Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Galloping Towards 1000

Now that the little book is for the most part tidied away, I'm playing catch-up with a lot of life–including the 1,000 Knitters Project.

Back in April (though it seems like a year ago) Wool Gathering in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania hosted what turned out to be the largest public shooting day yet - more than 130 knitters in one session.

And here I wondered if y'all would get behind this idea when I first proposed it.

Even if we'd only had three people, I'd have enjoyed hanging around Wool Gathering. It's a beautiful shop in a beautiful town, well worth the short drive from Philadelphia to enjoy the historic and eclectic shopping district even if you don't knit.

Woolgathering - Kennett Square, PA

The owner, Jackie, is a vibrant and creative shop owner who has made the shop into a wonderful resource and gathering place for knitters. When my buddy/hostess/handler Carol (one of the trio behind Knit So Fine) and I arrived to set up, Jackie and her able crew were already in full swing setting up a sign-in table on the sidewalk, as well as chairs for knitters waiting their turns.

It was a good thing they prepared, because before the opening bell officially rang we were already inundated. I was drowning in knitters, which is of course my favorite way to drown.

Kennett Square Knitters

I was inside the shop chatting and shooting, while just outside the window I could hear the growing hubbub of knitters passing the time in the warm sunshine, getting to know each other before it was time to come indoors and add their stitches to the project. I met so many of you who are frequent commenters (hi, Anne Marie!) and even more of you who had absolutely no freaking idea who I was.

Kennett Square Knitters

We had a real kaleidoscope that day, a cross-section of knitting humanity. People came from other states–Washington, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, New York, Delaware. We had young, youngish, young-at-heart, old, and one lady who said she was representing the "really, really old" and offered to pose nude. (I declined, as we were in a public space, but she was a looker.)

Kennett Square Knitters

On occasion a sitter will show up with a little gift, and while I don't usually post about them as I consider them personal, I absolutely have to show you a sample of what bj (she prefers the lowercase) brought all the way from New Jersey. She works for Mars (the candy company, not the planet) and she gave me five pounds of these.

Eat Me

1000 Knitters Project M & Ms. In the basic colors of sheep's wool.


It was a delightful day, even if I'm rather fuzzy on what happened afterward. I know we all went out for a delicious dinner, and then very good ice cream. And then Carol tossed my exhausted carcass into the back of her car and drove us home.

Woolgathering Crew

Thank you, Jackie (giving the bunny ears) and Carol (getting the bunny ears) and all the wonderful crew at Wool Gathering. I can't wait to come back. For one thing, I know you have Rowan in there and I did not get a chance to shop.

And Now for a Little Announcement

This has been in the works for a long time. Today another stop–international, no less–is on the calendar. Click here for the full details...


Purl in the Rough said...

Franklin - Delurking to say: I can't wait to meet you in Toronto. And those M&Ms, WOW! They are a thing of beauty.

ellenspn said...

Franklin, at Lettuce Knit there a person named Denny. Do not let her frighten you, she is really harmless. Flatter her and compliment her coffee and that will help.

Nita said...

International travel for photo shoots of knitters AND a forthcoming book--wow, and Stephanie's birthday, too. Congratulations on how *things develop*!

Be careful, Dolores won't want to miss this blowout!

Tsarina of Tsocks said...

Saw that announcement. Jell. Us. What a party!!!! Selfishly glad you limited the spots, too, because it turns out I can't get to Austin after all and I still want in.

Chris S. said...

The M&M's are fabulous - what a special treat for you. And the treat for the rest of us Canadian/Torontonian knitters is to have you come for a fabulous KIP and birthday party. I'm planning on being there and, if my dialing is fast enough, to be able to have one of those 120 spots. See you then!

Seanna Lea said...

I love seeing these photos (and was ecstatic to see the project going international on yarnharlot). I just wish I were visiting Toronto again, so I could at least join in the comraderie.

Susan said...

Er, how LONG is the scarf now?

Are you taking a picture of the scarf after each day of shooting?

(geesh! the scarf should get some face time too!)'

Susan in Las Vegas

Knitterary said...

Best M&Ms EVER!!!

Ted said...

I'll never get a spot in the 120.


tricotchick said...

Wow! Franklin, I think you should also do this in Chicago for YOUR birthday!! Or maybe Dolores' birthday! I am so jealous of the Torontonians. It sounds like a wonderful way to spend a 40th birthday. Is there any way we can donate the $5 for your trip even if we don't go?

Anonymous said...

My God, what an awesome plan! Y'all have fun!

SallyT said...

I was hoping that I'd recognize one of your Kennett Square knitters. I'm from that area and although I haven't lived there since high school it was only *** years ago! (seems like only yesterday...)

