Friday, June 29, 2007

A Knitter in Need

Just a quick post, no pictures, but a VERY important topic.

Annie Modesitt, author and designer extraordinaire needs our help. Her husband Gerry has been diagnosed with Multiple Myleoma. This is a very aggressive form of cancer. Annie and her family moved only a few months ago to Minnesota, so they are going through this incredibly difficult and scary time without any family nearby. Annie and Gerry have two adorable young kids who we've all seen modeling some of her designs.

She is selling one of her patterns and all of the monies raised will be used to help offset the costs of travel and such for Gerry's treatments. She is asking a minimum of $4.50, but is hoping we can all step up and help out.

I have had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with Annie. She is larger than life, incredibly funny and full of life. She is the primary income for her family, but right now, knitting, teaching and travelling are just not possible.

Please go to her website and read her post and if at all possible, please consider making a donation.

And be sure to hug your family extra tight tonight.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Guess What We're Getting!

Any guesses?

Did any of you catch Larry King last night? He was in Vegas celebrating the one year anniversary of Cirque do Soleil's "Love" - their Beatles production. I had to giggle at the coincidence, given my post title of yesterday.


P.S. WEBS Staff - you cannot give away the answer and take away all of the fun.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Am The Lizard, Goo, Goo, G'joob

The Valley Yarns catalog is off and on its way to all of you. I always get a bit nervous when a new catalog drops. What if nobody buys anything? I know, silly, but it's like planning a party in those last few minutes before guests are suppose to start arriving and you think "what if nobody comes?". I would love to hear your thoughts once you've had the chance to take a peek at it. I'll share more of my thoughts and behind the scenes stuff with you in the coming days.

We've added some great new models to the store that I thought I would share with you. First up is this gorgeous cardigan knit with Sheep Two from Sheep Shop Yarn Company. The picture doesn't do it justice - those dark colors are always a challenge to photograph! It really is darling and the pattern is a freebie on!

While on the subject of, our entire staff is in total love with Amy Singer's book No Sheep for You. It's been out for a couple of months now and we finally got a shop model knit up using a combination of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk DK and Artyarns Regal Silk.

Then late last week, Jaz brought in this lovely lingerie set she has been working on for us. It's knit using Ella Rae Silkience and is one of the new White Lies patterns we are carrying in the store (sorry - they are not available on the web per request from the designer). You can buy them directly at and I hope you come back to us for the yarn! The pattern is #505 Alene Camisole and Boy Short:

I had also promised pictures of the new Shibui yarns that arrived. We never take in shipments that aren't nearly complete in terms of colors, but in this instance, we threw caution to the wind. That is how in love we are with this yarn.

We have 3 colors in the Baby Alpaca DK. It retails for $19.50/hank, has 255 yards and knits at 5 1/2 sts on a #6 needle.

Six colors of the Merino Kid came. It's 55% kid mohair/45% merino with 217 yards and knits at 5 sts on a #7 needle. It too retails for $19.50, but remember both of these yarns have terrific yardage.

Next is Silk Cloud with 60% kid mohair/40% silk. It is light and fluffy and yummy. And I don't particularly care for alpaca so if I'm singing it's praises, you have to trust it's nice stuff. It's got 330 yards and retails for $17.00. One skein will make a lovely swirl scarf. We have this knit up in the store for anyone who comes by.

Last, but just as great is Shibui Sock. Oh yes, wonderful, wonderful sock yarn. The colors, as with their other yarns are rich and vibrant and saturated and really well thought out. Each hank has 191 yards to 50 grams. It's superwash merino, of course and retails for $9.30/hank. Five colors arrived - a smattering of their more tonal solids and lively multis. What I love is besides just sock patterns, they have a too cute kids' sweater that we will have a shop model of shortly.

I have to say, this company has been nothing short of AWESOME to work with. Since the minute we met them at TNNA right on through, they have been just incredibly supportive. I really encourage all of you to check out their yarns.

