April 28th, 2008

Unbelievable

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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 http://www.splityarn.com/ 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”.
Kathy

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  • Creatively Dyed

    OMG. That shop was packed. Are you still standing up? I called this morning to see how things went because I checked the blog so many times looking for pictures.

    I’m so happy for you that things went great and I’ll be posting a link from my blog tonight.

    Isn’t it time for another vacation? :)

  • aaron

    I had such a great time yesterday! Thanks so much for organizing that event! I’d say the lines I waited in after the show at the Calvin all moved pretty smoothly. They flowed well enough for me to spend some time chatting with the other people in line, and there was even time for 30 or so people to come up to me and ask, “Aren’t you that Scarf Guy?”

    WEBS is a great store, and I’m sure I’ll check you guys out when I do my next project… that is if I choose to do one. Although I said that once, and look, I’m onto another scarf!

    I definitely look forward to appearing on the podcast! Should be a lot of fun!

    Thanks again for hosting this amazing event!

    Aaron
    -aka justonescarf

  • ayla

    Y’all hosted a fabulous party. Any word on what the final numbers were, or the amount of the donation to Cooley Dickinson Midwifery?

  • melissaknits

    Losing control of a group of 1,000 knitters is like WAY safer than losing control of, say, 1,000 small children, or 1,000 brides, or 1,000 rattlesnakes. What’s the worst they’ll do? Throw yarn? Sit on the floor and stage a knit-in? Demand wine to go with the yarn? How bad could that be?

  • livnletlrn

    What a fun surprise when Leah (cottonhollow on Ravelry) saw herself on this post! She bought the yarn for her sweater when we were at Webs for the Super Bowl Sunday event (which I blogged about at http://www.livnletlrn.blogspot.com/search?q=super+bowl). She blocked it last Wed. with the goal of wearing it to CT Sheep and Wool on Saturday and then to Webs on Sunday. Mission accomplished and she loved how many knitters commented on her sweater! Thanks for putting on such a great party and for the extra boost of complimenting her on your blog.

  • Kathy

    Between donations and sales, we are writing a check for just over $4600 to the Midwifery Center – we are so thrilled!

  • caro

    It was a fantastically smoothly run day. Kudos!
    And it was fantastic to meet you. Mum says we’re definitely making a WEBS trip every time she comes to Boston now!

  • amy

    You did a phenomenal job. I didn’t notice the chaos in the morning because we left after getting our books signed (to avoid lines) and did our shopping in the afternoon. Still lines, but not so bad. The only thing I missed was a donation box for the midwifery center. Where was it hiding?

  • vicki

    Thank you, Kathy and Steve for a wonderful time!

    I was one of the first in the store,actually got a basket! (I’m the one in pink in the first few pics.) Had no trouble cashing out as people were getting in line for the signing.

    Stephanie was so gracious, even commented on my sweater! Wow! I’m honored!

    I thought things ran very well, you seemed well organized and I know what a trick that can be. I work in a college bookstore and felt like I was in the middle of rush! lol

    My daughter and I will definitely be back!!

  • Kimberly

    I was the women with the bat and we did find a place to take it. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it. Both Kate and I were sorry to have missed The Harlot but we could not leave this bat on it’s own. However, we did get our books and had them signed with was one of our goals.
    And Luna Pizza – great! We had stopped there to eat and that’s when the bat happened.
    My Mom made it to the Calvin and I’m waiting to hear from her about her reactions.