Monday, April 28, 2008

Maaike and Jenn's most excellent adventure

Yesterday (was it only yesterday?) Jennifer and I went on a pilgrimage to Webs - America's Yarn Store. We actually left on Saturday afternoon as soon as Jenn finished working, and drove down to Massachusetts. I had borrowed a GPS (now nicknamed Artie) from a coworker, which did help us with directions, but it seemed to always want to go the shortest possible route -- and not always on the major highways.

As soon as we left Burlington, where we stopped for dinner, it wanted us to take the highway 7 straight down to Northampton. I didn't realize this until about 20 minutes out of Burlington when we didn't seem to be on a major highway, so I figured out that we could cut across the Green Mountains to get back to the I89.

The GPS made pouting noises when we kept ignoring his suggestions, and kept wanting us to make a u-turn to get back onto the 7. Poor little thing.

At the same time, I kept getting text messages from my husband about the score in the Habs game. We ended up losing. :(

We also got most excited when we saw a herd of sheep on the side of the road, and I *think* that Jenn wanted to stop to collect some fleece. (we didn't)

We stayed at the hotel near Webs, which was pretty plain. It was clean and quiet, so no complaints. I pulled out the spindle and did a bit of spinning (Jenn has a picture of that), and then we decided that it was time to get some sleep.

Next morning, we had a nice breakfast at the hotel, which included make-your-own waffles. The trick -- use enough waffle-off -- or the things will stick.

The it was off to Target to do a little shopping for us and our kids. I had heard fantastic things about Target, but it was just like our Zellers. Nothing too extra-ordinary. I did get a few cute things for Erika, but could have probably found most of it at home if I'd looked.

After Target, we went to Webs.

I think we got there just in time, because we were standing in line still in the main part of the store. Soon afterwards, the line for the signings went all the way into the warehouse and looped around a few times.

Just in front of us in the line was the lovely Leah and her mom. Leah is 9 and 11/12 years old, and is an a.m.a.z.i.n.g. knitter. She knit the sweater she was wearing (she's the cute kid just to the left on this shot with the purple sweater). Leah also knit the socks she was wearing, was currently knitting another pair of socks, and proudly told us that she has been knitting since she was 5 years old. She was quite an amazing girl. Later, in the warehouse when we were shopping, I spotted her with a cone of pink/purple yarn that she was planning to make into a top for herself.

We waited for about 30 minutes for Stephanie to arrive, and then the line started to move. We had our books signed just before noon, which was not too bad at all. One of the coolest things was spotting the hand-knits, and trying to figure out which pattern it was made from. We saw MANY clapotis, at least one "must have cardi" and a few others.

We brought Stephanie some bagels, squeeky cheese, and three dishcloths. Jennifer had designed them all, and I test-knit the Habs one for her. I think that they were appreciated. :-) I don't have the pic of us with the dishcloths, but it's on Stephanie's post. After having met Stephanie, and talking to her for a few minutes (there were hundred of people after us, so we tried not to linger), we ran into Kathy Elkins. If you read Jennifer's post, you'll know that she had placed a (rather large) order of Nuts, which were delivered to Webs for us. We chatted with Kathy for a few minutes, and I was asking her some questions about a Baby Surprise Jacket that I want to make. Kathy led us to *gasp* the back room -- Employees Only -- where we got to meet Pixie!!

I have to say that I've been a fan of Pixie's for a while, listening to her on the podcast, she always has informative answers and logical solutions to most problems. Talking to her about the BSJ, she gave me some good suggestions, as well as pointing me to a few good Valley Yarns that I could use. I ended up getting the Rainbow in the Royal Combo color. Since the sex of the baby who will get this isn't known, I thought this was fairly unisex. Pixie is exactly like I thought she would be. Her voice is just like the podcast, but it was kind of cool to be talking to her in person, hearing her laugh just like we hear on the radio show.

We were starting to get tired and hungry, so headed up the street for a bit to eat, and then to the Calvin.

Here are some knitters going to the Calvin.

and some more

Kathy and Steve started out by giving out some door prizes, but I think that because we were sitting on the left side of the room, we were unfairly disadvantaged. It seems like 95% of the prizes were given out to the right side.

After the prizes, we got to hear Stephanie give us her talk about why she's not stupid. You're not stupid, Stephanie :-)

The talk was funny, entertaining, and educational. Who knew that knitting was actually good for me?

