Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sending Love to Michigan

Hi Knitters,
Michigan went by so fast! It was a wonderful trip and you can't find nicer knitters anywhere and I really mean that. I had more genuinely kind knitters at these last two events. They gush, many of them have emailed me, they brought their toy knitting to share. When I looked into the faces of the people who came to the events, I couldn't believe the smiles I saw. I had a great time.
This woman was so fun. She and her husband came to the event but her husband shopped in the bookstore while she sat with the knitters. I loved her wrap, which wasn't handknit, but was so lovely. I brought my finished turkey along from the Spud says! knitalong I just completed. She brought her turkey to show me! Love that and it looks great.
This sweet woman showed up early with a basket full of toys she had already knitted from Itty-Bitty Toys! She did a great job and I am thrilled with how well the toys turned out for her. She had a Hippo, Pig, Lamb and a Grumpy Old Bear (from Itty-Bitty Nursery). There are lots of toys in Itty-Bitty Nursery, my second book, in case you didn't know.
She also had a bunch of Spud & Chloë toys from my other blog, Spud says! The patterns for the frog and bunny are free so be sure to check those out, just click on the photo on the sidebar over there. The chicken is my Knit Chicken pattern for Blue Sky Alpacas (the owners of Spud & Chloë).

Side note: I can't believe all of the requests I hear about getting the Spud & Chloë yarns. People want this yarn. I heard from yarn shop owners that it is highly requested and the hottest thing out there right now. The knitters I see really, really want to have this yarn locally available. For example, there isn't a store in Madison carrying Spud & Chloë and I think it would be a huge success for any store to bring it in. I get emails all of the time from Madison knitters who are shocked that they can't find this yarn in any of the shops yet. The demand is big for the Spud & Chloë line and knitters really like to buy locally and support their local yarn shops. Spud & Chloë is readily available on lots (check here for a list of stockists) of online shops so it is easily accessible. I'm just saying....
Okay, I have to tell you about this fantastic ball of energy sitting right there in the white shirt. She made me laugh and she made my day!

First let me tell you what happened. Unfortunately, there was a terrible location mix up for my event. I thought it had been cleared up but I guess not. About half of the Itty-Bitty Toys group showed up at another Schuler's location. The event had been publicized to be held at two different locations. In the meantime, at the Schuler's I was actually at, we ended up waiting for about 30 minutes after the starting time to begin so people could come from the other location. It was a beautiful day outside on a Saturday and I felt worried about making people wait so long.

I finally started talking after some of the other group arrived and I tried to do an abbreviated talk so people could get on with their Saturday. It was difficult to do. Many of the knitters had arrived early for the original starting time and so the time was really ticking. I felt badly about this, that's a lot more time than they bargained for. Thank you to the knitters who drove across town to come to the other location. I am always so appreciative when people take time out of their busy schedules to come to an event so thank you, Knitters.

This sweet group of knitters (above) came in about 45 minutes late. The woman in white, Linda, is perhaps the most excited Itty-Bitty fan I have ever met. I loved her. I felt horrible for the inconvenience (for everyone) and that Linda missed most of the event. She was so cute and kind about it. I will take a better photo of the mouse she knitted, she gave it to me! It is incredible. Her mice are from the Garden Mice Mobile in Itty-Bitty Nursery.

