045I could feel anticipatory giggles well up as I drove across the state.  I had been looking forward to this day for weeks!

My camera, knitting and essentials  were packed up and ready for the day.  I was heading to Threadbear Fiber Arts  for a very special event:  a book signing of “It Itches” by The Amazing Franklin! (sorry if- “The Amazing Franklin” while appropo,  conjurs images of  a top hat and cape wearing magician, pulling birds or rabbits from who knows where… But, I assure you he pulls only brilliant, observant humor from the end of his pen,  in word and drawing well, and the ocassional delinquent sheep, but we’ll leave Dolores out of this. Poor Dolores.. I’m praying for her.)

The day did not disappoint.  I went with a few objectives, all of them were met:

1) To meet the man (Franklin) who has both affirmed my craziness in knitting and challenged my stereotypes and prejudices in the same. (I MAYBE have participated in a few “heated” discussions on the virtues of natural vs synthetic fibers.. MAYBE.   see page:15 ) Not to mention, he makes me LAUGH.

2) To meet new people and to enjoy the company of the diverse and incredible group of ThreadBear regulars.

3) To shop the incredible yarn mecca that is Threadbear.  And to see yet again, the incredible Threadbear owners Matt and Rob and the Threadbear pooches: Tate and Buzby. Few shops can manage to provide both the yarn you want and the community you need.  Threadbear does both.

Franklin at ThreadbearIn a total guilding of the lily move…there were even cupcakes!  (mmm I had a key lime  one- AMAZING!)  Honestly- I doubt a better day could have been orchestrated, even the Michigan weather seemed to smile on the event.

My anticipatory giggles were just the beginning.  Franklin was both delightful and a gentleman.  ( Even in regards to the most gentlemanly  “sweatshirt signing”  I have ever seen. Hello, Franklin is now a rockstar.)  I watched him give focused attention to every knitter, (not just the sweatshirt signing type of attention!) there wasn’t a feeling of “let me sign the book so I can move this line along”.. he truly seemed to enjoy meeting each one.

I will admit, Franklin scored double bonus points, when I introduced myself and he recognized my name from comments on his blog.  To the point of remembering the “e” in Tracey. Which, while it may seem small, spoke volumes to me,  in his attention to detail and reading of his blog comments.  (Ok, so, I also felt cool to be at least name recognized by Franklin:P, DUH. )

Some may be surprised to find that Franklin is on my “must read” list.  We have fairly glaring differences in spiritual beliefs and politics. But those differences do not change my love and support for someone that brings joy and laughter into a world that desperately needs it.  I believe that each person is a gift of God to the world.. uniquely designed and given talents and gifts to share.  Franklin shares his freely and with excellence, character traits I deeply respect.  Not to mention my absolute love for the his “1000 Knitters Project” which united knitters of all sizes, appearances and backgrounds in a visual community, an incredible project- that I can’t wait to see!

(There were however-hilarious pics of us talking together, that looked like we were having a throw down, at LIVE Threadbear.  We both have heritages that make us incapable of speaking without using our hands..  I seriously considered titling this post “A Buddhist and a Christian walk into a yarn shop….”   :)

If you have the opportunity to meet Franklin, or travel to Threadbear Fiber arts TAKE IT!  You’ll enjoy every minute of it!

And, to the incredible welcoming regular knitters at Threadbear:  I’ll be back.. you’re an amazing group!  Thank you for having me… (I mean someone COULD have tackled me in the parking lot and NOT let me in…I’m sure some who have met me have been tempted too! ;)