We have also received in new colors in Blythe from Classic Elite. Blithe is a scrumptious 100% Baby Camel yarn. It is soft and squishy and not the least bit scratchy. It has 128 yards and retails for $15.00. This yarn has been around for a few seasons now, mostly in a tonal/natural palette of beiges and greys. Classic Elite has added these four rich hues for fall and we are in love, love, love. Dena is working on shawl that I cannot wait to see!

Then there's Swoon from Fiesta Yarns. And yes, the minute you touch this yarn and see the amazing colors that is exactly what you will do. This yarn has been on FIRE since it arrived and we're working hard to keep inventory on hand. It's 55% extrafine merino/45% silk. It retails at $35.00 for 225 yards and knits at 4 1/2 sts on a #8. This is only a sampling of the colors we brought in. We have another newbie coming from Fiesta in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Lastly, we are thrilled to introduce two yarns from Green Mountain Spinnery. They are located just about an hour from us and we've never stocked their yarns before. Why? Who knows, just one of those misses we sometimes make. Too much yarn, too little time. But no need to dwell on the past, we're happy to have them in the store and on the web. We're starting out with their Mountain Mohair, which is 70% wool/30% yearling mohair. The yarn is beautiful and their colors are amazing. It retails for $12.40/hank, has 140 yards and I would call it a heavy worsted weight.

We also have Sylvan Spirit, their wool/tencel blend that has a lovel, tweedy-ish sort of look that results from how the wool and tencel each take the dye. There are 180 yards, dk weight and retails at $11.25/hank.

Whew. . ..and this only catches us up through last week!

Plus, we've got an incredible line up of events and guest teachers over the coming months. This will all be on the website shortly, but I wanted to start getting the word out:

Sunday, July 15th at 1:00pm, Alison Hansel, author of Charmed Knits and The Blue Blog
This event will have all of the wizardry you'd expect from Harry Potter!
Sunday, August 13th at 1:00pm, Adina Klein, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Knitting.
This will be a presentation of fall trends, a trunk show and book signing.

Saturday & Sunday, September 8th & 9th, Norah Bellows, Designer/Owner of Noni Patterns.
This two day workshop (with a one day option) is sure to be a sellout!

Wednesday, September 12th at 5:00pm Norah Gaughan, author and Berroco Design Director
Norah will present the fall collection, including her exclusive pattern book and will be giving a demonstration of her hexagon technique.

Mid-September-ish TBD Vickie Howell, author, designer and host of DIY"s Knitty Gritty
This is sure to be a magical night of knitting, yarn and Knitty Gritty craziness! We'll have a yarn tasting of her signature line of yarns from SWTC and much more!

Saturday, October 6th, Teva Durham, author & designer.
Teva will teach two workshops and will be introducing her new line of yarns distributed by Tahki Stacy Charles.

Sunday, October 14th from 12:00-4:00, our 4th Annual Knit for the Cure

Saturday, October 20th, WEBS Bus Trip to NY Sheep & Wool Festival, Rhinebeck, NY
Join us for this magical and fun trip to Rhinebeck. There'll be food and goodies all the way to Rhinebeck. The trip home will be prizes for who bought the most, the least, etc.

Oh and this list doesn't even include Maggie Radcliffe, Candace Eisner-Strick, Margaret Fisher, Susanna Hansson, Amy Barrie (rug hooker extraordinaire), Margaret Heathman.. . . . . .who are ALL COMING TO WEBS THIS FALL! As the kids would say "Come on Robin, to the Bat Cave, there's not a moment to lose!" I think that is very appropos to all of you knitters and WEBS!

Plus, we'll have trunk shows from Shibui, Classic Elite, Sheep Shop Yarn and Filatura di Crosa Baby.

AND! We'll be at Stitches Midwest (Chicago) in August, the Boston Knit Out on September 30th and Stitches East (Baltimore) in October.

AND - there may be a couple of surprise additions, so be sure to watch the website, listen to the podcast, read the blog, stop by the store. . . . .

I think I need a nap after this post.


P.S. I didn't even share the MOST exciting item of the day. Today, the temperataure hit 98 degrees here. Right now, it's still 89 with 90 minutes to go until sunset. Melissa has decided that I must be a lizard. When she retires to Arizona or Florida, I will go with her and live on a rock, near a pond in her yard (translate deck and pool and cushy pool house). I will be very happy.

