Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maker Faire 2008

It's weeks after the end of MakerFaire and I still haven't said "boo" about it, so here goes. I'm getting up there in years, so my memory is failing me here and there, but I'll try to give you the lay of the land. If you wanna skip to all the pix, go fer it.

This year, I went to Maker Faire with Stephen (hizKNITS, my podcast partner) and Tammy (PunkRawkPurl) under the working concept that we'd interview for our podcast (Yknit) and do research on the state of CRAFT and possibly get ideas for future event planning. Fortunately, we did get a nice interview with Natalie Zee Drieu (Senior Staff Editor of Craft Magazine) as well as some nice audio from revelers (not to be confused with Ravelers) and vendors.

Stephen drove us down early (10am) so that we could make sure to see the Yarn Harlot speak (11am) and to get our press credentials and scope the festival layout. It was good that we did this as parking had already started to back up and we took one of the final spots in the lot adjacent to the fairgrounds. Folks who arrived later in the day had to park a substantial distance from the festivities and had a big delay from the interstate.

We picked up our badges and lanyards, got our maps and heading in with about 15 minutes to spare before the Harlot. The seating for the main stage was about 500. I'm horrible with respect to these types of estimations but I confirmed that with other folks who were there. At first, it wasn't quite full, but about 10 minutes into her talk, the place was packed. Always a delight, Stephanie entertained the crowd with amusing stories and research about the benefits and educational aspects of knitting.

Afterwards she had a very popular book-signing and then had a crazy packed "knit-in" in a woefully tiny craft lounge. Since we had interviewed Stephanie the night before, we felt good about leaving her and exploring the fairgrounds. We saw pretty much the whole thing including the vendor booths in the Craft area, the work spaces in the Make area and all the outdoor activities including people powered music, transportation and, of course, DINING.

It was so cool to see all ages and all genders participating in the Craft areas. We saw our good friends from "A Verb for Keeping Warm" and got to meet the good folks at TinyMeat, Sweet Meats (is there a theme here....) and all the other Etsy and local independent crafty businesses.

There were robot wars, live demonstrations of science in action and quite a bit of fun music (including my favorite, the theremin). We saw lots of Ravelry friends, bloggers and mulit-crafters.

At the end of the day, we were all in a daze (might have been the non-stop junk food fest) but very happy to have attended. Next year, we plan on going but being more strategic with our interviews and, hopefully, plan something groovy and community-based like the Knit-In, but with more room to spread out.

There's tons more that I could mention but let's just say that:
we came
we saw
we crafted
we collapsed!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Yarn Harlot Meets Yknit

Yarn Harlot Meets Yknit
Originally uploaded by mikewade
What a crazy, crazy weekend this past one turned out to be. Podcast Interviewing, Yarn Harlot, Maker Faire. Too crazy! So crazy, in fact, I was done in and spent pretty much Sunday and Monday recuperating. I blame the corn dog, ice cream, energy drink combination. But, I must confess that it was so incredibly cool. It was one magical moment after another and boy, do I feel blessed.

So, this past Friday, Stephen and I moseyed over to San Francisco to interview the Yarn Harlot at her hotel. We literally were handed off from Jenny & Nicole, of Stash & Burn fame, who met with her before we did. I was hoping to be there for the interview, but we'll just have to settle for being fanboys and gush over the podcast when it's posted to iTunes.

We had a rip-roaring funny interview with Ms. Pearl-McPhee and then escorted her to the new Millennium (or rather, it was a new location for me). The food was spectacular and I had many new vegetables (some I had never heard of, like fiddleheads). Great beer, lovely company and super model waiters. What more could you ask for? Well, the icing on the cake was the prom night pics that we posed for at the hotel. I think the concierge was like, "I know she's famous, but I don't know exactly what for..." Obviously, not a knitter, but no mind.

Giddy with epicurean delights and fibertarian fantasies, we made our way to separate homes and dreamed of a world where the Yarn Harlot reigned. And speaking of reigning, that's exactly what she did at....

THE MAKER FAIRE. More on that with the next post.