April 25, 2006

I left my (Red Heart) in San Francisco…

Sorry for the bad joke, Tony Bennett…what I learned this weekend in San Francisco made me think of Red Heart yarn for a second. I had the best time. As soon as I arrived, I went to Petaluma to deliver a sweater design for Lana Grossa in person. (It’s called Stella Maris — I might post a photo of it and its sibling sweater Noemi soon). Unicorn’s warehouse staff told me they ship lots of my books, which was blushingly flattering, and I got to poke and prod all the boxes of yarn for future design consideration…yarn petting being an integral part of any visit to a warehouse full of the stuff!

I signed books at Stitch Diva Jennifer Hansen’s TKGA booth. Jennifer is a great big flaming ball o’ energy — my favorite kind of person. Her booth looked awesome, by the way. I love those mannequin busts of hers, and she’s a consummate salesperson without being car salesman-y about it. You couldn’t help but want to learn how to do Tunisian crochet after watching her do it with three different textures and colors of yarn. That green hairpin lace skirt she designed? Oh, I need it…and in that colorway, too. It’s so heavy and drape-y and fabulous it hurts. Guess what I bought from her, though? A massive handmade Tunisian crochet hook. Yes, crochet. More on that in a sec. She also has these massive hand-turned knitting needles, one of which resembled Mr. Pointy on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (I think I need one just so I can name it Mr. Pointy).

I also talked to the wonderful Suss Cousins, who reminds me of all my beautiful blonde Swedish relatives…we’re going to do some events at her NY store this year, which will be great. And finally, I’m negotiating to teach on some fiber-related cruises/tours put on by an amazing travel agency based in California. And this was just in the first 24 hours!

Next, Cecily flew up from Los Angeles to check out Maker Faire and…uh-huh…teach me crochet. I have, at various times over the years, tried to learn how to crochet properly. With the exception of steeking and the kinds of crochet-onto-the-edge-of-things crocheting, I’ve never been very good at it. My grandmother was a great crocheter when she wasn’t braiding massive rag rugs out of wool or making stuff for her (my) dollhouse…two big granny square afghans prove it. Kim tried for a few minutes last summer, but at last, I made that mental breakthrough and now have a very bizarre swatch to show for it. Thanks, Cecily! (After you left I figured out how to decrease and drew all the edges together into a weird cat-toy shape).

I taught two classes at Maker Faire (yes, Julie’s mom came to one of them, which was super-cool — she’s clearly awesome, just like my mom), and sold my hand-dyed yarn / fiber / etc. Photographer extraordinaire Heather Champ bought an orange Erica Weiner scarf kit after previously attempting to decide between green and beige. Champ is just plain gorgeous. I wish she’d model for my next book…and I’m hoping she’ll send a photo of whatever she makes with the kit!

I’m going to upload all my photos from this weekend in one big Flickr set, which I’ll post as soon as I find my cardreader.

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1 comment

  • kristi

    sounds like an outrageous lot of fun! jennifer hansen’s designs are always, always fabulous. i love how she digs in to all the needlecrafts in adventurous ways. i actually sort of dig the tunisian crochet — it’s a delicious knit/crochet blend and it makes that funky texture. i lack the mondo needle or i think i’d make a purse. i’ve been eyeing some yarn, but am forcing myself to finish the projects at hand before i dabble further.

    can’t wait to see pictures of your trip!

    Reply to kristi

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