Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Harlot!! And a tale about how I became The Hat Lady for Chicago

I think the reason that I blog about my knitting has to be almost 100% Ms. Harlot's fault, so it is fitting that I should be able to post something about The Harlot herself. Last night, my mother and I went to Borders in Oak Brook, IL to see Ms. Pearl-McPhee.

We left our house pretty early so that we would miss the rush hour traffic. We got out to Oak Brook (from the city) at about 5 and went to dinner and then to Borders at about 6:15. Seeing as how it was more than an hour before her talk (she was beginning at 7:30), I felt kind of embarrassed and clearly overeager by being there so early. HOWEVER, when we got there, the seats were already almost full!! I was so glad we had gotten there when we did and would likely try to get there earlier the next time I wanted to see her.

By being there so early, I had an opportunity to talk with my neighbors and I met a lot of nice people (what a surprise, right?). Also, at some point, a woman in the crowd decided to organize an impromptu show-and-tell. We all got up and showed what we were working on, mentioned the pattern, and the yarn, and everyone else in the crowd nodded knowingly and appreciatively:

I probably don't have to tell you that there were A LOT of socks. But, there were a lot of other good things too.

It was wonderful. One of the women in line with me to get the book signed said, "It's really cool how you can say what pattern you're knitting and everyone knows exactly what you're talking about." Sometimes folks could even guess what others' patterns were. It was pretty unusual and wonderful.

The Harlot's talk was funny -- so funny it made me cry. In fact, I overheard one of the guys who works at the bookstore saying, "I don't know what she said -- I couldn't hear her. All I know is that I heard lots of laughter, some more noise, and another burst of laughter." This is the same guy who (when I was buying the book) actually said the words that we had all talked about but I never actually expected to hear: "I've never seen so many knitters." To this I actually said, "Muahahaha! That is exactly the point!" Yes, I may have outed us and our plans, but it had to be done!

After TWO HOURS of waiting in line to get my book signed, I finally met her. The way I justify this kind of wait is that I had to wait anyway, since I was The Hat Lady and had to collect the hats! A lot of people just handed me their hats, but I think there were more than a few who were suspicious and who wanted to share them w/ Ms. Harlot, and they dropped them off at her signing table. Embarrassingly, my mother took a picture of the exhausted (but gracious) Harlot and me:

That is THE Bohus sitting in front of me on the table. It is unfreakingbelievable. It is beautiful, soft, and exquisitely knitted. Well done Harlot!

As for how I became The Hat Lady for Chicago, I noticed that no one else had taken on the job. It's that simple. So, I posted on her blog about doing it and got no response. It occurred to me that the woman is BUSY, so I emailed her directly about doing it and she said she'd like that. So, I did it. I will be posting pictures of the hats soon. There were a lot of them very generously donated. I couldn't believe it. So, stay tuned.

If you live in Chicago and have a brilliant idea about which homeless organization these should go to, please let me know. Otherwise, I will be doing the research and determining where they should go soon. I will let you know what I pick.

1 comment:

julie said...

Mandy, it sounds like you and your mom had a blast. Thanks for sharing your story.

Well done on being the Hat Lady!