Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Yarn Harlot Represents

Living in New Jersey we pay a high tax because "we're close to things" (unofficial Jersey state motto). So it is gratifying to actually take advantage of these special treats once in a while.

The Yarn Harlot had a book launch last week in New York, and it was planned to be a big deal. There was gathering in central park, yarn shopping, public knitting - of course all of this occurred while I was at work. She had also worked hard to put out the word in the blogosphere to gather enough knitters to really freak out non-knitting New Yorkers. Naturally, I felt duty-bound to help out.

I've never been to FIT, but I fortunately have a friend who is currently attending. I met her for dinner before the book launch, and we bemoaned the combination of 20-something college kids with too much fashion adventure. Then she was off to an evening class and I was off to the launch.
A bit sterile and industrial for a fashion school, no?

I arrived a few minutes late, and the place was packed. A good 700 knitters in the auditorium, and every one....knitting. I found a seat at the back and discovered that there was a knit-kit from Warm Up America, and that was what everyone was working on. The plan is, everyone knits a square, and these squares become blankets for people in need. I did my part during the Yarn Harlot's talk (yes that's a simple cable going down the center of my 7x9-ish square):
knitting at yarn harlot
Even though she kept quizzing the audience and making us raise our knitting hands. She made several great points - leave it to the practitioners of traditional crafts to be the radical feminsts. I chuckled throughout the almost two hour long talk (which included a good while for folks to give their accolades to Ms. Pearl-McPhee, and to stun us with their incredible travels from England, Lucerne, San Antonio, and Zurich just to see this woman). Her hope had been to prove that knitters are a force to be reckoned with, and I think the numbers bear her out:

  • A good 700 people attended the book launch (and how many show up to most book talks? 10? 15?)
    About 100 people met in Central Park midday
  • Numerous people traveled from far outside the area to attend
  • Hundreds of hats and quilt squares were collected for charity
  • So many people bought the MSF fundraising pins she travels with that she ran out (I saw the bag early in the night - it was a very large bag of very small pins)
  • Money was spent at NYC yarn shops. I dare not hazard a guess at how much, as I myself spent nearly $100 and that was keeping to a budget.

The Saturday following the book launch, I met up with Katy and did a yarn crawl. We'd never met before, but she made the offer to lead the crawl for anyone who would be in town over the weekend, so I took her up on it. She took pictures while I just stood around fondling yarn, so I'm hoping her site will have a better post than I can create. I was thrilled to find two yarn shops I'd never ventured into before (one which has is a coffee shop/yarn shop - how perfect is that?), and a beautiful New York day with pleasant like-minded company.


At 1:22 PM, April 02, 2007, Blogger Courtney said...

Hey, after emailing you I went and quick cheked your more recent blogs . . .Ugh, I wish I could have gone to the city with you last week . . . Did you go to yarn stored down in SOHO? Off Sullivan St? There are two there and one is a coffee shop yarn store - I went there often, but never hung out . . . was usually with Michel and boys don't appreciate knitting . . .Sigh, glad to hear all is well in your knitting world!


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