I first met Xavier Guy when he was twelve. He was this very cute little kid brother of the guy I was completely in love with. It was evident he really thought his big brother was pretty cool, and since I thought the same, we have always had something in common. As Italian and I dated, Xavier Guy became more like a little brother to me. Not only did he graduate from college this month, but he also grew another year older today. Happy Birthday, Xavier Guy. You are a fantastic person, and I'm lucky to be able to call you a little brother.
Now, I know how great he is and do not need reminding, yet, he continues to be thoughtful in very many ways. For example, the Italian family and spouses gathered together this past weekend for a Memorial Day celebration. As part of the conversation, the upcoming visit by Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle came up. My obsession with knitting is no secret and my friends and family will sometimes pass along tidbits of knitting related information to me. When we began talking about Ann Hood's book signing at a local bookstore, I enthusiastically exclaimed I would be there and had been waiting in anticipation for about a month. Then the date of the event hit me. It would be on Xavier Guy's birthday and during the time we would be celebrating as a family. Yep, Ann Hood's book signing was tonight.
Xavier Guy looked at me and said, "You should go. I'll have another birthday next year, and besides, how often does a knitter come to town to sign her book?" See, I told you he is a fabulous guy. I told Xavier Guy there was no way I'd miss his birthday, and I didn't. We met for dinner and we had a rousing great time eating good food and drinking good beer.
I didn't miss out on meeting Ann Hood either. How did I pull that off? I have one of the best local bookstores and Ann Hood has a great publicist. Our local Davis Kidd humours us knitters every other week. They allow us to take up a small area of the store and knit and drink for our bi-weekly knit night. When they heard Ann Hood was coming to town, they let us know and passed along the publicist's information. Diane and the publicist worked some magic and scheduled a little lunch at a local BBQ place. To my utter amazement, my crazy work schedule actually slowed down this week and I had the lunch hour free and spent it with some great local knitters and Ann Hood.
Ann is very personable. She is sweet and fun and a great conversationalist. She also enjoys BBQ which is an important quality if one wants to hang here. Lunch today was like having lunch and hanging out with a group of friends. She is a wonderful addition to our knitting group. If you have the chance to see her in your city, please do. She is worth it. Not only is she worth it, but her book, The Knitting Circle worth it.
I had some reservations about reading The Knitting Circle. I'm try to avoid the knitting books because they seem to rely on a gimmick. After hearing the reviews by other knitters and reading up on Ann Hood's other accomplishments as a writer, I decided to take a chance on the book. I am quite glad I did. The knitting in the book is true knitting and is deftly woven into the story, but it doesn't overpower the story, either. Instead, the story of Mary and the knitters provides the life-beat to make the book an engaging read. I found myself worried about Mary and hoping above all hope that she would find the solice she needed. Ann's own experiences make the story more poignant and tangible. The loss she share's with Mary is harsh, but their stories provide hope for others. Their story is a good one. Go read it.
As requested, here is a picture of the socks I finished for Xavier Guy:
Oh, and as if my day couldn't get any better, when I came home, a nice little package from Cafepress was waiting for me. My Sheepie Tee and WWMDfK Tee were finally here. Hooray!