The Yarn Harlot just wrote a post announcing that it is her 11th blogiversary, and I swear I got all choked up by it. You see - by coincidence - last night, when I could find nothing new to read, I picked up my old (autographed!) copy of Knitting Rules. And I recognized - as I started to go through this lighthearted book about knitting and the, uh, knitting lifestyle, as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee so succinctly puts it - how that book has changed my life since I first read it a little over 7 years ago.
You know, I can't think of many other books that have done that. Oh, sure, many have enhanced my life, made it better or more enjoyable. But this unassuming little book - all about yarn stashes and other knitterly foibles -has effected actual changes in how I live.
A knitting book. I know. Not exactly highbrow, but still...it made me realize I could be creative even if I did leave projects unfinished or else produced knitted objects of questionable quality. It gave me the courage to knit my first pair of socks, following Stephanie's famous Sock Recipe, despite the fact that I didn’t even know what the heck DPN’s were (double-pointed needles, for you knitting ignoramuses), let alone how to use them. A little over 7 years later, here I sit, with a drawer full of homemade socks. Me!
You need these to make socks. Honest.
I knit all the time now, but particularly while I help my kids with their schoolwork - you see, the knitting keeps me from totally losing it while teaching Algebra for the FOURTH TIME. I learned that lesson from Knitting Rules, also: knitting isn't for patient people, knitting is for keeping impatient people from killing anyone.
The original kid whose schoolwork I knitted through? He is all grown up now, Theo is, and an Army officer to boot. His sister Anna is all grown up now, too, living on her own, working and going to college. My yarn hasn't left me, though. My yarn loves me.
And I still have 2 young-ish girls at home who, thanks to what I have learned from Stephanie, have grown up with permission to over-buy yarn (well, using coupons at Michaels), roll around in it if they like, and knit a multitude of projects without finishing most of them. Probably the one person who does not understand the Yarn Harlot's impact on our family is Larry, but that is only because he still hasn’t figured out that that second dresser of mine - the one I commandeered when Anna moved out - is filled with yarn, not clothes.
To top it all off, when I met Stephanie in person, way back in April 2008, she said, "You're SuburbanCorrespondent? You are so funny!" No matter if she meant it or was just being kind, I lived off that compliment for a year. As most writers know, what we really want (aside from maybe being paid occasionally) is to connect. Connecting is what Stephanie has done over the past 11 years with her blog and her books, creating an awesome community of knitters (and maybe some crocheters, stranger things have happened), and many of us are the richer for it.
So thank you, Stephanie, for your time and your wit and your wisdom - you've made a difference in people's lives. Really. Let's just hope Larry doesn't open that dresser, okay?
So! Is anyone interested in a free book? In honor of the Yarn Harlot's 11th Blogiversary, I will send a copy of Knitting Rules (Lifechanging! Really!) to one lucky winner. Just let me know in the comments below if you are interested (make sure I have your email address!) and I will pick a name on, oh, Tuesday, I guess. Or Wednesday. Or whenever I remember...