June 5th, 2007

Awesome. Simply Awesome.

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The last six days have been nothing short of insane. After wrapping up the Harlot event last Wednesday night, Steve and I left on Thursday to attend our bi-annual industry market in Columbus, known as TNNA (The National Needlearts Association). We arrived home this morning and boy oh boy, do I have a lot to talk about. I think for today, let’s just get through The Yarn Harlot’s visit to WEBS.

It was simply – AWESOME!

Now, I am not one to brag, but last Wednesday just blew me away on so many levels, I am not sure I will even be able to accurately convey it all to you. It was pure electricity from start to finish. Except for the ache-y, burn-y sensation in the pit of my stomach. I was so stressed out about having to go out on the stage at the Calvin for our little intro, it was nearly making me sick. I felt very reassured when Stephanie and Jayme showed up just after lunch and Stephanie confessed she too had the same exact feeling in her stomach.

We took Stephanie on a quick tour of the warehouse, under the pretense of showing her where the sock yarn was. In all honesty, we had a surprise waiting for her. Steve took her out and I lagged behind with Jayme and told her what was about to happen. Set up next to the sock yarn was “a nest of silk and mohair in colors of green and gold”. This was the wish that Stephanie posted on her blog after her last visit. So a bunch of us on the staff each made a square and the faboo Melissa assembled them into this gorgeous blanket:

Stephanie’s quote was “there I was in the WEBS warehouse and the only thing I saw was this beautiful blanket”. I think she really liked it and we sent it home with her. Hopefully it will keep her snuggled and cuddle during the long winters while she knits.

We left to go record the radio show, which I enjoy doing. It definitely relaxed me and we had a great time with Stephanie. If you haven’t listened, you can click here to get the download.

That second photo is Jayme-the-wonder-publicist. She worked on her sock throughout the day. She had great first sock mojo going. She was even still plugging away at nearly midnight as we sat and ate dinner after the event. She is a better woman than I.

After that, it was back to the store to get some books presigned, let the staff get theirs signed and then the serious tour of the warehouse and store courtesy of Steve. During all of this, the place was really starting to fill up and the vibe was awesome. We hung the banner for NYC right over the registers – it looked faboo. Thanks Guido! We missed you!

Throughout the day, we continued to increase our staff in order to be sure we could handle the crowds. Truthfully, Steve and I were scared to death!

Then, it was time to head to the Calvin. We got there about two hours before to get set up and I needed time to become one with the space. I’ve been to events at the Calvin, but I’ve never been on the otherside. Walking on the stage the first time and looking out into the theater of empty seats was incredible. And I realized not nearly as scary as I thought it would be!

Funny thing – as we drove past the Calvin to park, there were two knitters already sitting out front, waiting for the doors to open:

Events like this are like planning a party – you always have that slight fear that nobody will come. I could have hugged those two ladies – which had morphed into four by the time I parked and got out there with my camera. That was definitely a sign of things to come.

The time came and we opened the doors and in came hordes of people!!!

Next thing I know there’s a photographer there from the local paper saying that he got a call that there’s a large group outside of the Calvin and he was sent over to see what was happening. He didn’t seem very impressed, but I must have misjudged him. A little while later, the lovely Victoria came over to interview Steve and I and Stephanie. She ended up staying for the entire event and even came back to the store. There was an incredible article in the paper on Friday – front page and everything!

Stephanie just rocked the house. When Steve and I introduced her and brought her out on stage, the place went crazy! It was seriously like being at a rock concert.

Everyone was cheering, flashbulbs were flashing throughout the audience. It was magical.

I was so relieved that everything was going according to plan, Steve and I went back to the bar area, ordered a beer and downed it faster than I can ever remember drinking a beer.

Speaking of beer, check out this clip posted on Youtube:

In no time it was over and we were on our way back to WEBS. Oh, before I get to that, I have to tell you another funny. Stephanie and Jayme were due at the Calvin around 5. It was starting to get late and no Stephanie. I call them only to tell me that they ARE at the Calvin, just in the basement. Does anyone see the connection (read previous post if necessary)? They were dead serious – that’s where the “green room” was. I was so freaked out I made them come up stairs and sit behind stage, where it was too dark to knit and it was cramped, but the basement thing was more than I could handle and it was messing with my event mojo. Sorry Steph, but thank you for being accomodating.

The store was like a carnival – seriously. Just like Rio in the summer. Although we cooled the space, it was still over 85 outside and the warehouse does not have modern climate control. So needless to say, it was HOT! Steve moved fans to the warehouse and the store staff started handing out waters. Nobody seemed to mind, but we were a bit stressed. Everyone was more than understanding.