P.P.S. I know Melissa means this with the utmost affection. She is not insinuating I LOOK like a lizard, just have lizard like qualities in terms of my love of the heat. Gosh, it sounded so much more endearing coming from her. . . . . . . .

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hot Off The Press!

Today has been a bit of a whirlwind - in an exciting sort of way, not a stressful one.

I was on press most of the day for our next catalog. It will be our second "Valley Yarns" only catalog and I have to say, I am really, really excited about it. I believe I showed you some photos from the actually location shoot a few weeks back. Well, all of the photos, projects and text are complete, the proofing (and proofing and proofing and proofing) is complete and we only have on more set of pages to finish up tomorrow. Here are a few pictures from today:

The first picture is of the press that our catalog runs on and the next two are actual pages - right off of the press that we are using to compare to the computer generated proofs for color accuracy, etc. Being on press is like the culmination of any large project - all the hardwork and sweat finally pays off when the first pages start coming off the conveyer. I can't wait for this catalog to hit mailboxes. We have some new yarns, new colors and amazing new designs (if I do say so myself). I hope you will all be as excited to get knitting!

I discovered that I had a picture from The Yarn Harlot's visit that I never shared. One of our lovely customers came and was mentioning a log cabin project she was working on - having read here about my "desire" to log cabin (did I just make it into a verb?). Here is what she has knit:

She's using SWTC's Karaoke - isn't it incredible?! What's most amazing is she is donating the blanket to a charity auction! If I had worked as hard as she had on such a project, I'm not sure I'd be able to part with it. This really is a work of art, the picture does not do it justice.

Our Office Manager Malea was also sporting a lovely new top this past week:

Knit by Melissa in trade for . . . . more pottery I believe (Malea is an amazing potter and is simply hanging with us until she hits the big time). This was knit in Art Yarns Regal Silk, pattern P90. The shaping is beautiful and looks just gorgeous on.

So after finishing at the printer today, Cirilia and I hightailed it back to WEBS. And boy did I find some great new goodies! Have I mentioned that Cirilia is back at WEBS for the summer? She is working with me on catalogs and general marketing initiatives. So thrilled to have her, if only she wasn't determined to go back and finish her Masters Degree this fall. . . . really Cirilia, education is WAY overrated :)

First off, Berroco Fall has arrived! I only had a couple of minutes to snap photos, so I apologize. But here are some of colors in their Ultra Alpaca Light:

Really, these colors are to.die.for. I am not a fan of small needle knitting, but trust me, I will be knitting with this yarn.

Also, new colors of Foliage:

I've always liked Foliage, but I LOVE these new tonal variations.

We also received our advance balls of Comfort:

There are 57 total colors and we picked out 30 for the store. This yarn will be available in about a week, with a dedicated pattern book coming in August. We talked about this yarn on the podcast this past week and it has to be touched and swatched to be believed. It's a nylon/acrylic blend - I know, I know. It does not sound appetizing at all. But do not judge a yarn by it's label folks! This is sure to be a new core basic - machine wash and dry.

These yarns should be up on the website tomorrow. I will add links then.

We also received in a bunch of new books. This great new felting book from Amy Swenson looks faboo:

And we've finally received copies of Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel:

We will be hosting an event with Alison on Sunday, July 15th from 1:00pm - 4:00pm. Potter mania will be nearing a crescendo at this point and we are thrilled that Alison has made time for us in her busy schedule. Not only does she have this new book, she has a new baby too! Watch the blog and the website for more details about the event.

We also received in two other new yarns that I did not have time to photograph. Dena, our Inventory Analyst had it totally under wraps and only allowed me a quick peek until she's got it all in the sytem. So check back tomorrow for pictures of my favorite find from TNNA - Shibui Knits. Two of the four yarns we purchased are in, as are patterns. Just wait until you see them.

My "More Thank An Apron" is coming along. I"m about to start on the center panel, but need to be sure I've got the right sizing before I go any further.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Freezing in Red Sox Nation

One of the things Steve and I have in common is that we are both big sports fans. Among others, we are card-carrying members of Red Sox Nation. Both Jackson and Jonathan are fortunately on the band wagon. Jonathan often toys with us and proclaims he "now likes the Yankees" but the suggestion of homelessness bring him back from the dark side.

