I've been following the story of the Yarn Harlot and her quest to "represent". To show the muggles (non-knitters) just how many knitters there are and how serious they are about their knitting. She got tired to speaking in cramped bookstores and tiny reception halls because the muggles who organize her book tours constantly underestimate the number of attendees. It was her hope to fill the 775 seat auditorium at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. She did.
Wow, I wish I could have been there! It must have really been something. And it's about time that knitting gets some good publicity. When I knit in public (often) I don't think I really make people think about their concept of a knitter because I'm almost 50 and probably fall into the grandmotherly stereotype. People need to see young knitters and male knitters to really understand that it isn't just something that Granny does while rocking on the porch. They need to see modern, well designed and constructed items in really nice yarns that didn't come from Walmart.
I can't have the impact of the Yarn Harlot but I make it my business to knit in public when ever and where ever I can. Every person who asks me about what I'm doing gets a detailed explanation of the process and the project as well as encouragement to visit the local yarn shop and check out the inventory of wool, silk, cashmere, alpaca, etc. I encourage people to ask Susan about lessons. I tell them that she taught me and look at what I'm doing now. If they haven't wandered off, I tell them about Social Knitting on Friday nights and about the wonderful friends I've made through knitting and the charity knitting we've done.
If I could get just one person interested enough to visit the shop and sign up for lessons, I would feel... what would I feel? Joyful, fulfilled, elated? I know I would be very happy to have another knitting friend and to know that I helped to introduce someone to a marvelous new lifestyle.