I'm home. As my youngest daughter jumped out of my van this morning she turned back to me, smiled and said, "This is how it's supposed to be." She missed me and I her and everyone else around here for that matter.
The picture above is how I started the week. This is my set up before I went on the first tv spot in Cincinnati. That whole morning is such a blur. My media escort, Kathy Tirschek, had me going a mile a minute, zipping here and there. It was great fun and a bit crazy but we made it with flying colors. I did a radio interview that is available in podcast form here. It was loads of fun to do. The interviewer, Mark DeWitt, had absolutely no idea about knitting but that made me keep on my toes because I never knew which way he was going to go! I just listened to it and it turned out to be kind of a funny interview. If you listen make sure you take note of his questions and you will be sure to have a chuckle.
Anyway, I did a few more interviews for tv that were great fun and the last woman who interviewed me was a long time knitter and she was so excited about the book and the chance to talk about knitting.
I had no idea what a scenic city Cincinnati is. It is gorgeous with rolling hills and historical homes and beautiful bridges. I loved it. Now, I don't have a picture from Books & Co. in Dayton but I had such a fun time there. I was scheduled to come at the same time a large knitting group meets. That was perfect! This group had every age group represented and this is always the best. They are my favorite kind of group, chatty, funny, laughing, inquisitive, excited and just plain old nice. We had such a great knitting time together. Thank you and I wish I lived there so I could be a part of this group. If you are in that area head over Books & Co. on Thursdays at noon and you won't be disappointed with this crowd of knitters. I really mean that.
This is the only shot I have of my time at the Woolie Ewe in Plano, TX. This picture is not indicative of the time I had there. I have never been so bombarded with fantastically fun knitters in my entire life. There were 35 knitters in my class to start with. The lovely Pam Johnson said there could have been more if there had been more space. I couldn't believe it. We had a couple of hours of baby knitting fun together. This group has enthusiasm seeping from their bones and I loved every minute of it. This enormous knit shop was jam packed the entire time I was there. I signed more books than I could count. The staff was unbelievably kind and hospitable. Pam is sending me a bunch of pictures so I will post again about this event to share those with you. Pam, thank you for everything. It was a pleasure.
The owners are a mother-daughter team, Jill and Sue, and they do a terrific job with this shop. It is the place to be. They are cooking up a knitting retreat idea for next fall and I have been invited to be a guest teacher. It is in the initial planning now but hang on to your hats because I am not the only teacher they are inviting. If things work out I could have the opportunity to meet my all-time knitting hero in person. Just thinking about it gives me chills. The Woolie Ewe is launching a redesigned website in the near future and this is the place to go. They have more yarn than I have ever seen in one spot. What fun!
Also, in Plano I met a phenomenal needle felting expert named Linda. She teaches a needle felting group that does the most interesting projects, some even involve sculpture. It is hard to explain but they made a character sculpture of a pelican man that involved porcelain features and loads of roving. I have never seen anything like it. Wow!
Next I was in Lexington and I love going there. This is the third time I have been there on book business. It is always a pleasure. The lovely Diane was a perfect host to me. Her beautiful, elegant knit shop, Magpie Yarn, is beyond wonderful. I am so glad I got to see it. It is warm and welcoming and the organization of the yarn is completely eye-catching. Diane gave me the most sensational gift from her shop and I will be sharing more about that later.
They (meaning Diane and Jane, the other owner who I saw briefly) have the shop organized by color. I tried to capture a bit of this but it is more stunning in person. They have beautiful knitted samples displayed in the most elegant, appealing way. Diane is one of the most charming, sweet yarn shop owners I have ever met. She welcomed me so warmly and I appreciate it to no end.
I had a book signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, a spectacular bookstore. I love going there. The turn out wasn't huge (possibly due to a little football game between LSU and Kentucky and many other large events going on in the city at the same time) but the knitters who came were wonderful. We had a nice time together and I signed lots of stock for the store if you are looking for a signed book. Rachel, the bookstore host, was wonderful as always. She even knitted some samples for display before I got there. Thanks Rachel and let's definitely do it again!
On to Arkansas, Little Rock that is! This event deserves its own post. I stayed at the beautiful Peabody hotel where ducks are paraded through the lobby to sit in the fountain. They even ride the elevator from their very own room. It is really cute to see. Then I was off to the Knitting for Noggins event. I really am going to write about this again because the good work of these knitters deserves a lot more than a couple of sentences. It is a remarkable event.
Here I was just setting up for the talk and knit a thon. The people started filing in about a half an hour before the start time. The crowd grew to about 150 knitters and the number of donated hats grew to an astounding 5,000 collected just this one day. Let me tell you, it is a humbling sight to see these knitters and crocheters coming in with bag after bag of beautiful handmade hats. These hats are high quality hats and extremely well-done. I looked at a ton of them and was so impressed by the quality of work people were donating. It is a touching day and I am so honored to be such a small part of it.
These two women were the winners of the day by donating 1,000 hats they had crocheted just for this event. They were the cutest, happiest, most inspiring women I can't even tell you. Let me say it again, 1,000 hats between the two of them. They were so proud of their achievement. Their hats were beautifully done and they had them organized by size and color in those large zip-loc bags. The woman on the right is Melissa and she was one of the workers at the event.
The grand total for the Knitting for Noggins hat collection is now at a staggering 20,000 hats after yesterday. Robin Armstrong is the main force behind this charity knitting event and she should be applauded for her efforts. Way to go Robin.
My presentation was webcast and as soon as that gets posted I will link to it so you can share in this charity knitting extravaganza!
I will have more coming, but for now there is cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping to be done! I have lots of funny stories to share with you from the trips but I am too tired to do written justice to them right now. I will post tidbits as they come to me this week. I have a lot more to share.
Thanks to everyone!
p.s. I got mention in the Chicago Sun Times. I haven't even looked at it yet but Jaime, my publicist, sent the link over to me so I'll share it and hope it is a good one.
p.p.s. The Woolie Ewe does commisioned knitting like I have never heard of before. If you are looking for this service definitely contact them. They are a full service knit shop!