My extreme dislove of baseball–both the sport and the act of going to see it played–is something I wrote about at length the last time I was persuaded to trot along with other knitters to see the White Sox to do their thang.
I won't sing that song again. I will take a moment to reiterate that while the American public insists it is my duty as a male citizen to love baseball, I insist it is my right as an adult citizen to not give a flying fig about it. I'm fully on board with the flag, motherhood, and apple pie; but even Ken Burns couldn't get me to regard our soi-disant national pastime with anything other than a jaundiced eye.
And yet when I got a call from the owner of our own, dear Loopy Yarns to please put together a promotional table on the day of Chicago's Stitch 'n' Pitch event, how could I say no? Baseball has not been good to me, but knitting has. There would be 150 knitters at the park–but also a few thousand people who might be among the lapsed or the latent. How often do you get a platform like that upon which to evangelize?
Would I do it? Sure I would. For knitting, I would do it.
Happily I had an accomplice and companion for the day–my friend Abigail. I first met her when she lured me up to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, to address the town's annual fiber gathering. You don't spend a wild weekend with somebody in LaCrosse and not form a bond.
Abigail is the sort of person who will drive you to the South Side, roll your dress form across five acres of parking and up a ramp while people cat-call, and never complain even though all she gets out of the deal is free nachos and beer. She will even push the dress form down the ramp and back across the parking lot, drive you home, and continue speaking to you.
Abigail is, to borrow a slangy bit of praise from P.G. Wodehouse, a complete brick.
So we set up a table and talked to people. I brought samples of my stuff and posted a directory of Chicagoland yarn shops and guilds, as well as information about the upcoming Big Deal Yarn Events (Stitches Midwest, Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair, Yarn Con, Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago) of which we have an abundance.
The knitters and crocheters were all lovely, and so were most of the shop owners. (Note to the sole exception: I was advertising your shop. Free. Happily. With great spirit. On my first and only day off in weeks. And I spent my own money doing it. If you want top billing, design input, and no nasty hairy dark ethnic men mucking up your lily white women's event, you go ahead and run the table next year. Really. It's all yours, honey.)
Mostly, because they were the majority, Abigail and I talked to people who were not knitters, or crocheters, or needleworkers of any stripe. About thirty minutes into the game we realized we kept hearing the same things over and over. So to beguile the time and stave off madness, I drew up a bingo card. (If you click it, it'll get bigger.)
By the top of the fifth inning, the drunks were starting to lurch perilously close to the lace and we decided to break camp. We had achieved bingo forty-seven times.
But I think we got a few more people into the tent.
It was worth it.