On Friday evening I was still not quite finished with everything that needed to be ready for YarnCon on Saturday morning. Not my fault, honestly. Just you try putting together display booth with a crazed presidential candidate throwing a fit on the living room rug because her campaign manager not only failed to secure her a slot in the televised debates, but also ignored direct orders to open the campaign ads with the candidate's own harmonica rendition of "America, The Beautiful."
Anyhow, Tom said that in order to save me transit time he'd be happy to provide a ride to Loopy and hang out while I mingled, then drive me home again. Tom is not a knitter, but he learned the rudiments of the language by watching over my shoulder as I wrote the little book. He knows which end of the needle is the business end. He felt confident in his ability to survive an hour in a yarn shop unscathed.
We got down to Printer's Row about ten minutes before the scheduled start of the party and the place was already seething like a tank of touchy barracudas. Struggling through the knot of frenzied shoppers near the cash desk, I shouted to Tom to keep his head low–books and yarn were flying all over the place.
The crowd would have blown the doors right off the old Loopy but fit tolerably well inside the new, larger location. Among the wonders is a wall of Cascade that could induce palpitations in the sensitive, which indeed seems to be happening in this picture.
At the center of the uproar, serenely ensconced in the book nook like a primal Knitting Goddess, was Ann Shayne–the Dixon half of Mason-Dixon Knitting, signing the team's gorgeous Knitting Outside the Lines.
Notice that Ann, who is otherwise an absolutely lovely person, used this photo opportunity to compare the relative statures of her book and mine. I would take umbrage, except everyone knows that Size Doesn't Matter.
Tom and I got separated for a while, but I eventually found him near the door of the sock yarn room. He looked slightly disoriented and was nursing a bite on one hand, suffered by accidentally reaching too close to somebody's basket of Lorna's Laces. The doctor's predicts a full recovery, through the nervous tic may be with us for several weeks.
The next morning was YarnCon 2008, greatly expanded from the first edition in 2007. This year, the vendors spilled out of the central hall of the Pulaski Fieldhouse
and into a second room, the gymnasium.
I got a plummy spot just inside the door of the gym, which makes YarnCon '08 the first time I've ever enjoyed myself on a basketball court. No, wait. The second. But I won't tell you about the first time because my mother might be reading this.
Our centerpiece was Polly, a creation of the Windy City Knitting Guild who made her début a couple years ago at the Winter Delights Stitching Salon. Polly's voluminous skirt keeps growing as knitters continue to work on it.
I lost count of the number of folks who stopped by to say hello and check out the display of original panels from It Itches. Dozens? Hundreds? What I will never forget is that you laughed, and after drawing the pictures in solitude it was a relief to find they could make you laugh out loud.
My own selection of souvenir photos is paltry, but there's a great photo pool here for you to swim in.
- Somebody must have started something behind the scenes, because over the weekend I got about a dozen e-mails entreating the re-issue of the tree ornaments from 2005-2007. As once correspondent succinctly put it, "It's not my fault I didn't buy the 2005 ornament in 2005, because in 2005 nobody knew who the hell you were." I can't argue with that. So for a limited time (through December) and just this once, I've put the old ornaments back up in the Cafe Press shop (see the main page) for those who want to fill in gaps.
- The stock of gift enclosure cards in the Etsy shop will be replenished as soon as the new printing arrives. I thought I'd my initial order would be sufficient for two months. Oops.
- Guys with Yarn is on its way up from the printers and should be available in about two days, so keep your shirts on...although they didn't.