There were about 1000 people in the audience...

There was one part where I laughed so hard, I actually had tears. If you've never heard her speak, I strongly suggest it.

After the talk, and the Q&A session, it was back to Webs for some shopping. I had wanted to ask a question in the Q&A, but never got the microphone. My question would have been: "There are video games about Tennis, about Golf, about driving cars and about eating little dots while avoiding ghosts. What do you think a video game abut knitting would be?". If anyone wants to comment with their thoughts on a knitting video game, please do. :-)

Before we did leave the Calvin, there were a few people blocking the aisle, and Jenn looked at me and asked why there was the hold up. I peeked ahead and whispered "I think that's Jess from Ravelry". IT WAS!! How cool is that!

I stole the photo above from Jenn's site, as I didn't get the pic with my camera.

There were people waiting in line to get their books signed while we were shopping, and when I walked out of the warehouse into the front of the store with this shopping cart, there were gasps all around. I had to tell them that it wasn't all for me. Actually, the top section of the cart is my stuff, and the bottom is all Jenn's. Just sayin'.

I ended up changing out some of the yarns for the blankets, which you can see in the pic below. The nice gentleman beside me is "justonescarf" who did make more than just one scarf. :-)

While waiting in line, we were right in front of Kimberly who had scored some awesome Lorna's Laces in a gorgeous chocolate/cherry with a hint of grape. I was very tempted to try to snatch it from her basket, but I already had enough picked out already. Plus, she's already taken a picture of me (she liked the sweater) and had written my name down in her booklet. Figuring that she knew who I was, I couldn't quite steal her yarn.

When I get around to photographing the individual yarn that I bought, I'll post them. In case I don't (I know myself), I got some Cascade220 Heathers for a Cobblestone Pullover for Dave, some Rainbow for a Baby Surprise Jacket, some Valley Yarns Plymouth for two Puzzle Pillow blankets, and some cool variegated purple Jaeger Baby Merino to make a sweater for Erika (probably Mia). I might have also bought a second spindle.

Edited to add:

We were nervous about crossing the border with all of our yarn (and nuts), but when we got there, the customs agent asked us "Anything to declare?" to which Jenn replied "Nuts and yarn".
I think he gave Jennifer a confused look (they want to declare Nuts and Yarn??)

CA -- "No ma'am, any alcohol, tobacco or firearms?"
J -- "None"
CA -- "Thank you" and he hands us our passports back and lets us through.


Knit & Purl Mama said...

I'm pretty sure I stayed at the same hotel last year when I went to Webs.

Did you guys really buy all that stuff? Jenn really needed a 2nd ball winder & a 2nd yardage meter reader thing? LOL... She has both!

That's a LOT of stuff! Holy crap!

Jennifer Lori said...

LOL- I glow in the dark!

I think Kimberly had scored some Lorna's Laces, not Cherry Tree Hill.

And my purse was under the yarn, filling up the cart. Yeah. :)

p.s. can you edit it to add that Leah made the sweater she's wearing too?

p.p.s. "might" also have bought a second spindle? I saw pointy objects in her bag, folks!

Caroline said...

It looks like you had a great time!

I'm so disappointed to hear that Target is just like Zellers. I've heard such great thing about this store and I was hoping I'd have a chance to visit one someday!

AlisonH said...

That last bit is hysterical! I'm sitting here picturing the border guard's face. Oh my.

livnletlrn said...

Oh, such a fun post to stumble across. I'm so glad Stephanie posted a link to you and Jenn, since it was clear that you were having a blast this weekend and I knew the blogged version would be equally exuberant!

I talked Leah into putting that purple/pink cotton back on the shelf until we find out how much yardage she'll need, since we'll be back up Webs' way in 2 wks and can pick up the right amount then. And I'm sure she won't let me forget it! She definitely has plenty of other projects to keep her busy in the meantime. ;-)

It was great meeting you guys. I subscribed to your blog so we can keep posted on the goings on up your way. Enjoy!

Christine said...

LOVE IT! What a great time it must have been... from meeting all the people you did, to shopping, to your border crossing!!!

It will tough adventure to beat next time!!!

Jennifer Lori said...

Psst Oh-She-Who-Does-Not-Blog, I've tagged you for a meme on mine. :)