We've had the good fortune to see our beloved team twice during spring training in recent years. That is an absolute treat. But visiting the homeland - there is nothing like it. Now taking a family of four to any major league sporting event is not something that just happens, especially in a sports-crazed city like Boston.
Last night, we made the pilrgrimage. The boys had their first visit to Fenway Park and Steve and I went back for the first time since 1998 (is our best guess). It was awesome. There is no place like Fenway. We got there early, had good seats, AND NEARLY FROZE TO DEATH. We knew it was going to be chilly and planned accordingly. Remember, I am a Bostonian - I know how the weather can be. We were prepared - or so we thought. I had on four layers, jeans and a scarf. Now granted, I followed my post-May 1st footwear rules of only flip-floppy sandals, but other than that one item, I was dressed. I.WAS.MISERABLE. The boys' were pretty tough, but they too were uncomfortable. Steve, well, there was enough complaining going on around him, there was no need to add to it.

It was great to be there, our beloved Red Sox were trounced by the Rockies, but that's okay. The kids' got to see Curt Schilling pitch (a fave of J2) and Big Papi (who doesn't love him). Today we went to the aquarium to see the new baby Blue Penguin (the picture is of a Macaroni Penguin, says Jackson) and walked through Quincy Market. It was nice to have a little family time, but it was really nice to come home (where it is warm!).

The good news is that the 2+ hour drive each way gave me lots of time to work on my crocheted "More than an Apron". It's coming along quite nicely. I'm crocheting in black, so it's rather pointless to take photos at this stage.

Oh, and while we were away, I had a new companion delivered. I am so excited, I can barely stand it:

I am a grill master, if I do say so myself. I grill a good 4/7 nights a week, 365 days per year (and that's being conservative). Yes, I grill in the snow, the cold, the sleet, the rain, the heat and all that is good in between. My old grill was, by our best estimate, eight years old. Now, the average grill is used maybe, once per week? I think even that is being generous, so figure 8 years times and average of 4 times per week usage and the elements, well, my old Weber more than served it's time. I am sure to ruin tonight's meal. No question about it. Sorry honey!


Monday, June 11, 2007

Crochet Revolution.

I just love the sound of that phrase!

I realize that the knitting/crocheting content has been a bit light as of late. General yarn talk has been missing as well. Just want to make a quick post today about my WIPs and then this week I plan to catch you up on new yarns, projects, etc., that are happening at the store.

My top down sweater from the knitalong is still going. I'm working 'round and 'round the body. I'm probably about 1/2 way there. I've figured out a trim for the sleeves and bottom edge which will take no time at all. As long as it's done before it gets cold, I'm not stressing about this project. It's perfect, mindless knitting which is great for all of the sidelines I've been sitting on lately.

My newest project is this sweet apron. I fell in love with it the second I saw it on I swatched feverishly when I had no right to be swatching anything! I'm using our Valley Yarns Southwick, a lovely pima/bamboo blend which is the absolute perfect gauge. It's also the perfect fiber blend and is a dream to work with. I'm crocheting this in all black, which isn't nearly as tough as I thought it would be. The reality is I wear a lot of black. Anyone out there remember the kids' line called Garanimals? Just match the tags and your outfit matches? Well, I'm a zebra - lots of black and white. Makes getting dressed easy and I can easily spice up outfits with a fun wrap or scarf. I cannot wait to finish this project. I'm 12 rows in and about to start the first set of darts. The piece is not difficult, it's smartly designed and I just love it! I want to be done with it so I can wear it to the TKGA Show next month in Manchester, NH. We will be there exhibiting/selling, so be sure to stop by!

Since we're talking crochet, I want to show you one of my prized possessions from TNNA. As I said in my last post, we came home with plenty of schwag - lots of treasures among all the schwag, but this ranks right up there:

It's my Crochet Revolution wrist band that i got at the Interweave Press booth. It ties in with Kim Werker's new book and her mission with Interweave Crochet. Plus, I discovered it has a fabulous duel purpose:

The perfect Blackberry cozy. Love it! I bet I could knit/crochet a bunch of these out of Fixation!

