Posts Tagged ‘Yarn Harlot’

Ready, Set, Knit! 329: Kathy talks with Kirsten Hipsky

Saturday, October 5th, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with WEBS Design Manager, Kirsten, about the WEBS Fall 2013 Catalog.

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Kathy and Kirsten talk about some of their favorite patterns from this catalog.

The Foxfire Shawl knit in Charlemont Kettle Dyed and Charlemont Hand Dyed, this shawl would look great in lots of different color combinations.

Valley Yarns Foxfire Shawl and additional color options

They also discussed the Whistler Cardigan, The Basic Crochet Pullover, The Morning Bells Shawl,  The Chandelier Shawl, Papyrus Cardigan and Monarda Pullover

If you do not yet receive our catalog you can request one here.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Our 10th Annual Knit & Crochet for the Cure event is happening in store TOMORROW October 6 from 1-4pm.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, is joining us to offer two classes the week of October 19th! We’re so excited to have her back at WEBS.

Upcoming Events:

WEBS is open regular hours on Columbus day weekend, closed on Sunday and open on Monday, while you’re here you should check out the Paradise City Arts Festival Oct 12-14 at the 3-County Fairgrounds.

Registration is open for our 7th Annual Bus Trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck on October 19th – just 2 weeks away! Are you on the bus?

Stitches East is coming up! November 8-10 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT. There are still lots of open seats in classes and the Market is not to be missed!


Ready, Set, Knit! Listeners get ready for a challenge!   The KnottyGirls Knitcast issued a challenge and started the Ravelry Podcaster Throwdown. They claimed that their listeners will turn in more hats for Halos of Hope by the end of Stitches West 2014 than any other podcast out there. You all know that Kathy has a competitive streak a mile wide and can’t resist a challenge! Steve has even stepped in and said that he will ship all the collected hats to Stitches West! Here’s what you need to do:

Make as many knit and/or crochet hats as you can (check here for preferred fibers and free patterns) and get them to us by February 1, 2014. Make sure each hat and package is labeled with “Team RSK!” Please mail all packages to:

We are no longer accepting donations of hats – please send all hot donations to 

Halos for Hope

20987 N. John Wayne Pkwy


Maricopa, AZ  85139

If you’re posting about your progress on Facebook or Twitter please use #PodcastThrowdown. And please join the Podcasters Throwdown Group on Ravelry and show your support in the Team RSK thread! If you’ve sent in hats let us know who you are.

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The Harlot is Coming!

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
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My first career was in publishing–I did publicity for authors and books, and I worked in New York City, for a fairly well-known set of publishing houses (Random House and Simon & Schuster). My strength was celebrity authors, and I got to work with lots of them. When I moved to western Massachusetts, I worked at a smaller publisher, Storey Publishing, in the Berkshires, and I got to work with another celebrity: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Believe me, I was more excited to work with the Yarn Harlot than almost any other so-called “celebrity.” She’s a beautiful writer, she’s a lovely person, and most importantly, she is totally relatable to her audience and she’s an AMAZING knitter and teacher.

The Yarn Harlot is coming!

The Yarn Harlot is coming!

I’m super-duper excited that Stephanie is coming to WEBS right before Rhinebeck to teach for us!! She will run two classes, Grok the Sock (Thursday, October 17) and Knit Smart (Friday, October 18). Grok the Sock is a 6-hour sock intensive, not difficult, and integral to understanding basic construction of the sock.  Knit Smart is a lecture-style class with Stephanie’s trademark humor and smarts, about how to figure out where you might encounter knitting pitfalls and how to make ensure they don’t derail you.

There is limited space available in these classes, so sign up now and beat the Rhinebeck rush!

Ready, Set Knit #280: Kathy talks with Norah Gaughan

Saturday, September 15th, 2012
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Guest: Kathy and Norah talk about the new book from the Berroco design team: Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Babies and Toddlers. With 50 designs there’s something for every skill set and design aesthetic.

The Snowflake Blanket, on page 25, one of Kathy’s favorite patterns from this book.

