Yesterday was a wonderful day for knitters, and this knitter in particular (since I am the star of this blog).
It started out with me putting way too much thought into what I was going to wear to the event. One naturally wants to show off some handknit goodness when going to an event where hundreds of other knitters will be present. We each have to show our proudest achievement, a characteristically knit item. Since I haven’t knit anything I can actually cover up my main body parts with, I opted for my most interesting store-bought knitwear on top. And of course, I wore my most recently finished socks, too (see previous post).
That’s me, unable to contain my goofy excietment just before entering Webs to shop and meet Stephanie.
Sweetie and I got there about 1/2 an hour before the book signing was scheduled to begin. There were already dozens of knitters trolling the aisles for beautiful yarn. Sweetie was kind enough to hold my place in the signature line while I did a little shopping. I know, those were two things I was going to try to refrain from doing, but something came over me. There was such excitement in the air, so many pretty things to look at, that in the end, resistance was futile.
I went with a list of potential yarns for 2 projects I had in mind. I’m happy to say, I found yarn for both pieces, and they were on sale! And, because I am me and it was 25% off, I also bought some sock yarn for later. You know, in case I run out sometime in the next year…
So many of the knitters there were out in their finest creations. I saw several sweaters I recognized from Interweave Knits, as well as many other beautiful hand made pieces. It was very inspiring!
After I purchased the goodies, I took my place in line and got a little knitting done.
It was at this point that an inexplicable giddiness overcame me, and I was all smiles and sweaty palms. I have never sought out someone’s autograph before, not even when that’s what we’re all there for like at Debbie Stoller’s book signing. I am usually pretty calm and cool around famous people, wanting to impress them by how unimpressed I am, I guess. But I simply had to meet Stephanie. I had to thank her for writing Knitting Rules, and her blog, and for providing laughter and validation to knitters around the world.
When it was my turn, I stammered out an in-eloquent “Thank you for writing this book. It has liberated my sock knitting!” It was here that I thrust a needle into the air like a guerrilla knitter proclaiming victory. She didn’t laugh. So I said “Yeah, so I don’t even need a sock pattern anymore, it’s great.” And she said “No, people don’t need a pattern,” and handed me my book back.
We shared an awkward pause, after which I said Thank You and faded away. I’m not saying she wasn’t friendly–she totally was, and she gave everyone their moment to interact. It was a pleasure to meet her.
And that was only round one!
The Sweetie and I had plenty of time to grab some lunch, stroll around downtown, and get great seats. I should also take a moment to mention out kick ass parking spot, a mere 100 feet from the front door of the theater. We went there straight after the book signing to scope out the location, and lo! There was this beautiful parking space just waiting for us.
Inside, we found a seat right in the center of the front row in the balcony. Which was just fine with me, because it was a madhouse down on the floor.
The next few pictures were taken in a very dark auditorium; please excuse their wonkiness!
Word is that over 1,000 people pre-registered for the event. The collective power of all the knitting going on in that room could probably have powered the city for the 2 hours we were inside!
Sweetie and I passed the time with our respective hobbies:
NY Times Crossword + Diagonal Cross rib socks = dynamic duo!
I’m so thankful that I got to go on a knitting field trip with such a supportive partner. She stood in line for me, took photos, didn’t judge me when I bought more yarn, and even found herself laughing a few times during the talk.
After the Webs owners raffled off some awesome prizes, it was finally time. The Yarn Harlot herself was in the house, and the first thing she did was take our pictures with her sock.
And then she spoke for about an hour, reading from an essay she had written about how smart knitters really are. We are changing the way our brains work (for the better), strengthening our minds, buiding relationships with other knitters, feeling relief from stress, anxiety, attention issues, and even depression, all while practicing this activity which others view as simple or boring. I think we all know that knitting is neither simple nor boring! It affects who we are, and that is a wonderful thing. I know that for me, knitting has saved my life this past couple of years as I have struggled with health issues, depression, and adjusting to living in a new state. I don’t know how I would cope with life in general if I didn’t have my knitting to focus on and comfort me!
One of my favorite quotes was a story she told about a friend of hers who was knitting while waiting in a doctor’s office. A stranger actually said to her “I’m glad I’ve never been bored enough to knit.” Whoa. Her friend, who is more clever and brave that I think I would have been in the moment replied: “I’m grateful I knit. And I’m glad I’ve never been bored enough to insult a stranger in a waiting room.” Save that one in case you need a witty reply some day!
It was a wonderful day, and I’m so glad I took the time to go. I feel more connected to the knitting community and to this passion I have. We are not alone! We are not silly for being so devoted to our craft. It is a valid way to spend time, and we should all be proud to say that we are knitters.