Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Yarn Harlot Comes to Town

Yesterday was a perfect day in my little corner of the knitting universe. My best buddy who is a newbie knitter (yes, I got her hooked) and I went to see the Yarn Harlot speak at the Central Library in L.A. Unlike most Angelinos we took public trans - the metro - from the Valley to downtown L.A. This was my friend's first time on the L.A. subway and she was stunned as most new riders are by the cleanliness and efficiency of the train. Such a shame that so few people take advantage of it. The subway let us off about two blocks from the library - Pershing Square stop on the offchance that anybody is interested. We got to the library and joined the line of knitters waiting to be let into the auditorium. Virtually everyone standing in line was knitting. A woman queued up behind me and murmured with a happy sigh, "Ah, my people..." The mood was happy and anticipatory as knitters admired each other's WIPs as well as the shawls, scarves, etc that were adorning many in line.

The Yarn Harlot was great! She has incredible comedic timing and was charming, smart, insightful, playful, and inspirational without ever being full of herself. Definitely the kind of person I'd want to hang out with and have in my knitting group.

She had many interesting things to say. What I found particularly amazing was the fact that there are 50 million knitters in North America. That is a staggering number! She talked about how knitters tend to identify themselves as knitters before many of their other identifiers - I'm assuming she meant things like religion, political leanings - that type of thing. And when I thought about it, I realized that I fit that pattern. I think of myself as a knitter long before I think of myself as a college graduate, Californian, cook, or any one of a number of obvious identifiers. She also talked about the level of giving within the knitting community and how knitters really get the concept of small acts repeated many many times adding up to something greater. Yup, we understand that alright - every time we cast on.

What inspires me most about the Yarn Harlot isn't how good a speaker or blogger or fundraiser or knitter she is. What I find so impressive is that she is one of us who created a niche for herself and has found a way to support her family, do a lot of good works, enrich the knitting community, and have a lot of fun while pursuing something she feels passionate about. How lucky for her. And for us.

1 comment:

CatBookMom said...

Well said!! Well said, indeed!

I find Stephanie to be inspiring as well as perceptive and funny. I've bragged to non-knitters about the incredible response to her mid-December request for a bit more funding for MSF/DWB - more than $200K in just a couple of weeks. The knitting community has a lot of untapped potential for change, and I hope with all my might that we continue to use it for good.