It may not have been the first time that Stephanie spoke in a church, but it seemed an appropriate venue for her to hold court over the knitting cult of which she is inarguably the High Priestess (at least since EZ's passing). While the faithful awaited Her arrival, heads bowed in an attitude of prayer, fingering needles in that sacred act of devotion, sock-knitting, we communed with the ancient spirits of the knitting goddesses. Can you feel the love? We could, every last one of us. Though her voice was much lower and more powerful than I expected, she displayed a gift for timing essential to any stand-up comic. She was hilarious and masterful! After speaking she retired to the newly refinished and air-conditioned garage at Hill Country Weavers where she graciously signed books, posed for photos, occasionally accepting tokens from the devoted and sweaty knitters lined up, knitting, talking and drinking beer. There were chocolate brownies in the store if you drew a really high number and were forced to wait somewhere out of the direct Texas sun. Actually moving through the store to shop for yarn was a bit challenging as people were packed tighter in there than yarn. Some waited outside the shop seeking out shade and grassy spots to sit.
Stephanie required a little break midway through the signing and had to run next door into the shop - apparently they ran out of brownies in the garage and it was an emergency. I captured the shot of her running back to the garage with the HCW sign in the foreground.
After the signing we all trekked down to Guero's for the Post-Harlot party and shared chips and queso (recommended - yum) and beverages with our sisters from outside Austin who made the pilgrimage: They came from Waco, Killeen, San Antonio, Houston, and even Louisianna. Likely other places too, but I didn't get to meet all of them. Sarah brought sock bags that she made to trade and Christine and Kristen showed off theirs. The food was good the beer was really good and the company was simply outstanding. This whole 24 hour period with knitting friends was some of the most fun I have had in ages. I want to do it again. Suzanne from HCW was fabulous to not only provide us with the Harlot, but also with beer and brownies and a cheerful disposition on a hot day with a deadline to facilitate the signing of up to 300 books and get Stephanie to the airport on time.
Christine and Katy stayed at my house on Friday night and Staci stayed nearby and joined us for meals and fun. Staci has some great photos of her first trip to Austin and Christine has a play by play of the event at her blog. Knitters make the very best guests to have in your home! They ignore the mess in your house and they respect your stash and absolutely bring the best gifts you can imagine. I can't thank them enough, I am pretty sure that the lumpy futon and canned cinnamon rolls for breakfast wasn't worthy, but I'm keeping the gifts none-the-less. You gals can stay with me anytime.