This is the perfect follow-up companion to their first collection: Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events:
Classes with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee! – Knitting for Speed and Efficiency and Knitting with Mawata
Valley Yarns Trunk Show, in store only! – September 20th
9th Annual Knit & Crochet for the Cure – in store only!
6th Annual Rhinebeck Roadtrip – October 20th.

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Fast and Furious and a little Freddie

Thursday, July 17th, 2008
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There is all sorts of stuff happening and new products arriving faster than I can photograph them and get them up here. I’m going to get right to things.

First up, we are thrilled to introduce five brand spanking new colors from Fiesta Yarns. What makes these extra special? They are exclusive to WEBS! Woohoo! Here they are in Baby Boom, a personal fave:


The color names are (from left to right) – Chesapeake, PB&J, Autumn Lace,Sangria Swirl, and Mulberry Tree. These colors will also be available in other Fiesta yarns and stay tuned for more collaborations with Fiesta!

As I’ve blogged about many times, going to TNNA is a chance for me to search for cool new accessories and such. One of the items we picked up this year is The Fibersphere (I feel like there should be an echoing sound coming through your computer as I type that!)

It’s actually a pretty cool little product. You can safe encase your working ball of yarn into the sphere, protecting it from pets, kids, the elements, etc. If you need/want to take the ball out of the sphere, all you have to do is unsnap it. No cutting of your working yarn. Pretty clever!

Plus, when you purchase this pink version, a portion of the proceeds are donated to Cancer Research. Cost is $20.00.
Blue Sky Alpacas also ventured into the project containment realm and introduced these adorable little project bags:

They are called “Pretty Cheep Project Bags” and are made from 100% cotton muslin, measure 12″ square and are washable! Each bag has a red tag affixed to it for jotting notes about the project contained in the bag! At only $6.50, they are a “bahgain” (as we Bostonians say) and way cuter than a ziploc!
On this week’s podcast, Steve & I have the pleasure of interviewing Michele Orne, author of the just released book “Inspired to Knit – Creating Exquisite Handknits” from Interweave Press.
We actually had the opportunity to meet Michele at TNNA and she is just lovely, as is her book. Rather than approach design from the purely technical standpoint, she delves into the inspirational side of design and how things in everyday life can invoke an idea or concept. Michele is a big proponent of Mood Boards and discusses how to compile and use them. To top off this lovely book, there are 21 stunning designs. Here are a few of my faves:
The Amber Beaded Cardigan:
This cardi actually started out as a shrug. You can see it in the sketch.
Michele decided to add the skirt on after and it created a completely different garment. I personally love it as is and love the shrug version as well. What is also interesting is that the beads are sewn on after the garment was completed.
The Seed-Stitch Poet Jacket appeals to me for it’s beautiful lines and gentle shaping:
I also love the Tiny Twists Camisole:
Finally, this coat, the Winter Wonderland Coat took my breath away:
I could go on, but I’ll stop here. You need to buy this book. The interview is on this week’s podcast which is now up on iTunes and our website.
Last up, I didn’t even realize this was in the store already, until I spied it on the shelf:
I took it and put it in my office so I can enjoy an entire year’s worth of Yarn Harlot witicisms. I’m telling you all now – if you know of anyone who will want or love this as a gift, buy early, buy often. Do not email me three days before Christmas begging me to send you my copy – I adore you all and would do almost anything for you, but I’m not coughing up the calendar.
Finally, I leave you with Freddie, our unofficial store cat, who lives nearby and comes over to visit and get some love:

Freddie is one big lover-boy of a cat. He will not take no for an answer when he comes calling and if you try to ignore him or push him away, he’ll do this:

He will interrupt any and all work until he gets what he wants. He’s been known to sprawl right across a keyboard or worse, get in your lap and nuzzle his entire face into someone’s neck. Again, not conducive to say answering customers’ phone calls.
We love Freddie.
NOTE: Due to a couple of technical difficulties, I was not able to publish this post on Thursday when I originally wrote it.


