Crazy Aunt Purl Book Event

Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat HairLast 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.

Crazy Aunt Purl EventShe 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 My friend Jeff, knittingsimple 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!”).

Jeff and Crazy Aunt Purl

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.

True love

Bye Bye Black Sheep!

Black Sheep Knittery, a much-beloved knitting store in Hollywood, is closing. Rumor has it that the owner is growing tired of her commute and wants to relocate closer to home. Apparently, she already has a new site picked out.

Here in the Los Angeles area, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to yarn shops. Here’s the link to the LA Stitch ‘n’ Bitch (are we allowed to use that term anymore? what’s up with that law suit?) list of local yarn shops. Go ahead, look. I’ll be here when you get back…

However, with all this choice comes competition, and what with the cooling off of the Stitch ‘n’ Bitch trend and the approach of the hot Southern California summer, it’s sad to see a yarn store go away, even though it looks like it will be back soon. More than one of those shops on that list is experiencing difficulties and is planning on downsizing or going out of business. I suppose it was inevitable that the knitting craze was bound to taper off, but I am going to adopt an uncharacteristically optimistic attitude and predict that knitting is here to stay.

Although I am sad to see Black Sheep go, I must say that the deals were fantastic! I doubt that I will ever see deals this good again in my lifetime. No exaggeration–all yarn was 75% off. That’s lower than wholesale, folks. My only regret is that I didn’t realize sooner that this sale was the real deal.

Still, I got some amazing deals (more below) and here are a couple photos to give you an idea of the place. This shot was taken from the loft, where I was almost buried in lovely, luxurious bulky Rowan and Debbie Bliss. Mmmmmmm….. bulky yarn…..

Black Sheep Knittery Sale 1

And here’s another showing my roommate packing up all our yarn purchases in these amazing IKEA vinyl bags we just bought the other day:

Black Sheep Knittery Sale 2Check out those groovy lampshades! This sale was so amazing, that I went on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, each day vowing it would be my last visit. On Saturday, I ran into the amazing Ellen Bloom of LA is my Beat.

Here are all my purchases arrayed on my sofa and trunk:

Black Sheep Purchases

This should keep me off the streets for quite some time. And I just got my stash organized and cataloged in my characteristically geeky way–whatever shall I do? Unfortunately, I must go now! More to come soon….

Update 01/24/10: all the links in this post appear to be dead now; I’m not surprised about the Black Sheep Knittery link, of course, but the Stitch n Bitch LA link is something of a surprise. I guess the SnB trend really is over.