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Yes, today was the day.  I saw Stephanie Pearl-McPhee a.k.a The Yarn Harlot in person today.  She looked like she does in pictures.  See? Here’s a (kind of dark) picture of Stephanie with a sock she is working on, and her camera, getting ready to take a picture of us.

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We arrived a good half hour early, because I wanted to try and get a chair so I could nurse more easily if needed.  There were no chairs left when we got there.  At least not the official kind. We managed to rustle up some regular bookstore chairs and drag them over behind the array of fold-up chairs.  Much of Stephanie’s writing and speeches about knitters comprises of examples of  how the world underestimates knitters.  In the past she has used bookstore’s tendency to fail to provide enough chairs at for her talks as one such example.  She didn’t mention it tonight, but a knitter next to me shook her head disapprovingly and loudly chided the bookstore staff for having a noted knitting author out to speak and then only having 8 copies of her latest book available for sale.  Needless to say, all 8 copies sold out well before the event.  The bookstore then apologetically handed out bookplates for Stephanie to sign for those who had placed an order for one of her books;  people could then put her signature in the book when it arrives.   

Part of the fun, was of course, seeing so many other knitters, of all ages and types, proudly displaying finished projects and works in progress.  There were shimering multicolored lace shawls, and crisp sweaters and intricate socks.  One woman demonstrated how to knit in the Portuguese style to curious onlookers.  Other people shared newly discovered stitch patterns and yarn sources.

Then Stephanie spoke and was as funny and informative as ever.  She said lots of things to make us feel good about being knitters, pulling out as her trump card some scientific experiments about the states of the brain which show that repetitive movement like rubbing prayer beads and knitting is good for getting you into a theta state of mind which is the state of creative relaxation that Buddhist Monks and Einstein spent a lot of time in. This type of activity has been shown to physically alter the brain she said, in good ways, by promoting creativity, making people more easily able to cope with stress and can possibly help prevent Alzheimer’s.  Or something like that.

I wasn’t able to take good notes because I was busy doing this and this:

fiesta tx 021Thomas head

Photos courtesy of Frida.

Anyone who met my daughter before the age of two or so  probably saw her in a hat.  We had lots of adorable hand-me down hats for her little brother to choose from.  Unfortunately, she was born in tha Fall and he in the Spring so the size appopriate ones aren’t season appropriate,  except for the fuschia one below, which is just right for keeping out the bright Texas sun.  The catch?  It’s not really gender appropriate I’m told.  I didn’t make the original, but was happy to work up a replacement.frida and tom 006e

Somehow none of my little knits seem quite worthy of the little prince.  I think the mismatched socks are my favorite and certainly what has gotten most use, but alas, he’s already lost one.  Time to whip up a spare.

 littlesockslitllekimonosmalltiedhoodielittleking

From left to right: mismatched socks, baby kimono, tied hoodie, crocheted crown.

And lest the little princess feel neglected: littlevb 

a kid sized version of  the crocheted skirt:  Violet Beauregard.

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In the past I’ve  found stitch markers to be more trouble than they are worth.  They get caught on my yarn, or slip out of place, or get lost while I’m halfway through my project.  I avoid using them, preferring to look at my knitting to tell me what I need to do next and only using them for key points in the pattern.  In the past I’ve used store bought plastic stitch markers, paper-clips, twist-ties, small rubber bands, earrings (the ones with french hooks work especially well for marking a stitches- as opposed to marking between stitches).  I always had to do lots of fiddling to be sure my stitch marker was indeed marking the correct stitch, wasn’t getting caught, flowed along the needles.  Until now.  These stitch markers are perfect, light weight, visible, won’t slip between stitches, glide across my needles, don’t pull on my yarn, inexpensive so I won’t feel guilty if I lose one, and ecological too!