Lynne drove, because she is terrific that way, and Jena rode shotgun, and Jen and I sat in the back and knitted and chatted and next thing we knew we were cruising by Webs and into beautiful downtown Northampton and parking and walking and... stopping, because a yarn store had, with complete disregard for its own safety, flung itself in our path. Northampton Wools may not be as big as Webs, but it's quite lovely, and we spent a happy half hour there trying not to get inextricably entangled in the cashmere and generally succeeding, but finding a few other things we needed to have.
Stash enhancement is thirsty work, so we looked around for a bar worthy of us.
Not quite Spotted Dick, but not half bad. We knitted, drank and were merry
and before long it was time to head over to the Calvin Theater, where Stephanie would be speaking.
Strangely enough, we were not the only people with this plan. But we lined up and pretty soon they let us in and gave us bags containing yarn (cashmerino!) to make squares for Warm Up America. I tell you, these Webs people know how to throw an event.
Eventually Stephanie appeared, and was her usual hilarious self. After her talk I was able to ask her something I had long wondered: we've all read of and celebrated the exploits of the noble Sir Washie, but we hear very little of his stalwart companion, the dryer, who remains not only unsung but unnamed. Just as every Don Quixote needs a Sancho Panza, every Sherlock a Watson, for every Sir Washie, it seems, there is a humble dryer toiling in obscurity. Stephanie did allow that she owns a dryer, and did mention that the dryer, a gas model, can dry her jeans in the same amount of time that Sir Washie can wash them. Why does this considerable accomplishment go unheralded? We may never know.
The most brilliant moment of the Q&A, however, was reserved for Jena, who was stimulated by Stephanie's rendition of the Trials of Blue Moon — and, let me not be shy here, by her recollections of my Sock Power contest — to suggest that, whenever we go to the ATM, we show the security camera a sock-in-progress. As she correctly points out, we have them with us anyway, right? for those annoying stop lights, and virtually all ATMs have security cameras, so just take your sock(s) with you and hold them up as you're getting your money.
Now, I think my astonish-the-Muggles scheme was a pretty good idea, but this one is purely inspired. I may limit myself to $10 withdrawals from now on, just so I can sock-flash several different ATMs a day.
Afterward we headed back to Webs to get our books signed. Although we stood in line for over an hour, it was not as arduous as it might have been, since 1) the Webs staff, bless them, ferried trays of water all the way to the depths of the warehouse and the back of the line; 2) we took turns leaving the line to shop; 3) of course we had our knitting. Eventually we made it to the front, where Stephanie, ever gracious, not only signed our books but voluntarily got into the same picture with us.
Even though we are a bit blurry, you can clearly see that I am holding the sock.
We did a bit more quick shopping, and I ran into Cate and Marcy and Cece; then we headed back to the pub for dinner, and then home. I am way out of practice for late nights, and 6:30 came much too early this morning, but it was a blast.