Linda has knitted about 40 Garden Mice (you can make them as separate toys, not only for the mobile) and she makes them in clothes and costumes! That's right, I said 40 mice! The mouse on the left is wearing red long johns, which is the one she gave to me. Apparently, red long johns originated in Michigan. Who knew? The mouse on the right is in a Halloween costume including a mask. I couldn't believe it. Her mice are the best I have seen and Linda is very clever. She had lots of comments and questions for me and she was funny and fun. I loved every minute of it. By the way, Linda has 8 children and 17 grandchildren. She is a ball of energy and I bet her family loves and enjoys her. I know I did.
I love seeing everyone enjoying the toys. My driver, Shirley, took pictures for me. Shirley did a great job getting me around. She even ran to Wal-Mart to buy me a hairbrush. I forgot my brush and the next morning I finally found a black pocket comb at the hotel. Try blow drying your hair with a pocket comb, plus I have really thick hair. Not good. I tried to brush my hair after the fact but it didn't help much, it was too late. Oh well, what are you going to do? All I can say is sorry about the hair but people didn't come to see my hair, that's for sure. I think that is really funny.
The woman holding the lamb is so kind. She works at Lizzie Ann's Wool Co. in Holland, which is a great yarn shop. They want me to come back sometime and teach a workshop. That would be wonderful and I hope someday that happens, my fingers are crossed.
What a fun, positive, supportive group. I can't explain the wonderful energy this group had. It was a treat.
I signed away. There were lots of people with multiple books and the other Itty-Bitty books. Itty-Bitty Hats has just gone into its 5th printing and will be available again very soon, any day now. I had lots of requests for Itty-Bitty Hats and I know it has been unavailable for awhile now. Artisan did a large reprint so we should be good for quite awhile. Itty-Bitty Nursery has just been reprinted as well.
This sweet family attended. The woman on the left had recently emailed me to tell me how the Itty-Bitty books had helped her recover from difficult year. It meant a lot to me to hear about this. Knitting really can be healing and I hear stories like this all of the time. Their little girl loved the toys, just look at her clutching the Hippo and Lamb. She was making lots of fun noises, too. She has a sister on the way, too. Lucky girl. It was great to meet you.
I received another knitted gift from Hilary. She writes me and comments all of the time on the blog. She knitted me this beautiful hat out of Spud & Chloë Sweater yarn. I am touched and I love the hat. I will wear it proudly. I can't thank you enough. She told me that I have inspired her but her actions inspire me to keep going and working so hard. A small gesture of appreciation like this means the world to me. Thank you, Hilary. It was my honor and privilege to meet you.

Side note #2: One comment I always hear is that people are surprised at how petite I am. That makes me laugh. I never think about it until someone mentions it. I am not tall and maybe I appear taller in photos or the tutorial videos because I hear this all of the time. Isn't that funny? I am what I am and it's all I've got to work with:)
Regrettably, I didn't get good photos at the Lansing event other than these two wonderful women. The woman on the left is holding her friend Rae's Elefante (see my sidebar for the free pattern). Her name is Lynn and she has a wonderful blog and a big group on Ravelry. She was very sweet and supportive and I loved meeting her. Her energy is contagious, really, check out her links out.

I had such a great time in Lansing. The night went as smooth as silk and I had a WONDERFUL event. Everything went so well. What a good, happy group of knitters. They had questions and comments. There were babies, moms, proud grandmas, younger and older knitters all in attendance. Toys reach everyone in all stages of life and everyone loved the toys. My favorite thing is to see the adults react to the toys. There was one woman from Virginia who was visiting a new grandchild in Lansing. She was lovely. There was another woman and her husband who just happened to be in the bookstore and they both sat in the front row for the entire night. It was very cute that her husband sat right with her. Loved that. She was absolutely smitten with the toys and couldn't believe her good fortune to be there by chance. Wonderful.

There was a fantastic giveaway hosted by Rae's Yarn Boutique. I got to draw three names out of a hat at the end of the event. Thank you so much to Rae for the giveaway! It made for a fun element for the night and I appreciate the support and generosity to no end. Lansing knitters be sure to give Rae's Yarn Boutique lots of knitterly support. Thank you, Rae!!

Okay, I've gone on long enough. I love, love, love Michigan, it is beautiful! Triple love! What a great state. The knitting enthusiasm in Michigan never fails to amaze me. The knitters I have met are very family and friend-oriented and they love the baby knitting. Plus, the climate suits knitting perfectly. Thank you to all who made the effort to spend some time with me. I appreciate you all from the bottom of my heart.

Next week, Minnesota! My family roots are in Minnesota and my Blue Sky/Spud & Chloë peeps are in Minnesota! Can't wait! I am going to be on Kare 11 Showcase Minnesota on Friday, live t.v!! Love that.

More details to come. I've got to get knitting now, deadlines never go away even when you are on tour:)
best, susie