Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Scenes from Yarn Con
Truly, I have no idea where that nasty old stereotype of knitters as meek and helpless came from. The longer I mix with this bunch, the more convinced I am that there's not another community on the planet so eminently capable of getting things (with the possible exception of second socks) done.
For example, here we have Natalia and Sarah. They were talking about how great it would be if there were a knit-centric event akin to Chicago's DIY Trunk Show. Then they stopped talking and went ahead and built one: Yarn Con.
It was a bang-up job. Under the soaring vault of the Pulaski Park Field House auditorium, about two dozen independent purveyors of yarns, knitted goods, and knitting impedimenta set up shop for the day. Knitters came in their numbers to browse, fondle, and (abetted by the portable ATM parked just outside) buy. And buy and buy and buy.
The stage was given over to well-attended workshops, including several taught by Sharon Kelly of Arcadia Knitting.
I wish I had thought to get a shot of Sharon's afghan-sized entrelac swatch. It looked like she was knitting a Lady Eleanor Scarf for Paul Bunyan.
The 1,000 Knitters Project made splendid progress, even though I was placed between the hot chicks from Loopy Yarns and the booth occupied by Shannon Okey and Nikol Lohr, which was sort of like being a crossing guard at the intersection of Fellini and Ed Wood.
About forty hugely entertaining people sat in the chair and worked on the scarf, raising the current count to 198.* Thank you all!
I was so busy shooting I didn't have much time to shop, although I did go home with an autographed copy of that nice Susan Strawn's Knitting America. If you haven't seen it yet, take a look. Mine won't make it to the shelf for a while, because I keep toting it from bedside to table to sofa so I can gawk at the pictures. Happily, the coated stock offers some protection from drool and Cheerios.
For me, the crowning touch of the day was being asked, for the first time, to hand the needles to a very young man whose mother hopes he'll take up the craft. I felt honored to be chosen. Honestly, I got more than a little choked up. Le bowl of mush, c'est moi.
Judging by his firm grip (which the ever-helpful Tom recorded for posterity), I think Doug's mom stands a fair chance to spend her old age wrapped in handmade shawls and sweaters.
Slipping a copy of Knitting Without Tears under the kid's crib might help to clinch it. Or is that just an old knitter's tale?
*Reader Janet asked in the comments whether there will be a special "celebrity" section when the final piece is assembled. I can promise there won't be. I'm delighted (and surprised) at how many notable knitters have taken part, but in this piece no knitter is more important than any other. We are all important. Remove one person's row, and the fabric would be wrecked. That's sort of how I feel about people in general, come to think of it.