Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Vickie Howell

February 27th was a night to remember for me. First of all, I was actually able to go out to dinner with a bunch of my girlfriends and have a meal that consisted of actual ADULT CONVERSATION (get you mind out of the gutter :-) I mean, not once did I have to look at Tara and tell her to stop using her fingers to eat her pasta or snap at Starry for blowing bubbles in her Sprite or threaten Jill with a time out if she didn't stop poking Tara. A meal with peace and quite is so far and few between these days.

Second of all, I followed up a great meal by going to a YARN SHOP, for a BOOK SIGNING, and a YARN TASTING, and once again NO KIDS! The best part of all is that...wait for it...NO CURFEW! Happy Knitter Hallelujah... I was able to party the night away. Well, that is party as much as a 29 year old mother of three who is used to going to bed at 9:00 can. You all know what I mean. OH, but I am here to tell you, I was on such a high (must have been the wool fumes) I think I stayed up until 1:00am. Don't get too excited...I got home at 10:30 but I stayed up until 1:00 because I couldn't fall asleep! It is not often a night with that much excitement happens to me.

Okay, let me start at the beginning.

Around the start of the year my friend Jill, her mother (hi Carol...leave me a comment would ya?) and I went to the largest Yarn Shop in the United States: Showers of Flowers. Both Jill and her mum (she is from England and I think that is what they call their mom's out there, isn't it?) were SOF virgins, so I was more than happy to "pop their Cherry Tree Hill" as it were (is that too graphic?) Again, great time because we didn't have any of our kids! Anyway, while were were perusing around the sock yarn; with me trying to convince Carol that she simply had to give socks a go, the owner of SOF, Sharron came up to see how we were doing. GREAT of course!

She then happened to tell us that they had just booked Vickie Howell to come to the shop in February. I was so excited. I LOVE Knitty Gritty, I record every episode on my DVR so I can watch them over and over. It was on the episode of the socks where I learned how to Purl continental...but I digress! So, I asked Sharron for the details and she said that Vickie was coming on the 27th of February, there were only 100 seats available so they were going to have a sign up sheet, and she was going to do a demonstration, a question and answer and the book signing. Huh, what was I to do?

That's right, I was the FIRST person to sign up along with the seven of my friends that I signed up too! Yep, I am a groupie! I even called periodically over the next two months to make sure that my name was on the list (along with my friends) just in case I some how was taken off. Don't ask me how I would have been taken off, I didn't know how, I just knew that it made me feel better to call and make sure I was on the list...okay, back off! Rant over. No really, every time I called the lovely ladies would tell me the same thing.

"Yes, Marlaina, you are on the top of our list. That is right, number one, along with Starry, Jill, Jenn, Kara, Laura, Tara, and Janene. Okay, Marlaina, I will see you soon. Bye, bye".

But hey, they are a yarn shop. They are used to dealing with fanatical people, right? Okay, so I signed up my friends and myself but here is the friends had no idea that they were going to join me for this, I just signed them up KNOWING that they would want to come! Of course, I called them all to tell them that they were going and of course they all agreed; and of course as the day rolled around only three of them showed up to dinner on the night of the 27th. But hey, that is OKAY! We had a good time anyway.

All right, all right, let's be fair. The ones that didn't come all had great excuses
  • volunteering time to painting the new church,
  • cleaning up her house in order to put it on the market in two days,
  • going out of town on a surprise trip that her husband planned to Steamboat Springs,
  • her husband having to work because they were going on an unexpected trip to Arizona and they needed the money.
Again, all valid excuses, but I wish they all could have come. They were missed.

However, the four of us did have a great time!

Above: Tara and Marly
Below: Starry and Jill

See how happy we are? Totally hopped up on fumes and excitement and anticipation! Vickie's plane was THREE hours late so she was late getting to the shop. I told the GM, Micheal, that telling us she was late was just a ploy to keep us there longer so we would buy more yarn.

Evil, pure evil I tell you; because it worked! I bought some of the new Tofutsie sock yarn in the Off on the Right Foot colorway (it reminds me of an Easter Egg so I am going to work with it next month for my SAM KAL) that SWTC just put out and the book Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi and of course the new book that Vickie was promoting. I am such a sucker; never am I able to go into a yarn store and walk out empty handed. Thank God my husband knows this and is somewhat understanding...and I stress somewhat.

The wait was not bad though, we got to sit and talk to each other and the other knitters; I worked on my socks while Jill worked on a scarf. Tara and Starry didn't bring anything to work on so they were a bit out of the loop so they enjoyed the atmosphere (and the chocolate chip cookies, yum). The best part about the wait was that another well known author was in the crowd and was willing to stand up to talk about her book. Her name is Anne McClauley and her book is The Pleasures of Kniting: Timeless Feminine Sweaters.