Once this is done, then it's onto Log Cabin. I have the yarn, the colors, the design, everything ready to go. But I promised myself a crochet project after completing the catalog projects. I've also got to come up with the next knitalong project. Before Pixie left for France, she emailed me that she would like to do a Nordic Shawl design (her own for a class she teaches at the store). Not sure that's speaking to me. Any ideas? Suggestions?

Honestly, I have way more WIPs floating around here. It's way too embarrassing to share. Seriously. Plus I have Melissa chomping at the bit to get me going on socks. There it is, admitted to the world, I have never knit socks. My MIL says that you are not a real knitter until you've turned a heel. Well, I'm sure we could have quite a lively debate about that, but given that she is the founder, she wins. I think I prefer the word "accomplished" to "real" myself.

Oh, by the way - look who got published on Knitty! Guess I couldn't ask for a better teacher! Congratulations Melissa!

The boys have that glazed over look about them - I think it's time to make some dinner.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

TNNA and The Big Ooops!

The day after the Yarn Harlot event, Steve and I left for Columbus, OH for the fall TNNA Show. TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) is an organization for wholesalers and retailers within our industry. It's not just knitting, but also includes needlepoint and counted thread. Now, you have to understand something about me (read: here comes another abnormal quality about Kathy) I LOVE tradeshows. Yup. Most people sort of dread them, wrestle with them, etc. Not me. I've done a lot of tradeshows in my day. I've been on the wholesale side showing, the retail side buying and the retail side selling. Done it all. Before kids and WEBS, I worked in the shoe industry and did a HUGE show in Vegas twice a year. My favorite was the one in August because (here comes another factoid about me that will reveal a little more of my weirdness) I LOVE Vegas in August. I love the heat. I love that at 10pm it's still, oh, 94 degrees. I'm the one who is grabbing a barely edible sandwich from the show concession area and stepping outside at 1:00 in the afternoon to enjoy the heat.

So despite being exhausted, I was quite happy to get on the plane and head to Columbus. Turns out that a major PGA event was also happening in Columbus last weekend. Guess who was REALLY excited? It was very sweet watching him come to the realization that The Memorial was happening and he was in the same town at the same time. For those of you who don't know, Steve is a major, major golfer. He has golfed since he was 7 or 8 years old. The man cannot ride a bike and he's not much of a swimmer, but give him a ball and a few clubs and he is in his element. He was an All-American in college and although his handicap isn't what it used to be back in the day, it's still in the mid single digits. Opportunities like seeing a major PGA event do not present themselves everyday, so with a few conversations with the staff at the hotel, he had a rental car, directions and determination to get a ticket for the second round.

Steve headed off early Friday morning and although I love golf as much as he does, opted to let him have some time to himself. We've been pretty much joined at the hip, even more so than usual, these past few weeks. I think we were both happy for some alone time. There was a meeting late Friday morning for all of the retailers who belong to TNNA, which I attended, then I handled a phone interview about our business with a non-industry publication. I think the writer who interviewed me ended up with more of a story than she thought she would get - that whole "represent" mentality. I think I represented pretty well. We'll see when the article comes out. I'll keep you posted. Oh and Steve had an awesome day. It took a little effort, but he managed to score a ticket. At one point he was 5 feet from Tiger Woods. The best news of all is the tournament and TNNA overlap again next year.

Friday night was the opening reception and fashion show. It's great to see all of our friends in the industry and do some catching up. We stayed for most of the fashion show, which is always inspiring.

Saturday morning, Tahki Stacy Charles (TSC) traditionally holds a breakfast for their retailers prior to the show floor opening. They always put on a wonderful event and usually include editors from the major magazines who present fall trends and what we'll see in the fall magazines for TSC. Plus, they provide a complete overview of their new products and designs. We've always already made our buys with them, but it's always good to take a second look and make sure we didn't miss anything.

