Posts Tagged ‘Yarn Harlot’

Awesome. Simply Awesome.

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
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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.

Kathy

Nightmares

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
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Something most people don’t know about me is I don’t sleep soundly most nights. I often have a 2 or 3 a.m. staff meeting with myself. I rarely get up, I sometimes jot down a note, but mostly I lay in my bed quietly just letting my brain process all of the things that don’t get processed during the day. I often have very good ideas at this time of night, I sometimes remember things I forgot to do. These meetings usually last about an hour then I fall back to sleep. I’ll go through spurts where I’ll wake up at exactly the same time, give or take a minute or two, for several nights in a row. Seriously, 2:19a.m. for 4-5 nights straight is not uncommon.

But I rarely dream. Nightmares are truly scarce.

But not last night.

Last night I had a nightmare. I dreamt I was on the Mass Pike in car in a thunderstorm, going to the Harlot event. Which was being held at my mother’s house. Now mind you, my mother is two hours away and lives in very small house. Next, I am in the dark, dank, icky basement with Stephanie. We are talking, waiting to go upstairs to give her speech. Many of our regulars are in my mom’s kitchen. We are in the basement for a very long time. I look at my watch and realize the time is wrong – not sure if I had the watch on wrong or if it stopped. I go upstairs and everyone is gone. I go back to the basement and tell Stephanie that everyone is gone and it’s really 10:15p.m. We decide to drive back to WEBS to see if we can find anyone. Then I wake up – sick to my stomach.

I then proceed to conduct a 1 1/2 hour staff meeting with myself, going over all of the details for today, checking and rechecking my mental lists.

So, in case anyone is confused – the event is at The Calvin Theater here in Northampton. Not at my mom’s house.

Kathy

The Harlot Cometh

Monday, May 28th, 2007
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We are less than 48 hours away from the event of the YEAR! The Yarn Harlot’s return to Northampton and WEBS! I am so excited and so stressed about all of the details, I’m not sure which emotion I’m feeling at any given time.

Orchestrating an event of this size is no small feat and it involves not only a lot of planning, but an immense amount of teamwork and cooperation from all of you!

As of today, our pre-registration has officially gone over the estimated attendance at the book launch at FIT! Little ole’ Northampton will beat the largest metropolitan area in the United States! Now, I know this may not matter to Stephanie, she has much higher goals with her tour than simply numbers. But as I’ve said before, I am competitive – wicked competitive. Call it a fault, call it what you want. I was asked to deliver Knitters to Represent – I take my job and this particular assignment seriously (and a bit personally). As of this morning, we have 602 pre-registered attendees. I did the happy dance. Now to just make sure we don’t end up with a mess of knitters on our hands!

So, here’s the info you need to know, the links to find it, etc. Please take the time to read all of this. It will also be coming to those of you pre-registered via email tomorrow (if you opted to provide us with an email).

GENERAL LOGISTICSThe doors to the Calvin will officially open at 5:00 PM. For those of you coming from outside the area, we’ve posted information about directions, parking and local restaurants on our website. Here are the links to each one.

Directions to the Calvin

Parking in Downtown Northampton

Nearby Restaurants

GIVING BACK



We are supporting two charities with Stephanie’s visit that are very important to us, so we hope you will find time to support one or both of them while you are here. First is the Northampton Survival Center’s Kids’ Summer Food Program. This critical program feeds kids all summer long that ordinarily receive free breakfasts and lunches at school. When school is out, the Survival Center is their only food source. Let’s fill their coffers for the entire summer. The link below details the foods we would like folks to bring. Please bring them to the store, not to the Calvin as we won’t have the ability to collect food there.Kids’ Summer Food Program – Food List
Scroll down the page to see the list!

For those of you who have been working on hats for charity, please bring them to the store and we will make sure they are distributed. Please bring them to the store, not to the Calvin as we son’t have the ability to collect hats there.

GOODIE BAGS

Everyone in attendance will receive a goodie bag with yarn donated by Webs and needles donated by Storey Publishing/Boye. During Stephanie’s talk, we would like you to knit a square and those squares will be sent onto Warm Up America to be sewn into afghans and distributed to a variety of individuals who are in need.

