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:

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Photos courtesy of Frida.