Such a weekend. This will be a quick post, though, because the christening shawl must be blocked not later than Thursday night and I can't spend much time doing anything else until it's done.
Saturday, of course, was the first full day of shooting for the 1,000 Knitters project. My secret goal was to end with fifty sittings complete. And, would you believe, exactly fifty knitters sat and worked their little bit of the scarf.
I hope I didn't look as nervous as I felt. I am terribly shy by nature and the prospect of meeting many of you was both thrilling and daunting. At about 7:30 on Friday night I considered whether it might be better for all of us if I were to just scrap the project, get on a plane bound for the Lesser Antilles, and spend the rest of my life quietly doing whatever it is they do in the Lesser Antilles.
Anything, anything rather than make an ass out of myself in front of lots and lots of people.
And then I thought, well, you're assuming lots of people will show up. You're assuming anybody will show up. It's possible nobody will show up, and then won't you feel silly? Won't that be a fun blog entry to write?
Suddenly the Lesser Antilles didn't seem remote enough to constitute a refuge.
But I did show up.* So did you. And bless your hearts, you were cooperative and good-tempered and enthusiastic. You gave freely of your time on a beautiful summer's day. I am grateful.
The parade of people was fascinating.
Here, on the very first day, we had women and men. A straight married couple. A lesbian married couple. Black people, white people, Asian people, Hispanic people, old people, young people, skinny people, fat people. People with tattoos. People with floral print dresses. People who have been knitting less than a year, and people who have been knitting longer than I've been alive. I even photographed a lady from Serbia who spoke no English at all, and whose son had to translate for me–until she picked up the needles.
You know what? It really is a bond that goes beyond language.
One thing that amused me mightily was the number of people–dozens–who picked up the yarn and said, "Eeewww. What is this?"
It's the first yarn I ever bought, that's what it is. The final remaining skein of seven, purchased three days after I learned the knit stitch. I decided I was going to knit a sweater. I went to the nearest yarn shop. I threw myself at the mercy of the very ill-tempered, suspicious saleswoman and she took full advantage of my naïveté.
Ironically, that yarn was Hot Stuff for the time–1991. It's pure wool, and it came from a producer in New England small and crunchy granola enough to be considered artisanal. It cost a bundle. And it's nasty.
Now that same shop is owned by a friend and sells much better stuff for far less money. My friends, my friends–what a wonderful time it is to be a knitter.
It's an exciting time for the project. I have enough raw material now that I can begin (once the shawl is done) to sift and sort and see how the series might be arranged. Already, in my brief scans of what I've captured, possibilities are presenting themselves that I didn't imagine at the outset.
Special thanks, of course, to the Arcadia Knitting crew (Kathy, Sharon, Chandra, and Sarah) for hosting the project and taking pains to make it work.
I'm not sure when the next shoot will be, but there will be at least one more this summer. Stay tuned.
I have to go knit lace now.
*Thanks in part to my father, who called at 6:30 a.m. to make sure I was out of bed, and not hiding under it.