And it was FABULOUS. It was not, however, the first stop. The Harlot event was well over a week ago, but I am behind in a lot of things. Jess says she “keeps the important things alive,” and I would like to think I do, too. The rest are on life support waiting to be attended to (housework is in that list…very low on that list). Before my Sunday Harlot jaunt is another story, but I’m telling this one first.

I got there early enough to visit the new Webs Bead Store in Northampton, Massachusetts. I should have done the yarn store first. By the time I got into the mob scene that was Webs, a line for the Harlot signing was already back to the warehouse doors and beyond. She looked tired. She was so nice to everyone in line. I decided I didn’t need her signature on my book because I didn’t want to make her line any longer. I felt virtuous in my self-denial. (I do self-denial really well, as in, ‘in denial’…)

The line I did get on was almost as long, snaking through the aisles like a Disney-empire conga line. It lead up to three very busy cashiers. I got on that line not once, but THREE times as I discovered new “must-haves”. The store was wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling people. That made it tough to see some areas all that well. I did locate a needle sizer that includes all variants of size one and size two needles. A new knitting reference book was another find. Although I fondled many many hanks, skeins, and balls of yarn, I didn’t buy any fiber. I lusted after some bamboo silk big time, but I need to have a plan for the yarn to purchase it, especially when the yarn is $26 a hank!

Actually, being on the cashier lines was the best way to review the various string therapy filling the bins, racks, and tables. The lines were filled with friendly, chatty knitters so the wait wasn’t an ordeal…but the steamy heat of the bodies made it a tropical nightmare… particularly for those wearing their knitted wardrobes. I was glad I was wearing newly-finished knitted socks, and not a vest or sweater like those I saw around me.

Viewing the Harlot on stageNo time for lunch— dash to the theatre, grab a wine and a bag of beer nuts for lunch, settle in, and wait expectantly for the goddess to arrive. The house lights were all the way up, but it still was a very dim place to be trying to knit which everyone seemed to be doing… squinting and holding projects up to the meager lighting. Not even the Harlot herself could generate additional lighting where none was available, but she did try!

A view to a harlotMy seat was the front row of the mezzanine so I could see and hear very well…plus I had a place to put my feet up, put my glass, and when I dropped the needles, they didn’t roll far. On the first floor I saw some people running after dropped balls of yarn…ewww! The floors appeared well-swept, but I just don’t trust theatre floors, ya know?

I wish I could share her words but I only remember how well she spoke, how many times I laughed until tears ran down my face, and the general murmur of recognition as she described how non-knitters get so confuzzled at this large group of mismatched people— all ages, sizes, genders— openly knitting and smiling as she talked.

She is always worth the drive. And the other scenery wasn’t bad, either.