Monday, March 15, 2010

Detroit: In Which the Library Lady Goes on Interlibrary Loan

In case you are wondering, I am, to many of the adolescent boys who come in to use the computers, "Library Lady." They cannot/will not/don't care to remember my name.

The things I put up with.

Now that I've shared with you the chaos of travel, you all get to hear about how worthwhile it all was. You had to wait because I was very tired. Tired not due to the travel, but because every time we do the spring-forward daylight savings time switch, I get jet lag.

I know what you're thinking. You're saying, "Laura, an hour wouldn't make that much of a difference." And, "Laura, you can plan for the switch-over by going to bed early." And, "Laura, stop whining about the time change, it's been years, and we all have to accept that life can't go back to the way it was before. Suck it up."

To that I reply, "But I'm sleeeeepy!"

Also, no matter how hard I try to prepare myself for it, the switch always takes the wind out of my sails, as my English gran would have said. Since I am short on wind in the first place (asthma), it just makes a bad situation worse.

Even if Mitch Daniels hadn't personally tried to kill me, using his campaign RV to play chicken with poor Laura, who was only driving home from church in her nondescript Honda, after all.

Meanwhile, Someone's Man Mitch came up behind his driver and was waving, making the driver hoot the horn, all because he thought my frantic hand movements (the kind you make when you want your bowling ball to not go into the gutter, as if you can affect change from the other end of the lane) were gestures of support. They weren't, Mitch. I just was trying to not have to go into the ditch because your driver couldn't drive your RV on your side of the road. But I had to anyway. Lucky for you, the ditch was shallow, and I was able to then drive out of the ditch.

Tangent over. Sorry.

Since Their Man Mitch totally ruined my life with this time change thing, I was so tired Sunday, Monday, and even today to be filled with inspiration. So if this blog falls flat, go into the archives and read a funny one. Or come to the library and bring me a coffee. I'm out.

Detroit's library had honest-to-goodness metal detectors and a security force. That's how big it was. And it was an old building, complete with all the architectural awesomeness that comes with old buildings and the heating issues. I've never been in a bathroom that hot before. It was like 100 degrees in the stalls. But, given the choice, I would take sweltering over our unheated bathrooms at my library. They get mighty cold. You also have to take certain precautions. If you accidentally washed your hands and then turned off the faucet prior to drying them, you run the risk of freezing to the faucet, like a kid getting his tongue stuck on a light post. Warm bathrooms don't have that problem.

As with all the best knitting events, we walked into the building and followed the scent of wet wool. As we got closer, we fell into line behind the well-dressed, sweater-clad population until we found the market.

Ah, the market...

almost became a problem. My salvation? I didn't have a pattern in mind.

Also, this little fellow. The photograph is courtesy of my friend, former soccer teammate, and fellow knitting traveler Ashley.

He is a zipper pull, and unfortunately remains nameless. He needs a name. A sheep name. Something British-sounding, I think. Maybe Seamus. That would be kind of cute. Seamus the Sheep.

Sheep-name ideas would be appreciated.

We got to the library two hours early, but we decided (on seeing the numerous other knitters) to grab seats and wait it out.

We had knitting, after all. Some of us (the woman in front of us) even had spinning!

Now that I've read other accounts of the event, I am regretting not saving seats for Melynda (French Press Knits, designer of the fabulous French Press Felted Slippers, which have redefined my life) and her fellow marketeer, Jill (Knitterella, who makes lovely cards and hilarious gift tags). The two of them showed off their wares, then ended up all the way at the back of the auditorium! That's just wrong. It's an injustice!

Especially due to this! If your slippers awesome enough to be repeatedly featured throughout the month of December on Stephanie's blog, you need special seating. And a tiara.

I amused myself by demonstrating the amazing macro capabilities of my digital camera. Behold, Rachael's Venezia Pullover!