THE BOOK SIGNING AT WEBS

Finally, as there are 600+ folks joining us, we are going to have a process for getting your books signed at the store. Stephanie will be pre-signing a group of books that will be available for purchase at the store if you don’t want to stand in line after the talk.

If you would like to meet Stephanie and get your book signed, we will be handing out cards at the Calvin with designated times for folks to come back to get their books signed. Cards will be handed out based on your time of arrival at the Calvin. The only exceptions are the elderly, handicapped, anyone with a small child or expecting – you get to go to the front of the line. This is Stephanie’s rule!

If your time is later, you may want to grab a quick bite to eat or an adult beverage at any one of the nearby establishments in downtown Northampton (caution: the bars near WEBS are a little scary!)

Of course, you are more than welcome to join us any time at the store for a little yarn shopping (there is some nice Regia sock yarn in the warehouse!), but we’d like to try to keep the line from snaking all around the warehouse. You are also welcome to just come back to the store, find a spot and hang out an knit!

The store will open at 10:00 AM on Wednesday. We’ll be open during the entire event, including Stephanie’s speech and we will not close until the last person leaves!

We will have plenty of staff in the store and at the Calvin to help you out. This is going to be a great night! I hope Northampton is ready for us!

Kathy

P.S. IT’S DONE! The catalog project that is standing in my way of every other project I want to do is done!!!

Harlot Mania

Monday, April 30th, 2007
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I know I’ve left some of you hanging regarding the Yarn Harlot Event. Until I had all of the details finalized, I didn’t want to start handing out info.

As many of you know, we sold out the event. Yup, 375 spots filled in a heart beat. So, out of pure FEAR that we would end up with a riot on our hands, we cancelled the Clarion Hotel (they are not happy with us. . . . .) and we are now booked at the Calvin Theater in downtown Northampton. It is a beautiful, beautiful theater with a seating capacity of 1000ish. Hah! See if you can fill that! So, registration is back open – we still need you to register so we have a headcount. No change in time – the Harlot goes on at 6:00pm! (Note – do not panic that our “private event” is not listed yet.)

With the move to the larger (read more expensive) location and the fact that we had to break our contract with the Clarion (read – we had to pay a penalty) we will not be serving food. It goes against every event planning bone in my body, but it has to be. More people and no food seemed better than leaving people out, just so a mere 375 of us could enjoy Stephanie AND munchies. . . .I know you will all understand. So please, plan accordingly. There are lots of places in Northampton to dine from fast food, to casual, to ethnic to fancy. If you don’t have time before the event to eat, you should feel confident that you will have time afterwards – we will be moving the book signing line at the store along as fast as possible, but it will take time to get through everyone, so feel free to take a 1/2 hour to stop and grab a bite.

Also, this event is FREE, but we are hoping to help out a local charity. We often do this with our free events. We are partnering with the Northampton Survival Center and their Kid’s Summer Food Program. The program provides meals for school age children in 16 area towns that normally received subsidized breakfasts and lunches at school. During the summer there is no school for these kids and thus, little or no food. The link to the items they need is here and we are asking to bring what you can. If the budget is tight and a jar of peanut butter and bottle of jellly is all you can do, that’s great. If you can bring more, we (and the kids) would be deeply appreciative.

More info to come regarding parking and other fun things!

Kathy

Boston Knitters – You Too Can Represent!

Friday, March 30th, 2007
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Some of you may have heard our podcast interview a couple of weeks back with Peta Bailey, founder of Yarn Safaris. Yarn Safaris is based in metro Boston and organzies bus trips to fiber related events, yarn stores, etc. They made their maiden voyage to WEBS this past Saturday and I think our staff had as much fun as they did.

Well, due to customer demand, Yarn Safaris is offering a trip back to WEBS for The Yarn Harlot’s appearance. Just think, catch the bus with other knitters and Harlot lovers, cruise out to beautiful Northampton, enjoy some time at the store, attend Stephanie’s talk, come back to WEBS for the booksigning and shopping and then, just relax and let the Yarn Safari bus get you back home to the Boston area.

This is your chance to REPRESENT Boston knitters! I am a native Bostonian, so please don’t disappoint! Get complete information about the trip by clicking here or on the Yarn Safaris link above. I hope to see many of you out here on May 30th!

Kathy

P.S. For those of you making your way here on your own, be it from Boston or elsewhere, I am working on discounted hotel arrangements. More info should be available next week.

