NOTE: If anyone in the Twin Cities has the Star Tribune from MN for Sunday, can I get a copy? I heard I was in it, and looked in it at the newsstand but I didn’t see me (so I didn’t buy it…) but I guess I should have!
A year ago yesterday we MOVED here to St. Paul. What a year, huh? We are SO glad to be here – we love it, and feel loved and welcomed into the Twin Cities.
So here’s a little knitting tip to thank St. Paul for having us – I hope you find it helpful! Unlimited tail – and they guys love it, too…
I want to write more about our year this week, but right now I need to report on the doings at the Mall of America.
The Great American Knit Out was this weekend here at the MOA – right in my own backyard in Bloomington, MN – and I am so tired my feet could fall off and I wouldn’t even walk over to pick them up
(huh? I’m tired, I can’t make a decent analogy to save my cat.) Harley Davidson boots & Patons needles, that’s what I saw a LOT of this weekend!
Lots of folks came from in all over the place – they drove, flew, a few even swam up the Mississippi from Iowa (we’re hardy stock here in the midwest) and the lines were absolutely amazing.
One woman in line, when asked what she was waiting for, answered, “I don’t know – something free…”
I was asked to do a demo on Saturday – which was fun, but I think the organizers of the event (the CYCA) didn’t figure on how many folks might want to hear me.
There was a table and 16 (sixteen) chairs set up for my combination knitting demo. Sixteen.
By 10:30 there were already over 40 folks waiting. So much for the 16 chairs.
I decided to start early, so I gave one demo at 10:30, then did another demo for at least 50 new folks at 11:00 (my assigned time.)
I know there were at least 100 folks because that’s how many flip books I brought (and gave – personally – only to folks who STAYED for either demo…)
My voice was totally gone, though. I had to do a sort of throaty yell to be heard over the Mall crowds (and over the 4-sided video extravaganza that was going on behind me – sheesh!)
I had been under the impression that I’d be doing a demo on a raised platform, in front of folks with some kind of microphone – silly me…
It’s a shame they didn’t offer classes, I think they would have SOLD OUT!
Then there was an author’s panel discussion (once again, it was SO hard to hear – that’s one loud mall…) but essentially it was fun. After that the authors settled down and signed some books and talked to folks who’d come in from out of town.
It’s always a delight to see friends in the yarn biz that I don’t get to see on a regular basis – Kristen Nicholas, Edie Eckman, Vickie Howell, Nicky Epstein, Kim Werker, Karen Thalacker (my first time meeting her – she was lovely!)
The big event for me was later in the afternoon when they had the fastest knitter contest. I wasn’t competing in the international competition – I’m not in that league – I was just doing the anyone-who-wants-to-compete amateur heat.
170 in 3 Minutes
I almost missed it! (I ran to the bathroom – more lines – and when I got back the amateur contestants were already on stage…) So I rushed up and took a seat on stage in the back.
They had everyone use the same yarn, and it was my first time with it, so I didn’t do as well as I hoped. I did, however, knit a total of 170 sts in 3 minutes, which was the best among our little group (2nd and 3rd place were 125 and 105 – I think – I may be off with that…)
It’s nowhere near the international speeds, but I was proud! I did so well, I’m certain, because of the Signature Needles I was using. They’re amazing – absolutely stunning. I’m sort of a long, metal needle nut (I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea) and the goal of knitting is NOT to knit fast.
But this is what I do for a living and I’m very much in love with my new metal needles. Mwa.
Then they had the REAL competition – and it’s no secret I was cheering for Miriam Tegels. (I was cheering for everyone, but Miriam is a dear friend and I really wanted her to do her best!)
There were 3 heats, each contestant took their best time out of their 3 attempts, and each contestant got a bit better each time. Hazel Tindall (far right in photo) from the Shetland Isles won – she had 265 sts in 3 minutes and blew EVERYONE out of the water! Miriam (center) was next with 247 sts, and Wannietta (Wan-ee-ta) Prescod (left) came in third. And, get this, Hazel had her own specially made needles and Miriam and Wannietta both used Signature Needles. Coincidence? We think not.
It was SO much more exciting than it sounds – and folks were holding their breath. A fight almost broke out between rowdy fans of Hazel & Miriam. Not really… but I like to think so.
After the fastest crocheter contest (Lisa Gentry won that one – she must have been ONE tired woman with exhausted digits!) Miriam, her husband, Franz, Jennifer (Dominitrix) and Gerry and the kids and I all went out for a nice St. Paul dinner and I got to show off my new home town.
I returned briefly Sunday for lunch with Nicky and her great husband – she’s such a doll – and got to visit a bit more with fiber friends. Now I’m home – so tired – and ready to knit.
I’m starting on a colorwork using Vermont Organic Fibers OWool & Balance. I’m using both of them together in a tone-on-tone fair isle look, in bands of color.
I’m so excited – I was inspired by a button. Now let’s see how fast I can knit this up…