Monday, April 28th, 2008
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What else can I say? Yesterday was simply amazing. I’m not even sure where to begin with this post, so I’m just going to type it all out and if it’s less than cohesive, my apologies.

First – I have to say a huge, HUGE thank you to Stephanie. She was gracious, funny, patient and entertaining. Not that any of that surprises me or anyone who has ever had the chance to see her in person, but knowing how tired I am today and knowing she didn’t get to sleep in her own bed last night and had to be up before 6am to go to the airport to do it all over again, I am in awe of how she does it. I am so tired today my eyeballs hurt.

I knew we might be attaining a new level of craziness when I arrived yesterday morning to not only find folks already in the parking lot and waiting for the store to open, they had brought chairs and were hanging out. Some of the first folks through the door were two of my favorite whom I had not seen in awhile. Itsapurlman and his lovely wife made the trip for the event. As great as it was to see them, it was even more exciting when they pulled out this:

This is the Hupah from their wedding last fall. The yarn is our own Deerfield. Guido and his then fiance came to WEBS to interview Steve and I for his podcast. I had the honor of helping them select the yarn. I had not seen the finished product, though I had followed it’s progress on Guido’s blog and those of his friends. It is truly breathtaking and is now a lovely, cozy blanket that they use in their home. Thanks so much for bringing it along!!

Here’s a couple of shots of the “calm before the Harlot”:

By the time Stephanie arrived at 11am, the store was in fully engaged in controlled chaos, but by about 12:15, I was starting to panic (quietly, inside). I was EXTREMELY worried we weren’t going to have enough books, I was PETRIFIED that Stephanie wasn’t going to make it through the line of knitters waiting to get their books singed before she had to leave for the Calvin (although I did institute a plan B and ultimately she did get all of the knitters through the line) and there were so many people shopping and waiting to check out and the lines were getting all knotted up and confused that I was really worried. Not that anyone seemed upset, I just didn’t feel like we were in control anymore:

(Note: check out for an even better shot of the store)

Seriously – I went over to Steve, who was working one of the registers and whisphered to him “Honey, I think we’re on the verge of losing control”. He grunted at me – this was not a good sign. I was looking for reassurance, I was looking for a “Don’t worry Kath”, but instead, I got a grunt. After being together for as long as we have been, I know that grunts are never a good sign. We’ve done a lot of events and have proven we have the ability to handle really large crowds, we handle ginormous crowds at Stitches in much smaller space than we have in the store and it never even phases me. I’m not quite sure why I didn’t think we’d be okay – maybe my slight claustrophobia was getting the better of me.

I went back over to Steve shortly before I left for the Calvin and things were still wild and I said “We’re never going to get everyone out of here in time for the event” and this time he said “I have a plan.” I wasn’t 100% sure it would work. I left WEBS and headed to the Calvin not knowing if (a) I would be opening the show on my own without Steve and (b) if all of the knitters would get out of WEBS and to the Calvin on time. In the end, Steve’s plan worked and he was at the Calvin to kick off the show and all of the knitters made it there too.

Although there was one woman, who came in a bit late, a bit frazzled and explained to me that her friend found a bat on the sidewalk and was going to miss the show because she was standing over the bat since it was highly unusual to find a bat, on the sidewalk in the middle of the day and who should she call about the bat. I suggested the police – who could put her in touch with animal control. The woman left and I can’t say I ever saw her return – I have no idea what happened there. If there’s anyone with an update on that, please post in the comments.

The show was awesome, the crowd was amazing and Stephanie truly out did herself. As one person said to me “I laughed so hard I was exhausted when I left”. That about sums it up. Justonescarf (from Ravelry) was there and an entertaining addition to the post-show Q&A once again this year. I’m going to be trying to schedule him for the podcast in the coming weeks, so stayed tuned for that.

Back at the store, there was more signings, more shopping and more knitterly fun. Steve addressed some of the issues we encountered while Stephanie was speaking and although the afternoon proved just as busy as the morning, we definitely were on top of things.

