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the yarn harlot strikes again

October 7, 2008

i got to go see stephanie pearl-mcphee – the yarn harlot – up at third place books this evening; she was stopping in on her book tour. i debated about going – i’ve seen her (there) twice before, and we live much farther away from that bookstore than we used to, so i couldn’t decide if i wanted to make the drive. i’m glad i did, though.

i was uber-grouchy when i got there, mostly due to people’s poor driving skills (it seems we pacific northwesterners have to readjust to driving in the rain each fall) and waiting for, i kid you not, 4 minutes for a green arrow for my final turn before i could get to my destination. then a girl stole my parking space. i guess she didn’t really steal it, but i had my eye on it and she beat me there. i yelled in my car a lot about that one.

so, grouchy me gets inside, sits down, and pulls out my knitting (i’m on the last section of my clapotis). stephanie starts talking about knitting. people are laughing at her jokes, but i’m so grumpy that i’m not. but slowly, i warmed up to things. by the end, when she was talking about knitting as being a means of fixing up and countering negativity in one’s life, i was totally into it.  i don’t know if a non-knitter (or non-crafter) could completely understand, but i loved this idea. it’s basically that the act of knitting, for most people, is doing something good. it’s a task that we can accomplish. it provides challenges that we can rise to, and finishing something new or beautiful (or both) feels good. and feels good in a way that most people don’t often get from their everyday lives, because most of the messages we hear (even from our own brains) is that we aren’t, in some way or another, good enough. isn’t that the underlying theme of advertising? and the underlying problem of low self-esteem? but through knitting, our brains can think “whee! i did it!” or “i’m awesome!” or “i made something beautiful!”. anyway, you get the idea. i liked it.

my 2nd favorite part of the event, though, was the q&a. stephanie started talking off-the-cuff and got into a some hilarious stories about camping and raccoons, skunks, and squirrels. also, right near the end mentioned that one of the great things about knitting is that it’s non-judgmental. and you can and should do what makes you happy when it comes to knitting. so if you want to have 23 works in progress, then by all means, have them all. it’s supposed to be fun.

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