Then it was off to the show. We had three packed days of meetings, appointments and some free time to walk the show floor. Again, all of our major buying is done before the show, but since we often see our reps so early, it's good to go back and make sure we didn't miss anything or pass on something that has turned out to be a big hit. We also look for smaller vendors that maybe don't have reps yet and we especially focus on accessories. We found a couple of lovely new yarn vendors, one in particular that tickled us was from Portland called ShiBui. The yarns are hand-dyed and to-die-for. Gorgeous fiber blends and really lovely colors. Plus they have super patterns. We won't be seeing the yarn until August or so, but I cannot wait for it to come!

We added some new bags and needle cases from Offhand Designs, a few new items from our friends at Lantern Moon and scored a fair amount of schwag. I was beside myself to discover a company called Walker was showing. They are a mesh bag/tote company out of San Francisco. Their products are extremely high quality and are made domestically. I actually own a backpack that I bought in San Francisco at least 12 years ago. I have used this backpack more than I can even tell you - it's been jam-packed with kids junk, my junk, sippy cups, cameras, videocameras - the works! It has held up beautifully. So, I ordered a few bags and totes for the store. I am hoping they do well as I love selling items from companies I love and that produce such lovely items. Keep your eyes out in the store and on the website!

We also had the opportunity to attend Vogue Knitting's 25th Anniversary party which was held on Saturday evening. Talk about a who's who of the knitting industry. It was really incredible. I had the chance to meet the new editor of Interweave Knits, Eunny Jang. Unfortunately, I had been talking to Debbie Bliss and although Eunny was gracious, she was waaay more interested in meeting Debbie Bliss than me. Can't blame her for that!

All in all the show was awesome, invigorating and exhausting all at the same time. Stay tuned to see some of the new finds start to arrive.

We came home just in time for the end of year festivities at the boys' school. They have a lovely tradition of a baccalaureate service the night before graduation and then graduation itself the next morning. The school is K-9, so the festivities are truly for the 9th graders, but the whole school takes part. Both events involve processionals of all of the students and they are lined up in order of grade and height. Guess who got to lead the way for the entire school? The cutiest-patootiest (IMHO):

Don't they both look handsome:

So now for my Big Ooops. This week was Steve's birthday. We had a yummy cake at work for him (thanks Malea):

The kids made cards and I eeked out gifts at the 11th hour, but I neither posted on the actual day (which was this past Thursday 6/7) nor did I mention it when we recorded this week's radio show/podcast. So, be it a bit belated: Happy Birthday Honey!


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Awesome. Simply Awesome.

The last six days have been nothing short of insane. After wrapping up the Harlot event last Wednesday night, Steve and I left on Thursday to attend our bi-annual industry market in Columbus, known as TNNA (The National Needlearts Association). We arrived home this morning and boy oh boy, do I have a lot to talk about. I think for today, let's just get through The Yarn Harlot's visit to WEBS.

It was simply - AWESOME!

Now, I am not one to brag, but last Wednesday just blew me away on so many levels, I am not sure I will even be able to accurately convey it all to you. It was pure electricity from start to finish. Except for the ache-y, burn-y sensation in the pit of my stomach. I was so stressed out about having to go out on the stage at the Calvin for our little intro, it was nearly making me sick. I felt very reassured when Stephanie and Jayme showed up just after lunch and Stephanie confessed she too had the same exact feeling in her stomach.

We took Stephanie on a quick tour of the warehouse, under the pretense of showing her where the sock yarn was. In all honesty, we had a surprise waiting for her. Steve took her out and I lagged behind with Jayme and told her what was about to happen. Set up next to the sock yarn was "a nest of silk and mohair in colors of green and gold". This was the wish that Stephanie posted on her blog after her last visit. So a bunch of us on the staff each made a square and the faboo Melissa assembled them into this gorgeous blanket:

Stephanie's quote was "there I was in the WEBS warehouse and the only thing I saw was this beautiful blanket". I think she really liked it and we sent it home with her. Hopefully it will keep her snuggled and cuddle during the long winters while she knits.

We left to go record the radio show, which I enjoy doing. It definitely relaxed me and we had a great time with Stephanie. If you haven't listened, you can click here to get the download.