What really made the day, besides having the privelege of hosting Stephanie, was our most amazing staff. They handled everything flawlessly and are simply the best. Thanks to Mary, Karen, Jenna, Cirilia, Tina, Jaz, Leslie Ann, Gail, Elisabeth, KT, Dena and Pixie. Plus all of our wonderful customers who came and really made a great time for all of us! Thank you so much for coming to the shop and the event! Besides having the best yarn store staff on the planet, we definitely have the best customers.
Here’s a couple of shots I took:

The first one is Leah, who is a knitter (wearing a sweater she knit – quite talented). The second two young knitters were just super cute!
I didn’t take all that many pictures. In fact, as we were heading to dinner with Stephanie, Jess and Splityarn and her mum, I said to Steph, “I never got a picture with you” and her response was “Kath, I think people will know we were together today”.

Harlot Day is Tomorrow!

Saturday, April 26th, 2008
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I have been composing this post in my head for the better part of today as I’ve been running errands, getting ready for the event, attending J2’s first little league game of the season, etc. I even took a couple of cool pictures to share, as teasers. . . . .

Before posting, I decided to see how things went at SPM’s Chicago event last night. I knew she was having some weather issues – I spoke with Amy at Storey mid-afternoon yesterday and she shared what was going. I never, in a million years, thought things would turn out as they did. I just logged onto the Harlot’s blog and in matter of seconds thought I was going to throw-up. SHE NEVER MADE IT TO CHICAGO!! No event, no Harlot. I am sick for her, I am sick for the owner of Nana’s Knitting Shop – the planning, the work and quite honestly the expense that goes into an event like this is beyond words. Then there are the knitters, who have all been so kind and understanding in the comments, but for sure were all heartbroken. I can only imagine how Stephanie must have felt, sitting at Pearson, as the realization that she was not going to make the event began to become a reality. There are no words.

So, I feel as if I really can’t be all rah-rah excited right now (well, I am excited, but I feel it inappropriate to gloat).

For anyone who has not read the email we sent out, the Ravelry posts I’ve made (and got in trouble for posting the same thing in three different forums – oh well) OR the information on our website, please go here so you know what’s happening tomorrow.

The one thing I have to share with you all is this – I saw it this morning as I went to the bank:
The folks at the Calvin wouldn’t indulge me last year and I insisted on it this year – threatening them with me on a ladder, with a big Sharpie, in the middle of the night. I guess they took me seriously.
See you all tomorrow – it’s going to be an absolute blast.

Harding and Harlot

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
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A big thanks to everyone who joined us on Friday evening for our event with Louisa Harding. What great fun we had! Unfortunately, I left my camera sitting on the desk of my home office, but luckily Skrillaknits was armed and at the ready. I’ll posting pictures shortly, but did not want to let too much time pass before posting.

We’ve also introduced a new Valley Yarn – Springfield. It was in our Spring catalog and we’re working on a couple of patterns to support this great new yarn. Springfield is 88% cotton/12% acrylic and has a textured “crimp” to it. It’s super soft and knits at 5 sts = 1″ on a #6 needle and has 110 yards. Springfield is available in 11 colors and is $3.49/ball – oh and it’s made in Italy.

The focus of our world right now is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s return to WEBS this Sunday, April 27th. Full details of the event are now available at Just click on the button on our homepage for all of the details. It is going to be a great day!


But I Still Haven’t Seen a Moose!

Monday, February 18th, 2008
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Thanks to everyone who emailed and shared in the excitement of the upcoming Harlot event. I’ve made the registration link live on the previous post. Just remember – if you are registering a group of folks, we need everyone’s name and contact info. There are lots of details to still be coordinated and we want everyone to be kept in the loop.
In the excitement of all things Harlot, I completely forgot to post pictures from our event with Wenlan. This was one of those events that we knew would be fun and not overwhelming, but we had no idea how AWESOME it really would be. For those of you who missed it – shame on you! It was simply one of the loveliest events. Wenlan was charming and funny and entertaining and very informative about her life as a fashion designer. We learned a lot about her view of garment construction and saw how beautiful her garments are when worn. Most importantly – how beautiful they are on different body types! Here are a few pics:

The ultimate star of the day has to go to Milan:

She wouldn’t pose for me, but for Jackson and Jonathan she was workin’ it! Thanks to our friends at Classic Elite for making this event happen and to Wenlan for making the trip up from NYC.
That’s it for events for awhile – at least in-store. Next up for us is Stitches West! The show is this weekend, February 22-24 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Show hours are 10-6 Friday & Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday. If you are already registered, there is a special shopping night on Thursday from 7-10pm. We will be in booths 701-709 and 800-809. That’s 10 booths full of yarn, garments and lots of fun and inspiration. We’ve got 14 folks in tow with us – the biggest contigent we’ve ever brought west. Be sure to stop by, say “hi” and stock up on yarn at incredible savings! We’re especially excited to be brining our own Valley Yarns with us again, including our brand new Colrain Laceweight. We’ll have most of our garments with us as well.
Lastly, we took a quick weekend trip up to Maine with the boys. It was part business and part family escape. It’s been so crazy here that we just felt like we needed to hang with the kids before taking off to California. What’s wonderful about what we do is that no matter where we go, there are knitters:

This wasn’t the only sighting we had, but the only one I was able to capture.
We took the kids to Delorme where we saw this:

Jonathan is a huge geography fan so he thoroughly enjoyed this visit. We also visited here:

I know it needs no further explanation.The only disappointment of the weekend comes from Jonathan – he never did get to see a moose 🙂

Can’t wait to see all of our West Coast customers later this week (and Teri from Hawaii – please bring warm weather Teri!).



Make Your Plans NOW!

Thursday, February 14th, 2008
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The Yarn Harlot
April 27th (it’s a Sunday)
The Calvin Theater
Book Signing and other festivities at WEBS (probably stuff before and after the Calvin)
FREE – but we need you to register (which is now live!).

Stayed tune for LOTS more info on parking, the festivities, etc.


We are so excited!!! It’s going to be a blast!


Time Warps and Weirdness

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007
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I’ve got a whole hodge podge of things to get to and time is short.

I leave for Stitches in the a.m. and to say I am unprepared would be, well. . . an understatement. I have no idea how it got to be October 9th. Seriously. I am still somewhere in early August. I haven’t even made it to Stitches Midwest yet, but the calendar says October and my calendar says I’m to go to the airport tomorrow to fly to Baltimore for East. Okay, I’ll do as the calendar says, but I swear, it’s truly only early August.

So first, I must post, Pixie’s finished Duster (cue the trumpets, please):

It is “dahling” as I would say with my Boston accent, which I don’t let out very often, but every now and again 🙂 Really, it is exquisite – for all of the ribbing we give Pixie for her pickiness about which increases to use, which seaming technique is best, well, the garment speaks for itself and her skills. I know you can’t see the detail and I’m sorry I didn’t take close-ups of some of the points she’s made in the podcast. Remember that speed/calendar problem I’m dealing with? I’ll see what I can do when I get back. For those of you coming to Baltimore, it will be there, on display. Come see it, try it on, fall in love with the Tilted Duster. Mine is coming too! It’s just not quite as, how can I say this. . . finished?? Yeah, that’s it. But it’s coming along. Anyone interested, just ask 🙂 Remember, if I can make this, so can you! We’ll have lots of Peruvia on hand or our Berkshire if you want to substitute.

On the podcast today (which we recorded without Steve which was another totally weird part of today. Seriously, my timing was completely off, I felt completely out of sorts, it was just plain weird. Never again.) Pixie discussed the shoulder seaming and her preferred technique (okay, let’s all quietly giggle at Pixie and her “preferred/better than the rest way” but we must all acknowledge that darn it, she’s right). Here is the the two swatches she references:

So listen on Saturday or download the episode when you can (available also Saturday) and you now have the visual to go with it.

