1. Okay so running around the city having your sock pose for pictures is maybe not the first thing you’d classify as Normal Behaviour.
2. But it is a bit of fun. And you meet other knitters doing it too and then you have more fun.
3. I ran into Divy at Romni Wools where we were the first and second players to arrive. The ladies there gave us a hearty “may the best knitter win”, let us fondle some samples scarves knit up with Elann Super Kydd (I am all over that for next time I need mohair… pretty shiny fuzzy), and let us drink the hot chocolates. I wonder how many hot chocolates Toronto yarn store staff had to drink yesterday. In the end the two of us were tied for 2nd and tied for 3rd place (61 and 55 points) respectively. Nifty-tastic.
4. After scavenging, Kate and I stopped in her department where we ran into fellow grad Alice, who also happened to be knitting. We asked if she was also going to the Yarn Harlot talk. Naturally. I was imagining students all over campus excited about finishing the day with Harlot at the Bader Theatre, while the rest of U of T went on like it was a totally normal day.
5. There were four 3rd-place yarn prizes, all sock yarn. I went home with a skein of The Unique Sheep in the Doctors Without Borders colourway. It’s super pretty. Half the proceeds from sales of the colourway go to MSF/DWB. Suffice to say it was not a hard choice to divert my book money to a DWB donation at the end of the talk.
6. Big ups to Glenna who didn’t get to scavenge because she HANDED IN HER THESIS A HALF AN HOUR before coming to the Bader Theatre for the talk. That’s mad knitter timing.
7. The gathering before the talk was fun. Knitters sitting and chatting and visiting. Practising the Knitter Salute of reaching out and touching the knitwear. I have never seen a group so accepting of being handsy. Jennifer from Purple Purl and I realized after hugging each other hello we were possibly moving beyond the boundaries of normal greetings when we realized our sweaters were getting all the action. (Mine was storebought. I feel so ashamed.)
8. Sitting next to me was Linz, who had a pretty shawl… Actually it was a very pretty Icarus shawl in Misti Alpaca! It was super to see another one in the wild and see what is just around the bend. (I’m two rows away from hitting chart 4.) I hadn’t seen a FO before with that same yarn and it really does bloom after washing. Hers looked soft and cozy and light.
9. I also met Michelle, who was sporting a pullover that made my jaw hit the floor. Not just cables but colourwork cables.
She reported the pattern is Adrienne Vittadini, direct from the 80s. Now knitting is all relative and one person’s challenge is another person’s restful ease but taking colourwork and throwing cables on it somehow seems like the knitting equivalent of turning normal geometry into a Non-Euclidean space. I just can’t believe people make things like this and sweat and work and knit and then just wear them and the rest of the world has no idea.
10. There are a whole lot of sock knitters doing magic loop out there. I didn’t realize. There are also a lot of people using Harmony dpns. I have been minding my own business all this time on plain old Knitpicks regular metal dpns. What do they know that I don’t? What can I learn from this?
11. The opening act for the talk was Andy and Michael from the Skydiggers. They were super and completely game for the event. Glenna posted a clip of their opening song, I caught myself starting to sing it this morning when I went to get the kettle on. By the end of their set they had a room full of happy, serene people. The only thing that would have prevented knitting from occurring during the concert was if they’d dimmed the lights full. (They didn’t.)
12. So as intros go, this is a pretty good one:
13. Stephanie’s talk was great fun and she had a mixture of points for her tour theme of inexplicability of knitting culture, and familiar stories from her blog and previous talk. She recounted the story of getting stuck outside her hotel room in Calgary in only her underwear and we just about hurt ourselves laughing. I was thinking later how, on a presentation level, this whole talk is a challenge because you can’t even make eye contact with half your audience. I can’t imagine what it is like to face an entire theatre and try to strike a connection when half the room is looking at their hands. But it didn’t stop her from making a connection and it didn’t stop knitters from listening. We got yer inexplicable right here, baby.
14. Now, I will go back to my grading and all the class prep I haven’t yet done. My version of inexplicable is figuring how to not admit to my students I blew off the history of chemistry for crazy knitter behaviour. Fun party, when do we get to do it again?