Last night, I went with my friend Jeffrey of Knitting Sinister to a book-signing event at Barnes & Noble for Crazy Aunt Purl‘s Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair: The True Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split. I tell you, it was the knitting event of the season–anyone who was anyone in the world of Los Angeles Stitch n Bitch (are we still allowed to use that phrase?) was there, including Faith Landsman of That is so Queer and Ellen Bloom of L.A. is my Beat. Both are featured as “characters” in the book as well. In fact, Laurie Perry, a.k.a. Crazy Aunt Purl credits them both with introducing her to the wonderful world of knitting.
The event started with a reading from the first chapter of the book, a hilarious and poignant recounting of the day that Laurie’s husband told her their marriage was over. If you are a regular reader of the Crazy Aunt Purl blog, you understand how Laurie can, with seeming effortlessness, make a scene like that both heart-breaking and comical.
She then read excerpts that briefly told the story of her new boyfriend, a rebound relationship that didn’t last but allowed her to move on with her new life. There was surprisingly little mention of knitting at the reading, but there were lots of knitters there doing their thing, including the aforementioned Jeffrey (to the right) who is working on a lap afghan using various shades of gold and brown wool he got at the famous La Lana Wools in Taos, NM. I myself brought some beautiful Noro Aurora (color #5) to make a simple ribbed scarf. I like to chose easy-to-follow projects when I’m out knitting in public.
For me, the one of the highlights was the Q & A portion of the evening. For example, one of the audience members asked if any of Laurie’s co-workers knew about her knitting-related internet fame and her upcoming book tour. She told an amusing anecdote about asking her boss for time off to go on the book tour and his look of confusion (apparently, he still doesn’t understand exactly why she needed the time off). Then, off the cuff, she mentioned that she doesn’t like to talk about the book at work since “the first word in the title is drunk.” Imagine that in a cute Southern drawl and the word “drunk” stretched out to about four syllables.
She also spoke of mild pressure from the publisher to insert a happy ending–i.e., “Wouldn’t it be great to end the book with you knitting some baby booties?” That line brought big guffaws from everyone and Laurie assured the audience that she resisted such pressure.
Afterwards, we all lined up in what seemed like the world’s must frustrating and badly-planned queue and the author graciously signed a bunch of books (to Jeff: “Marry me!”, to me: “Long live garter stitch!”).
Even though I didn’t get a marriage proposal, I was more than mildly flattered that she recognized me from our couple of brief meetings at SnB and a LYS. She’s the real deal.