gift certificate at Madison Wool, which she happily did. And it wasn't her own name or mine -- aw, shucks.
Stephanie was charming and entertaining, as always. Her prepared talk made us laugh, but her spontaneous comments made us howl. Afterwards, Leah had her book autographed and she was so proud to give Stephanie the original chart from when she designed the Imagine hat, so named because of a picture on Stephanie's blog. I remember when Leah was coloring in the peace sign squares on the graph paper chart, she looked at me and said, "I want to give this to the Yarn Harlot because she's such a nice and peaceful person." Mission accomplished and the girl was psyched.

I understand there was a steady stream of knitters doing a yarn crawl from the bookstore back to Madison Wool afterward, as they had stayed opened late into the night to accommodate the need. We had already purchased our yarn and were tired, and we knew better than to tempt ourselves again, so we headed home. It ends up we should have stayed, as there were friends looking for us at the yarn store and others who would have invited us to join them for pizza, but we'll have to catch up with them all again another time.

When I used to go on Grateful Dead tour, one of my favorite things was watching the locals' response to the influx of Deadheads. The more things change, the more they stay the same. :-)

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Blogger Donna said...

What a GREAT picture of Leah with Stephanie!

Sounds like a fun time was had by all. Sorry we missed it :-(

8:40 AM  
Blogger somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

Very cool post! A bunch of us were the last ones to see Stephanie, and we all went to the LYS and Village Pizza afterwards. Next time!

12:41 PM  
Blogger BeccaU said...

Great post! I'm hoping to have mine up later today - it was nice to meet you and Leah, however brief! She's a wonderful young lady - I enjoyed getting to talk with her and learn about the gauntlets before they set up chairs!

7:23 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

very cool... i love Madison and didn't know there was an LYS there! where is it?

10:12 AM  

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