Friday night I had about the best speaking experience I've ever had. More people came to the Knit City kick-off party than were expected, and the room was packed full of people who were super excited about Vancouver's first proper weekend yarn event. Their enthusiasm was palpable, and that's a really cool thing for a speaker to work with.
This was my first time talking about crochet to a room of mostly knitters. And when I say “knitters” I don't mean that most people in the room didn't know how to crochet. I asked for a show of hands, and most people did know how. But when I asked how many people crochet the same kinds of projects they knit, only a few hands went up.
That's what I was hoping for. I was hoping to finally have the opportunity not to preach to the choir about crochet. I mean, it's great fun to preach crochet to crocheters, but on Friday I got to tell a bunch of skeptics about crochet.
And I think I may have convinced some. Throughout the rest of that night and into the weekend, people stopped to tell me they're thinking differently about crochet now. There are no words for how excited this makes me. If you're a knitter who was there and you start to crochet, don't be a stranger!
There's another reason I loved speaking about crochet with a bunch of knitters: I was inspired to think about things I'd never considered before.
When I asked people why they're uninterested in crochet, one woman raised her hand and told me it's because it's overwhelming and intimidating to have to know all those stitches, as compared to knitting for which all you really need to know to get started are two stitches: knit and purl. She finds crochet totally daunting, and I can see why.
This simple statement of her impression of crochet is the first thing that has ever made me want to teach crochet (that and my lunch conversation with Kate Atherley on Saturday). I never really enjoyed teaching crochet, so I've avoided it for years. But now I want to teach. Look for a granny square class coming soon, possibly aimed specifically to knitters. And look for a general crochet-for-knitters class, too. I practically planned out a three-hour class in my sleep on Friday night. Oh yes.
But on the heels of all this, Kim from indigodragonfly (best geeky yarn names, BTW) reminded me of something that has kept my mind busy since the event: She's had crocheters apologize to her for crocheting with her yarn instead of knitting with it. Wha? Crocheters, enough already. We all freaking love yarn. It doesn't matter what we do with it. We love it. That ties us all together. End of story. Don't ever apologize for the things you make, or for loving making them.
Ok. In sum, Knit City was incredibly fun. I'm thinking about crochet from new perspectives, and that makes me happy. I learned a lot about knitting, too. And the yarn porn was unbelievable. There was a buzz of excitement and yarn geekery amongst the attendees that never ended and was contagious. I have no doubt that next year's event will be even bigger and more amazing. I'm so proud to have been a part of this first one. It warms my heart. For real.