Ann had actually been a guest on Knitty Gritty in an episode that just aired on February 16 called Delightful Details. Great show, I really enjoyed that one since they weren't necessarily making anything just really showing great stitches and detailing you could do to enhance your knitting. Anyway, Ann stood up in front of the, oh, 100 of us for the better part of an hour talking about her book and about movement. I know sounds a little odd to talk about movement at a yarn store but it was really interesting.

She is a dance and movement instructor at the National Theatre Conservatory of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy ( I sound like a publicist huh?) as well as an avid knitter. It was great to hear her talk about specific tips to help us knitters and crocheters take care of our body since we are perfoming a repetative movement sometimes for several hours! (can I get an AMEN?) Such as, sitting properly. She said that we have "sit bones" that act as our feet when we are sitting to help keep our back and neck aligned. Also, keep both feet on the floor because that helps your body stabilize and stay grounded; take breaks from your work and stretch out the muscles; "scrub" your fingers to help ease tension; hold your needles up to your eyes rather than on you lap and nodding your head down to see your work. Putting your head down puts extra strain on your neck! Sound familiar? She has a section in her book about some of these things so get her book and read all about it :-)

Hearing Ann talk was a wonderful treat; I think this is what Tara liked best of all since she is into Yoga. Tara is a crocheter and doesn't' really watch Knitty Gritty much; however, like a true friend, she came along for the fellowship of it all. Then, she got something great out of it. I am glad she really enjoyed it as much as I did.

Okay, so Vickie finally got there and she looked great. She apologized for her appearance as she put her makeup on in the cab on the way over but she had nothing to worry about; she was lovely.

So, I was worried that she would not be as great in person as she seems to be on t.v. But I was pleasantly pleased that she was just as personable in person as she comes across on the t.v.
Wild and Wacky, Down to Earth, Funny, Genuine, a real Joy. We were all able to ask her questions and get straight forward answers without any holding back. Did I ask a questions? Of course I did. I happened to ask her if she reads all the comments that are left for her on her blog or if "her people" take care of that for her. She told me that yes she reads every one and the reason she makes it so the comments must be approved is because she gets nasty comments every now and again. Like any other person, she doesn't want the negative crap to over shadow the other things. Cool!

I think the best thing all night was finding out how she became the host of Knitty Gritty. Literally, she was in her PJ's and slippers feeding her two little boys breakfast when she got an email from the producers of the show asking her if she knew of anybody who was fresh, hip, edgy and wanted to host a knitting show on the DIY network. HELLO! Prayers answered right over cyber space. Vickie replied that she was interested in the job, flew to Los Angeles to interview of the job and was hired. How did they know to email her? She had started a stitch and bitch and had posted about in over the web with key words like fresh, hip, edgy so when the producers did a Google search they found her. Great story huh? The rest is history.

Just goes to show you, God is always working for you. He never takes a break; not even for breakfast!

The yarn was really...really...better than I expected; if I am being honest. The feel of it is just right and the unusual fibers that are used to make it makes it that much more interesting. I fell in love with LOVE. My future will include a project of some sort in this wonderful yarn; I promise :-) Another great thing is that SWTC is currently looking for patterns using these new yarns. If you contact Jonelle at she will give you the 411. So, all you designers out there get to work!

So, the night ended with me getting my book signed and a picture taken of Vickie and myself. Talk about the tall fat girl standing next to the skinny short girl (who had 4" heels joke, she showed us)! Oh well, I had a great time!

Next big outing will be on April 5th when the Harlot comes to Denver! I can't wait!


Kara said...

Sorry I missed it - it sounds like you had a great time - I would have loved to have meet her - but oh well -

Jean said...

Vickie H. is just this tiny, beautiful, little pixie, isn't she? But you are totally holding your own in the picture with her. You look very pretty. I like your top!

ali said...

Sounds like a fun time! Glad you were able to enjoy a night out with friends, a mom needs that every now and then.

Melody said...

THIS SOUNDS FANTASTIC. I'm so happy you got a night out, and to meet Vickie! YAY YAY YAY!

Terri Lynn said...

Hi Marly,
I too have a pic w/Vickie and she is just soooooo tiny, I had to mention it on my blog. I saw her at The Lamb Shoppe.

Helen said...

Ann McCauly sounds like a great speaker - it must have been a treat to see her. Sounds like you had fun!

Kristen said...

What fun! Next time you have a knitting/celebrity event and some people can't come, I'll kidnap Valerie and we'll drive to Colorado!