Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, The Yarn Harlot, was in Madison on Saturday at the Madison Knit-In! She was great, as was the event overall–I just wish I had gotten there earlier so I could have spent some more time browsing in the marketplace. When I walked in, I immediately gravitated towards the Plucky Knitter’s piles of glowing cashmere and merino and was unable to tear myself away, so I spent about 90% of my time rubbing skeins of cashmere against my cheek and about 10% dashing through the rest of the marketplace looking at stuff.

And guess what, I won a door prize! The Yarn Stash Workbook. I walked in and as I was looking at my map, Gina, whom I’d met at the Harmony Bar knitting group, walked up to me and said “Guess what, you won a door prize!”

I made a beeline for the back of the marketplace and picked up my prize.

Wandered over to the Plucky Knitter where I met Miss Plucky Sarah herself and had a chance to ogle the Yarn Harlot’s fantastic handspun February Lady Sweater close up as she was talking to someone nearby.

Wrecked the budget I’d set for myself within the first 10 minutes of being there by picking up some semi-solid aran weight cashmere and being unable to put it back down.

Ran over to the Briar Rose Fibers booth–Mary couldn’t come, but she asked me to keep an eye out for some Briar Rose fiber, so I picked up some gorgeous huge bundles of BFL (spring green and icy blue).

Stopped to pet the angora in the Kimmet Croft stand, then grabbed a color card from Blackwater Abbey, whose yarns are sort of crunchy and rough but the colors are fantastic (and I love this free cardigan pattern, Faery Ring).

A couple of fellow knitters stopped me to ask about the Noro The Water is Wide scarf I was wearing. “Oh, and did you know you won a door prize?” they said. I had never met them before, but I guess they remembered my name and recognized it on the name tag.

It was 1 PM by then, so I rushed off to see the Harlot, completely missed out on the lunch that was included in my ticket (I did get a muffin and a Coke) and spent a happy couple of hours listening to the reasons knitters are awesome, and laughing my ass off over her story of getting locked out of a hotel room in Calgary while wearing only a pair of powder blue panties with the word “Cowgirl” written on them in lasso rope.

Here is Stephanie,

and here is a view of all the knitters behind me:

I actually didn’t have any mindless knitting on the needles, so instead I spent the time spinning on my new(ish) toy, a 1.2 oz. Jenkins Turkish spindle made of spalted tamarind wood (the fluff is some awesome Type B pygora from eXtreme Spinning):

Saw Jaala of Knitcircus on the way out (keep an eye out for their interview with the Harlot in their next issue!) “Hey, did you know you won a door prize?” she said.

I went and patiently waited in line to see the Harlot, got my copy of Knitting Rules! signed, and got a picture with Stephanie as well. See? I’m holding the sock! Yay!

Rahul had come to pick me up and he asked her if she would also sign his copy of The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, but she said she would only do it if she could sign it “Steven Pinker.” (Sadly, she didn’t follow through. Too bad. It would be even more valuable than a rare photo of Sean Connery signed by Roger Moore.)

It was a really lovely way to spend a Saturday, and that’s lucky, because the rest of the day went rapidly downhill from there–we were headed to his parents’ house in southern Missouri for his spring break, but took a wrong turn along the way and only realized it when were were nearing O’Hare, with the end result being a 3-hour detour, a bunch of toll roads we had to pay for twice, a lot of grouchiness and yelling, and what should have been a 7.5 hour trip turning into an 11-hour ordeal that landed us in Missouri at about 3 AM.

Anyway, at least we’re here and relaxing with his parents now, and it’s about 10-20 degrees warmer here than it was in Madison–crocuses are out, lawns are green, star magnolia and forsythia bushes are flowering, and we don’t have to wear massive down jackets at all times. And hopefully the trip back will go more smoothly. (We are putting some serious thought into buying a GPS before we go back). We’re spending next weekend in Chicago with some friends, should be fun!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Erin Go Bragh, etc.

I will leave you with some Dutch commercials for a candy called Super Dickmann’s! These are really hilarious if you have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old, which apparently I do.

1, 2, 3.