UPDATE/NOTE: For those of you coming via Yarn Safaris – your registration for the bus trip is your ticket to the event. You DO NOT NEED TO REGISTER WITH US. We have spots set aside for Yarn Safaris. Please do not double register – that would take a spot away from someone else!!! THANKS!

Guess Who’s Coming to WEBS?

Friday, March 2nd, 2007
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Wednesday, May 30th

6:00pm @ The Clarion Hotel Ballroom
then back to WEBS for a book signing & more Harlot-y fun!!

Mark your calendars NOW!
Request the day off NOW!

Call your friends and relations!

More details to follow. . . . .
I am so excited I can barely stand it!!!! This will be THE coolest event of the year – DO NOT MISS IT!

 

Kathy

The Yarn Harlot’s Call to Action

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
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So how many of you read The Yarn Harlot’s blog on Friday? If you have not read it as of yet, go there now, read Friday, February the 16th’s post and then come back. For those of you who read Harlot regularly, you know the post I am referring to, the one about representing. I posted a comment, which I don’t think I did correctly, but since there’s somewhere around 800 comments now, I might just be passing it by.

Anyway, she really struck a cord. Steve and I have experienced first hand what she is talking about. We travel to at least one or two conferences each year that are not industry related, but business related. Sometimes it’s marketing, sometimes it’s technology. The technology/internet conferences are the best example. Steve and I go to learn, there are work sessions, networking opportunities and the always dreaded “marketplace”. The marketplace is where vendors set-up shop and try to get you to spend your money on their products that will supposedly help us make more money. There is no question that we are a small fish in a very large, scary pond at these events. So there we are, in the marketplace and we approach a vendor to discuss their products/services. We introduce ourselves and undoubtedly they hear nothing past “WEBS”. We talk about what we are lacking/needing/hoping to find. They are smiling and nodding and then their eye catches our name tag and you notice just the slightest face crinkle. The vendor asks “What type of business do you have (they’ve read past WEBS) and we say “We own a yarn store”. This is when their eyes glaze over and the nice smile freezes on their face. I swear if we touched their face at this moment, it would be like a clip out of a cartoon – their entire face would crumble into a million pieces. More often than not, the vendor hands us their card, a free pen and says “we’ll be in touch”. Not. They do not take us seriously and I’m sure they cannot possible envision a yarn store needing whatever slick product/service it is they are pedaling. This is their really big mistake.

So read Stephanie’s post, the comments and her subsequent post today. If you can be in NYC on March 22nd, with a sock or any knitting for that matter, I urge you to go. Steve and I will be in Florida, otherwise we would be there in a heartbeat.

Although I am sad to miss, what has the potential to be an event of epic proportions, I am actually highly energized by the whole thing. I am working diligently with “Jayme-the-wonder-publicist” to get The Harlot back to Northampton and in a BIG way. For those of you who attended last year’s event in March, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! And if Stephanie’s plans really start to take hold, trust me, WEBS will be on board and making it happen right here in Northampton. Stay tuned.

In other news, I am interviewing Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle tomorrow for this week’s radio show/podcast. This is the first interview I’ve done that is outside of the industry and with somebody I don’t “know”. She is a big time author and I have to say that I am just a wee bit nervous. Steve is off at Stitches West (well, actually he’s in Minneapolis on his way, but you know what I mean) so I will be flying solo. The book is really good, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. So tune in Saturday to the show or the podcast for what I hope will be a very interesting and in-depth interview.

And while we’re talking books, just a reminder that Kate Jacobs, author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, will be at WEBS on Monday, March 12th at 12:00ish for a book reading/signing. We’ll be serving a light luncheon and it promises to be a really nice event, so make your plans now to be there!

My next post will be from Stitches. I arrive on Thursday, just before the show opens. Had to hang back for some business reasons and to give the kiddly winks less “sitter” time and more “parent” time. We have an awesome sitter, but Steve and I are both harboring a bit of parental guilt. We have quite a bit of travel this year and we’re trying hard to keep it all balanced.

Watch for some amazing pictures from the show. If you are in the Santa Clara area this weekend, do not miss the show! Remember, if we hit our goal, my darling, dark-haired honey will be getting some lovely blond tips. There will be photos. Please come and shop ’til you drop!

More knitting next time.

Kathy