That second photo is Jayme-the-wonder-publicist. She worked on her sock throughout the day. She had great first sock mojo going. She was even still plugging away at nearly midnight as we sat and ate dinner after the event. She is a better woman than I.

After that, it was back to the store to get some books presigned, let the staff get theirs signed and then the serious tour of the warehouse and store courtesy of Steve. During all of this, the place was really starting to fill up and the vibe was awesome. We hung the banner for NYC right over the registers - it looked faboo. Thanks Guido! We missed you!

Throughout the day, we continued to increase our staff in order to be sure we could handle the crowds. Truthfully, Steve and I were scared to death!

Then, it was time to head to the Calvin. We got there about two hours before to get set up and I needed time to become one with the space. I've been to events at the Calvin, but I've never been on the otherside. Walking on the stage the first time and looking out into the theater of empty seats was incredible. And I realized not nearly as scary as I thought it would be!

Funny thing - as we drove past the Calvin to park, there were two knitters already sitting out front, waiting for the doors to open:

Events like this are like planning a party - you always have that slight fear that nobody will come. I could have hugged those two ladies - which had morphed into four by the time I parked and got out there with my camera. That was definitely a sign of things to come.

The time came and we opened the doors and in came hordes of people!!!

Next thing I know there's a photographer there from the local paper saying that he got a call that there's a large group outside of the Calvin and he was sent over to see what was happening. He didn't seem very impressed, but I must have misjudged him. A little while later, the lovely Victoria came over to interview Steve and I and Stephanie. She ended up staying for the entire event and even came back to the store. There was an incredible article in the paper on Friday - front page and everything!

Stephanie just rocked the house. When Steve and I introduced her and brought her out on stage, the place went crazy! It was seriously like being at a rock concert.

Everyone was cheering, flashbulbs were flashing throughout the audience. It was magical.

I was so relieved that everything was going according to plan, Steve and I went back to the bar area, ordered a beer and downed it faster than I can ever remember drinking a beer.

Speaking of beer, check out this clip posted on Youtube:

In no time it was over and we were on our way back to WEBS. Oh, before I get to that, I have to tell you another funny. Stephanie and Jayme were due at the Calvin around 5. It was starting to get late and no Stephanie. I call them only to tell me that they ARE at the Calvin, just in the basement. Does anyone see the connection (read previous post if necessary)? They were dead serious - that's where the "green room" was. I was so freaked out I made them come up stairs and sit behind stage, where it was too dark to knit and it was cramped, but the basement thing was more than I could handle and it was messing with my event mojo. Sorry Steph, but thank you for being accomodating.

The store was like a carnival - seriously. Just like Rio in the summer. Although we cooled the space, it was still over 85 outside and the warehouse does not have modern climate control. So needless to say, it was HOT! Steve moved fans to the warehouse and the store staff started handing out waters. Nobody seemed to mind, but we were a bit stressed. Everyone was more than understanding.

So many of our regular customers were there, so many new and first time visitors. We saw Jessica from Ravelry (you must check it out), Amy from (go there too) and Peta Bailey and her Yarn Safaris Group. I honestly couldn't keep it all straight.

The last knitter finally left at about 10:45:

We collected over 100 hats:

Tons of squares:

Please knit 7"x7" - no worries. We are nothing, if we aren't consistent.

And lots of food:

This is only a fraction of what we collected. You all are amazing.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came, made a donation of any kind and made this one of the best events EVER. Really. I once did an event at a Nordstrom with Tyra Banks, back in the day, during her supermodel era. We had more people for Harlot, than I did at that even for Tyra. Harlot beats Tyra. I love that. All things are right with the world.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention our amazing staff. Seriously. I"ll put my staff up against other staff, anytime, anywhere. Thanks to everyone who worked, you made the night back at the store so enjoyable and did it with a smile, even after many of you had been working for 12+ hours. Steve and could never do this without you nor would we want to. Thanks for taking this crazy ride with us!

Tomorrow I'll catch you up on TNNA and all of the awesome things we saw and I'll try to share some of the craziness of the weekend. You may not believe some of it - it's pretty far out, but I swear it's all true.


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