So many of our regular customers were there, so many new and first time visitors. We saw Jessica from Ravelry (you must check it out), Amy from Knittinghelp.com (go there too) and Peta Bailey and her Yarn Safaris Group. I honestly couldn’t keep it all straight.

The last knitter finally left at about 10:45:

We collected over 100 hats:

Tons of squares:

Please knit 7″x7″ – no worries. We are nothing, if we aren’t consistent.

And lots of food:

This is only a fraction of what we collected. You all are amazing.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came, made a donation of any kind and made this one of the best events EVER. Really. I once did an event at a Nordstrom with Tyra Banks, back in the day, during her supermodel era. We had more people for Harlot, than I did at that even for Tyra. Harlot beats Tyra. I love that. All things are right with the world.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our amazing staff. Seriously. I”ll put my staff up against other staff, anytime, anywhere. Thanks to everyone who worked, you made the night back at the store so enjoyable and did it with a smile, even after many of you had been working for 12+ hours. Steve and could never do this without you nor would we want to. Thanks for taking this crazy ride with us!

Tomorrow I’ll catch you up on TNNA and all of the awesome things we saw and I’ll try to share some of the craziness of the weekend. You may not believe some of it – it’s pretty far out, but I swear it’s all true.



15 Responses to “Awesome. Simply Awesome.”

  1. Katy Says:

    I thought you guys did a fabulous job with the whole event. It was great to see the Calvin full of knitters! And the booksigning was well organized. Congrats!

  2. JanuaryOne Cara Says:

    I’m glad it was such a success for you!

  3. Melissa Says:

    Jealous. Painfully.

    BUT we really need to talk about your sock issue. We’re going to meet, like, weekly and you are going to make socks. 2 at a time. And beat Jayme-the-wonder-publicist. Or maybe I should not set about beating Jayme just yet…

  4. Diane Says:

    My husband & I had such a wonderful time at the event and are so grateful that you hosted it. You and your staff are the best and took such good care of us knitters. That was to funny about Stephanie in the basement, I would of freaked out! We hope to drive over from NY again next week when hubby is on vacation to get some more shopping in! The water in the warehouse was greatly appreciated!
    Great job to all & a big hug,

  5. Melissa Says:

    Hi Kathy,
    I think you’re trying to link to my youtube video of the Harlot in your post… Here’s the link!
    Thank you for a wonderful time, and the totes are great! 🙂

  6. Octopus Knits Says:

    Great post! Thanks so much for hosting Stephanie (and all of us who came to see her). The event was wonderful, and you and your staff did a bang up job!

    Tee, hee — I can’t believe she and Jamie were hiding out in the basement (or at least that no one told you the green room was down there)!

  7. frecklegirl jess Says:

    So great meeting you, Kathy. You and Steve and your entire staff was just wonderful. You definitely have a good thing going out there. 🙂

    Thank you so much for everything- great night.

    (Jessica- ravelry/ frecklegirl)

  8. Leslie Says:

    Thanks again for your wonderful job. Did you ever get a “final count” of attendees?

  9. somebunnysloveDOTcom Says:

    It was great finally meeting you in person after all those emails! Feel free to take a peek at the fun photo of Steve and you getting a chance to put your feet up. I hope to see you and your awesome team in Manchester next month. I will be there promoting the Boston KOAC!
    Bunny hugs,

  10. 2Skiens Says:

    I’ve been waiting for your recap since last week. I am so glad that you had a good time and were able to enjoy some of it (even if you had to wrench people out of the basement to enjoy it)

    I wish I could have been there..

  11. Bonnie Says:

    Thanks to everybody at WEBS for putting together an evening that will live forever in knitting history! The Harlot is so warm, genuine, and (of course) funny. And thank you for the goodie bags, a beautiful gesture. I finished my afghan square before Stephanie’s talk ended, so I also had time to work on a sock, too!

  12. jopal Says:

    Had a great time at your event. Your staff was fantastic and or course Stephanie was the best!

  13. Eileen Says:

    It was *wonderful*. You all did a fantastic job, I loved every minutes of it. I even got my hands on more Lang Bébé. Socks, the socks will be mine….

    —Eileen (Rhode Island)

  14. bigevilgrape Says:

    how many people actually showed up at the calvin?

  15. Kathy Says:

    We think we were right around 600. There were people in the balcony as well as in the main part of the theater. That, plus the number of goodie bags we had left over and the number of transactions we did back at the store that night, we feel pretty good about the number.

    Thanks to all of you that came and took the time to post. We love hearing your perspective!

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