And the cuff of my Twisted Flower Socks, designed by the glorious Cookie A! May I just say, I cannot wait for her newest book, Knit. Sock. Love. Before you ask, it isn't available for preorder yet. I check every day.

The color is more accurate in the first picture.

Finally, after Rachael came rushing out of the ladies room, proclaiming that if she'd just taken a moment longer washing her hands, she'd have gotten to chat over the soap dispenser with the Yarn Harlot herself (we're pretending that isn't creepy at all, since Rachael didn't mean it in a creepy way)...

Stephanie appeared on stage. She's photographing us with her traveling sock. If only we managed to look as pretty as the sock did.

If my fellow knitters, including those who were in a dress-rehearsal for an orchestra performance (*cough* Jennifer), get the chance, you ought to go see Stephanie give a talk. She's hilarious. Also, she's one of those people who is just as amazing in person as you imagine them to be when you read their writing. You leave thinking she's even cooler than you thought when you heard her locking-herself-out-of-the-hotel-room story, or the moth story, or the squirrel story.

She opened the floor up for questions, we all listened patiently through the "advertisement" for the knitting group for the blind, and then we all scattered, some of us going into what Stephanie calls "pre-boarding", for knitters who have small children, health issues, infants, as-yet-unborn babies, or anyone else who thought they ought to line up and leave as quickly as possible. It just shows you how amazing we knitters are when you watch the line form and note that people never abuse this, and some of those that ought to take advantage of it don't, just because they imagine that others have greater need.

We're a good group.

Others of us, such as my two friends who completely forgot to pack their books, ran out to buy copies.

Eventually, we all got in line to get our books signed.

While we were doing this, I noticed Melynda getting her picture taken up front, and was happy for her. I then went on for what must have been longer than the women around me wanted to listen to me, about how amazing it would have to be to have the Yarn Harlot love one of your designs, then to get to meet her and have a chat. I hope she enjoyed herself!

The second I got close enough, I started taking rapid-fire pictures of Whistler, the Dale sweater, which was Stephanie's Knitting Olympics 2010 project.

Check out the amazing patches you can get! They announce to the world when you knit your Dale. I want to knit a Dale! Just for the patch...

I handed off my camera, got my book signed...

And then we posed, switching socks...this means, according to the Knitting Faith, that your sock has been blessed.

Rachael then stepped up, and I managed to get one picture right before my camera battery died. This is taken prior to the two of them performing an impromptu slapstick comedy stunt, involving somehow linking their knitting projects together, tripping over them, and finally freeing themselves. It was one of those things you want a video camera for.

I would invest in one, but I have to get that GPS unit first...really. That's the priority.

Though the driving, the misdirection, the hunger, the "ghetto", and the exhaustion placed some strain on us all, we had an amazing time! It definitely beat this evening...

I wonder who was in that costume?

I can only hope, though, that the next tour will involve a more local stop. Come to Fort Wayne, Stephanie! We'd love to have you! Or, hey, even Carmel would be awesome. Stitches and Scones, Steph--we know you'd love it.


  1. you were behind me! i see my shirt in your photo!

  2. I'm waving at you from the third row, right now (only virtually)! I hope you had as much fun as we did!

  3. This is great. Honestly- the auditorium was a great size and the back row was not bad at all- no complaints! Thanks for all your kind words :)

  4. I haven't even finished reading, but I wanted to let you know that when you asked for sheepy names, I thought Seamus before reading that it was your idea, as well. Too weird.

  5. Maybe the two of us do spend too much time together...but in this case, at least, it works out.

    Seamus the Sheep is his name.

  6. Juliet in Grand RapidsMarch 17, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    You were behind me! I can see my friend, my daughter, and a teeny bit of my sweater (and also my new friend in a plaid shirt). You had so much fun! Stephanie is just as nice as you imagined! I like how you tell your traveling story. We have family in Fort Wayne.

  7. I love how we can dig through blogs to find out who sat near us, talk to them again, and hear what they thought of the whole experience! That has made my week!