Your trip to Toronto sounds super cool! You guys have a blast!

Lise said...

I've so been waiting for this announcement. Looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks!


Danny Ouellette said...

Woohoo! Looking forward to seeing you in Toronto.

We all missed you at the men's knitting retreat.

Ted and I were talking and trying to figure out some way to get you to Toronto and lo! The Harlot has done it!

I'm in a dyeing class that day, but hope to get into the afternoon session. In any case I'll be there to root you on and enjoy the day.

Misstea said...

I saw peeps I "know" in those photos. Yay!

Sadly, I am in Winnipeg, not TO, and I have a big committment that day. Dolores and I will have to hang out another time...

I hope you have an awesome time (I'm sure you will) and I look forward to your report.

Lettuce Knit is a delightful shop. You will enjoy yourself.

leona said...

Oh I am so jealous of Toronto! Why not Vegas? We knit too, and just think of the novelty. :) Congrats on the international pictures!

Anonymous said...

I have to know. Are you going to eat (or already eaten) those M&M?


Anonymous, too said...

Dolores in Canada!?!?!

Has someone warned the Mounties about this yet?

Meema said...

[sniff, sniff]
I smell the beginning of a beautiful relationship - next year the Harlot/Panopticon World Book Tour of Knitting Insanity?

Oh, the songs we could sing...

FiberQat said...

Wonderful! I'm glad that it's going to work out for you.

Geri (that's my Ravelry name, too!) said...

Gosh! I can't wait 'til your book comes out, Franklin. The cover cartoon is hilarious!

I hope to see you at Lettuce Knit on WWKIP Day.

Chppie said...

I may be in the minority but i really think that Dolores should be encouraged to stow away. Her perspective of the event and of Canada would be insightful, I'm sure. Is there a fibertarians party in Canada? It just seems natural that there would be.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Blogging Trifecta: Fabulous photographs of knitters (of all stripes, woolie M&M's, and the future convergence of knitters extraordinaire! Attaboy!

m1k1 said...

Everyone should have a friend who works at Mars!

Steph said...

Wow! Those M&M's are so cool!

Debbie said...

What a wonderful gift! Chocolate in sheep colors! You deserve it!

Jackie said...

We miss you down here in Kennett Square!! I love the photos of all the knitters - it was a day I will NEVER forget. Thank you SO much for coming to my little shop...and for the wonderfully sweet post!

Kathy Merrick said...

Thanks for the somewhat less than Giant Moonfaced Git photo.
I bow.
Let's do it again when you're less famous!

Sandy said...

Franklin - Damn! That sounds like so much fun! It's going to be one hell of a party. You'd best up your drinking tolerance cause Canadians can par-TAY!

Of course, Delores can always stand in for you! My suggestion is that Harry stay home for this one. He could be knitted up accidently with all the happy (read: drunk) knitters at the after-party! How would you explain *that* to the authorities?

And I'd like to see a photo of the scarf too! It's got to be getting long!

anne marie in philly said...


thanks for the shout-out AND getting a pix of me with my B-I-G mouth open (is there any other way)? LOL

I see you also included carol and sandy and aileen (she of the fabu massage) in the spread.

best pix IMHO - the curmudgeon. so playful and so pretty.

I am honored to be a part of your book.

PS - hopefully you kept the tastykakes for yourself and harry; I can only imagine dolores with butterscotch icing smeared on her...(wink)

Alwen said...

That's awwwwesome. Dude.

the linguist said...

I've just discovered your blog (thank you Harlot), and I love it! The knitting, the humor, the pictures: it's all great.

One thing about a panopticon is that even though everyone might be looking at the same thing, they may actually SEE different things. So when you said "we all went had a delicious dinner" I didn't see a happy group munching on tasty cuisine; I saw the verb sequence "went had". At first I thought there was a missing "and", but then I considered the possibility that it was purposeful. There are many languages where verb sequences like that are common.

Which was it? Being a linguist, I resorted to one of our favorite web-surfing pastimes: I googled it. "Went had" got 77,000 hits, most of which were of the "Everyone who went had a good time" sort. But a significant number were of the "I went had some ice cream at the corner shop" or "He went had a seat" type.

Seems unlikely that they all have missing and's. So who says this? Is it a generational thing? A geographical thing? An ethnic thing? I grew up in Chicago and it doesn't seem familiar to me, but maybe you're from somewhere else.

I need to know this just as I need to feel for myself the scrumptious yarn in other knitters' hands. Can you indulge me?

Anna-Liza said...

Excellent! That's so exciting! And thank you for sharing the M&Ms--it's cool to see something like that.

Glenna C said...

I am looking forward to the Toronto visit more than words can say! I was so pleased to get a spot, but even if I hadn't I probably would have come anyway just to catch a whiff of all that knitting energy.

