I love how it looks like we’re looking over some knitting or a pattern in this photo. Yeah, that’s Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Simpawknits/Ken McCamish hard at work. Actually, she’s autographing two books for me.
Okay. I’m such a knitting fan boy. Just the mention of a member of what Vogue Knitting calls “the knitterati” and I turn into a 16-year-old girl. It’s not a nice look on a 48-year-old balding fat man. It took two knitting retreats before I truly stopped looking at Franklin Habit like he was a movie star. Now I’ve met Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and I think I’m doing a bit better at treating a knitting celebrity like any other knitter while acknowledging her accomplishments. Just kidding. I’m gushing like a teenager again.
The Yarn Harlot spoke at Indiana Univeristy-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, Indiana tonight. She spoke from the heart about how important it is for us knitters to take ourselves and our art seriously. The rolling of the eyes and the reducing knitting to some “cute hobby” we get from the media and other non-knitters is sometimes our own fault. It’s important for us to embrace what we do for what it is – art. Even if we didn’t design a pattern, having knitted it is still an accomplishment to be proud of! We should never let someone reduce us to a joke. We can joke about knitting and have a good time doing it, but the next time some TV reporter says something like, “Why do you think knitting is back in style?” we must look her in the eye and explain, “It never went away, cupcake!”
I hope she expands this idea and reminds us how important it is in her next book. If it’s not important to us individually, we should at least be ready to speak up for our fellow knitters. We are not “cute” and we are not archaic. We are artists.
Franklin, Me, Dani, and Barth. Our Wedding Party.
Franklin graciously agreed to photograph our wedding and the assembled guests were encouraged to continue knitting during the ceremony.
Dani and me (Ken) with Ava, our officiant. We married at the Fall Men’s Knitting Retreat in Federal Way, Washington, surrounded by knitting friends.
Wow. This was one of the two best things I’ve done besides learning to knit in the first place. The first of the two was attending men’s knitting retreats. The second is attending this show/convention/conference. I joined TKGA (The Knitting Guild Association) about a year ago. I’d already been a member of CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) for a while but had never been active in it.
I joined TKGA right after learning about it from Charles Gandy, a master knitter I met at the first annual Men’s Southeast Knitting Retreat. He had just finished the Master Knitter Program with TKGA and told us all about it at the retreat. He’s a true southern gentleman as well as an excellent knitter and designer. His book on socks breaks out of the usual dull sock paradigm. (Not that I think knitting any kind of sock is dull.) Gandy’s sock book takes socks as art to a new level. Check it out!
So finally in August of 2012 I signed up for the Master Knitter Program myself. It’s not very expensive and there is no time limit. The TKGA website is FULL of great articles and help and there is a Ravelry group available for knitters to help each other figure things out. But nothing compares to being able to sit and talk with as well as be taught by members of the review committee. None of the committee members receive compensation for reviewing the work of candidates but here they were the first day of the TKGA conference holding an all-day “Day with the Masters” program. And help us, they did!