Knit City 2017

Love, love, love!

I spent a bit of my weekend at the PNE Forum, walking in what felt like a meadow of yarn and fabric. Each year brings bigger and better things for Knit Social, and Knit City 2017 was as awesome as I expected!

Part of what really gets me excited about Knit City is seeing everyone’s projects shown off. Every person at Knit City was wearing a piece that they had made, from shawls to vests to sweaters to full on dresses. It’s an amazing collection of talent and time and devotion.

I loved how normal it is for everyone to just set up their shit and go to town. There were tons of people just sitting down, eating hotdogs while they knitted. That level of mastery is something I would like to achieve one day. People who didn’t know each other were openly talking about their projects and giving each other advice.

Another one of my favourite discoveries is sashiko stitching, from A Threaded Needle. It pretty much addresses my penchant for small, obsessive and repetitive movement. I was beside a gaggle of ladies who were all melting down from how cool the technique was.

One of the many patterns that caught my eye was this one called Hamilton by Josée Paquin. Of course, I bought the book.

And Heidi Kirrmaier, the other 50% of this book? She’s a fucking engineer. All these amazing women with these backgrounds that totally break impressions of old women with teapots and aprons always make me so happy and proud.

And another stop I made was at the Pip & Pin booth, where I really got into this super nice short shirt called Mount Pleasant. I tried to purchase their lookbook, but apparently it wasn’t for sale. I was forwarded to their Ravelry page, which had more amazing stuff.

Highlights also included me running into my high school Math teacher, Mrs. Robertson. Glad to report that she had retired ten years ago, and is happily weaving and collecting looms as part of the Greater Vancouver Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild.

Lastly, here is the obligatory (but partial) photo of my haul. It was difficult to hold back, friends. And yes, I have more than one of each of those skeins.

On my way out, I said goodbye to Amanda at the Knit Social booth.

Amanda: “You’re leaving already?”

Me: “I don’t want to, but…”

I touched my bag lightly, which was already barfing yarn and merch.

Me: “I must leave.

Café Working

Yesterday afternoon, I ventured out of the house/“home office” with my shit and decided to try out that thing where people work in coffee shops in the sunlight. Upon taking my seat outside on the patio, it took all of two seconds for me to realize that I would probably not get much done.

First of all, I had mistakenly ordered a sticky pastry. I figured if I was going to be staying at this place, I should probably get something more than a $1.80 cup of coffee. And so I ordered an extra thing. Which meant I had to eat it.

That fucking blueberry white chocolate scone. It was like someone thought it would be a great idea to mix the stickiest shit with powdered sugar and melt some white chocolate into a piece of bread. With my hands full/sticky/jammy, I couldn’t pull out my laptop, much less type or do anything that had to do with my fingers, so I thought I might as well get that done with and move on.

Don’t get me wrong, though. That pasty was gloriously delicious. It was as if Rodney Dangerfield crashed your baptism. Awesome! But not the right time.

Secondly, the place was milling with people, all having coffee and shoving baked goods into their mouths, some while still talking. Outside, where I sat, it took all no time at all for their pet chihuahuas and wiener dogs to form some kind of puppy fort around my legs. Across from me, children were squirming and screaming, women were “catching up” and old people, well those guys never really do anything, so they were okay.

I expected a few retired couples, maybe a stay-at-home dad walking his child on one of those monkey leashes to tire the little bugger out. But this place was packed!

Guys, if everyone is here, who the hell is in the office?

(cut to an office scene, one lonely intern checking his Facebook in the dark)

I tried my best to work with the flow of things, but I felt like bringing out my laptop might make me look like an asshole. And yes, there are times where I do feel like that. I then tried to just work on my notebook, as my main task was to come up with sketches for some more Sportsbutter visuals.

It didn’t last very long, especially after a man with a toddler sat by the window directly beside my seat outside. It felt like we were awkwardly sharing a table, but with a glass divide between me and them.

Cafe Working

Granted, he was mostly focused on feeding his little boy some kind of puffed oat cereal as he had a panini, but part of me felt like I was intruding on his time. And he was probably wondering why I was drawing crazy-looking birds of prey with very dilated pupils.

Birds of Prey
A snippet of what I was drawing. The bottom left is supposed to be a hawk, not a pigeon holding in its throw-up.

I admire people who are able to work in public spaces like that. I’ve tried several times, and I always either end up looking like an idiot or feeling like one. How the hell do you guys do it? All those distractions, the glasses clanging, people laughing and having a good time. Ugh, it drove me nuts!

It’s fine when I meet up with people or have small meetings at coffee shops. Or even if I just hang out there on my own. But there is something impossible about me sitting and working by myself in a public place. I don’t think it’s just coffee shops. Working alone in libraries kind of annoys me too. I just don’t get anything done, and I become consumed by the thought and excitement of just leaving.

Get me back to my quiet, shady and not-so-bright-no-melanoma-skin-cancer desk please.