Those M&Ms are brilliant! Almost a shame to eat them, except how could one resist?

Raveller said...

Looking at all those portraits, my first thought was, what is he saying to them? How did he get all those people to make such goofy faces?

Knitters just know how to have fun, I guess and don't care who knows it.

Anonymous said...

The photo to the right of the photo of the girl with all the exposed boobage might could be switched with a photo of someone staring down agape, eh?

Kathleen said...

First thought about this post: Wow. Those are some impressive boobies.

Second thought about this post: How will you be able to bring yourself to actually *eat* those chocolates? I don't think I could work up the chutzpah, myself. Wow. They seriously rock.

Third thought about this post: See you in Toronto!

StarSpry said...

Those M&M's are awesome!! It's so cool that you're going to Canada for the 1000 Knitters Project :D

Sarah-potterknitter said...

Just popped over from Stephanie's blog, this is the first I've heard of the project.
I love that each person looks like they're in the middle of an epic explanation of something. (a little different something for each person of course)
Good luck with your 1000

kate r said...

Have a great time in Toronto...What a great way for Stephanie to spend her 40th. The project looks awesome so far. Dolores will party down with those Canadians but please don't bring Harry so far from home, he might get tangled and I just couldn't bear the thought.

knitnzu said...

Holy Shit dude, you'll be at 1500 or more after the Lettuce Knits thing, no? Have a great time! Relax and have fun with Stephanie. PA people usually scare me, but not so much the crowd you captured... love the bitch kitty! Whew, just looked through them again, they're all awesome!

Anne O'Nymous said...

Would it be an exponentially rude, a stereotypically entitled American-instrusive thing to do to take a vacation in Toronto less than a fortnight after finishing my 14th year of teaching high school so I could be part of the fun?

Would it help if I say that I've been (figuratively) beaten up by teens with poor editing skills? Would Sister Sue give me a pass?

Kate said...

Hurrah! Have a wonderful time in TO with all the phtoography blitzing. I'm thrilled that you're able to get there.

My jaw genuinely dropped when I read the M&Ms. Astonishing. bj is obviously a woman with connections and all of 'em good!

shell said...

Oh wow - I love the M&M's! I wish you came closer to the center of the state - I would have been there, but I shall live vicariously through your blog and the cool pictures of all the knitters.
Hope you enjoyed the time in my Commonwealth of Pa!

mary e. said...

You, and The Harlot (on her 40th no less!) celebrating birthdays, Knitting in Public and 1000 knitters!!?? Rock On Dude!!!! (do we still say that!?) I can't come play... but jinkies, do i ever want to! Canada should get prepared for Great Big Fun!!!! Squeee!!!!

hey Dolores, want to come party with the Denny??? said...

ummmm ellenspn has never met me in real person. I am not harmless, and be afraid, very afraid.

Bring up Dolores, she will have met her match, that and I know where all the male strip joints are, after hour parties, bad people and good times. Don't stand near her at the customs office though, as if I need to tell you eh?

P.S.I'm aloud to say eh, cause I'm Canadian.

Ted said...

Forgot to tell you. While in Toronto you must get ice cream from Gregs on the south/west corner of Spadina and Bloor. One scoop of roasted marshmallow ice cream is all you need.

Captain said...

"(the candy company, not the planet)"

Even if I weren't from Pluto, I'd still be absolutely dying.

Jessica said...

Right. Would prefer to email this, but can't find a way.

I have to confess, in a non-stalker-ish sort of way that I have a blog-crush on you! I'm a married woman living in Houston, but that surely can't be a blocker to a good old-fashioned blog-crush on a fantastic knitter/photographer/blogger in Chicago. Found you through the Yarn Harlot. I wanted so badly to be a part of the 1000 Knitters project and you're scheduled to be in Austin this weekend, but sadly I have to go car shopping with my husband instead.

At any rate, your blog voice sounds like what I'd like to think my own inner voice sounds like. Have started blogging a couple times, but it always petered out because you have to quite committed to it and I just wasn't. Your posts offer a welcome and needed distraction from work duties during the day, and I look forward to your own adventures as well as those of Dolores and Harry.

So, that should be just enough (hopefully not too much) slobbering for the moment :)


nobody said...

I am sooo excited that you are going to be at the YH's B-day bash! I can't wait to see the pics. You are a great artist! Have fun in Canadia.

Kyle Kunnecke said...

are you ever coming to Los Angeles (or did I miss you?) - I would love to take part, but most of all just shake your hand - I LOVE following this project on your blog... it's such an amazing idea...

Anonymous said...

I am always surprised at how many folks still knit with straight needles- big heavy pieces too.

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