Okay, now it’s time for some yarn love. Alpaca Sox from Classic Elite came in during the deluge and although we talked about it on the show, I never quite got it on the blog. So here it is:

Love this yarn. Now, it’s not machine washable and I know this will be an issue for some of you. I get it. But the yarn is yummy, the colors outstanding. Here are my two favorite:

And yes, I did write down what they were when I took this picture last week and do you think that scrap of paper is anywhere to be found? Oh, we’ve got a winner folks! Gold Star to the reader from Oregon who just blurted out “Heck no, you are in some weird time warp, you are trying to get out of town, your behind schedule, the kids are cranky because you are leaving again and not being very cooperative and that piece of paper is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND”. The reader is correct and I am sorry. I will try to figure it out and edit somewhere down the road. (NOTE: Betsy, et al at Classic Elite, if you can add a comment with the colors, I will be forever indebted).

So, here it is, 7:15pm. I’m blogging and trying to get the boys ready for bed and get their KBAR done (Kick Back And Read), which I have asked Jackson to handle and read to Jonathan to kill two birds with one stone and I’ve got laundry going which I pray is almost dry or else, well, someone in this family is going to be short some important garments in the next few days and I have sweater models that HAVE TO FIT IN MY SUITCASE which I am not at all confident is going to happen, even if I do only bring two pairs of pants for the entire show, which is so completely not how I pack, but I digress. It’s 7:15 and the phone rings – the forward progess of all of the above comes to a halt. I go to get the phone and think “If this is Steve calling to check in, during what he KNOWS is the insane time of the day on a regular day, much less a day when we’re down to one parent who has to travel in the a.m., I swear I’m going to snap. I pick up the phone and on the other end I hear “Hi Honey, how’s it going?” All cheerful and kid free and adult-dinnered and probably adult-beveraged with no laundry worries or packing issues or anything. Yup, it’s Steve. I ask if his watch is broken or lost, he says no. I ask if he went somewhere else besides Baltimore that included a time change and he again says no. I then say “I’ll call you back”. He’s not happy but since he is getting adult-dinnered and beveraged, I trump him.

So, the only other quirky part of the day happend about 15 minutes before I was leaving to record said show “alone” with Pixie. My office phone rings and I answer “Hi, this is Kathy” and on the other end of the phone a voice, a familiar voice, says “Hi, it’s Stephanie. Please don’t fling yourself off the roof of your building because I haven’t receive my yarn”. Now, there was more to it than that, but you get the gist. Guesses, guesses, any guesses? It was the Harlot, who is oh so patiently waiting for an order (not just any order, but you’ll need to keep up with her blog for all of the details on that – I’m short on time, remember?) that still has not arrived. Seriously, I can get yarn to the lovely Amanda and Sasha in Australia faster than I can get it to Toronto. I posted on her blog about the flinging myself off our building and skipping Stitches to drive the yarn to her. She was kind enough to call and tell me not to waste my time, not because she didn’t appreciate my valiant efforts but, any ideas why she would take the time to do this? How’s about because she’s a nice person? Well, she is very nice, but no, that was not the reason. Maybe she decided she doesn’t really like the yarn but will accept the order when it arrives? Nope, not that. Still in lust with the yarn. No, she was nice enough to call and tell me this: we (WEBS) simply do not have any more of the yarn. It’s gone. All gone. So, if the package, two weeks in transit does not arrive (note: she says this amount of time is still reasonable for US/Canada deliveries), the package containing her “reward yarn” for finishing her book, I cannot do a thing to fix it. There is no more yarn. Yeah, I’m so stoked at this point in the conversation I can barely stand it. Now, later in the day, I think I was thrown a life preserver, but I’m keeping that under wraps until I truly need it. You know who you are – for your safety and my sanity, please stay quiet 🙂

Okay, that’s it. KBAR is over. Steve deserves to say goodnight to his boys so I need to call him back and I need to put in the links, add the pics, finish the laundry, pack and get out of Dodge. See you all in Baltimore.

P.S. It’s 8pm, later than usual for bedtime, but they’re done, this post is about to be posted, Steve and the boys connected and I THINK my laundry is dry. Woohoo!