Sunday, November 19, 2006

Much Ado About Knitting (Episode I)

An epic story starts here, today. After a fun packed day SAS Knits It Again, crawls out of her bed, behind her laptop and shares with you a tale of knit and wit of meetings and greetings of expectations and realisations and of yarn and glory.

Episode I:
La D.S., S’nB Philosophy and TV Stardom
I opened my eyes yesterday morning and a vague familiar feeling got over me. Was it my birthday today? Did I get a new outfit? Did I drastically change my haircut? There was something going on…starting slowly at first and then rushing up to consciousness like new years’ fireworks, it hit me: IT’S STITCH ‘N BITCH HOLLAND DAY!!

Boyfriend Dear looked at me with unfocussed eyes, smiled, rolled back onto his other side while muttering; ‘sometimes you’re just a little kid you know, this whole week you’ve hardly been able to sleep because of this.’
What can I say? He’s right!


So I got my stuff together, packed a UFO or three, arranged everything travel light style (yeah right…), stuffed a big empty bag in the other bag for the loot and hopped on my bike. It was a lovely crisp autumn day and up until I had to climb a pretty steep bridge it was a lovely bike ride. With every meter I got closer to the Van Nelle Fabriek(the spot marked X on the treasure map) my heart started pounding a little harder, deeper, faster. By golly, I swear it skipped a few beats!

Wait… at the pass this is going, I’ll have to write about it all, every single detail. I swear… I could…


So I’m rushing right over to about 20 minutes after meeting my Rotterdam knitting soul mate in the lobby (above picture):
Before I schlepped my stuff to the first lecture, I grabbed myself a quick cup of coffee hoping that they’d allow me to drink it in the auditorium. When I arrived I pulled up a chair, while balancing my big bag full of knitcrap, trying to haul it over to the next chair, planning to get myself real comfortable for the main, main, main, MAIN event of the day….and dropped my coffee on the floor...
After realising that this location used to be a coffee factory and formulating the excuse in my head that the coffee was now back where it came from –back home so to speak-, I acted as natural as I could and sat down to quietly check out the knitters (and what they were knitting) around me. Scanning the room my eyes got jerked back to the place in the room they just passed before… There she was, in all her knitting glory: La Stoller, the knitter of knits, the founder of greatness, the …. (I just made myself feel sick). Well, Debbie Stoller, writer of the Stitch ‘n Bitch books and founder of the first Stitch ‘n Bitch group (NYC) stood there, quietly talking.


I’m not making this long story short… not at all… Are you still reading?

While Debbie spoke, in amazingly well Dutch (her mom is Dutch), I knitted a skull wrist warmer. She was wearing a skull T-shirt and I swear it was a total coincidence. I’m sooooo in sync with Debbie…. (Gosh Sas, this is nauseating stuff, cut it out!). The story of how she started knitting, the S’nB group and writing was fun and charming and at the end we asked questions and chattered like sparrows until her time was up. My question: What are you knitting right now? Was followed by the answer: A book! It was kind of sad that she’s too busy to knit and it’s turning into work for her. I’ve sent in a design for her next book, all about patterns for men. I’ll keep you posted on that one. Oh and guess who I was sitting next too? Her mum and aunt, really lovely women and as a humble knitter I felt in the presence of history and history in the making at the same time.

I was a little disappointed at the turn up at Debbie’s lecture, it being the S’nB NL day and all, I thought we were going to be like sardines in a tin can (only less oily), but no. And then I realised something. The phrase ‘knitting is hip’ is seen a lot in Dutch media lately. But it’s not so much ‘hip’ here as it is ‘back’. Not all knitters are hip and young and frisky fresh. And by young I mean ehm twenty, thirty-ish… the kind of knitters you associate with the Stitch ‘n Bitch phenomenon. I have to say I was a bit disappointed at the amount of young, hip knitters overall this day. And then I realised something else. Something quite amazing and logical at the same time. The knitting society online is something completely different from the knitting society in 3D. It’s really bizarre realising that those are two completely different things. Online I knit with girls from the US, Ireland, Sweden, New Zeeland and Australia. I’ve got in contact with young(-ish) girls and women that are on the same knitting wave-length as I am. I surf the sites that I like, sites with modern patterns and mostly young designers and I live in a fabricated knitting world. The closest I get to this self-made-world-of-knittyness in real life is my group of knitting friends in the knit-togethers we organise at our homes (so technically not an S’nB group). But these girls aren’t NEARLY as obsessed as I am and mostly they only knit while we’re togehter in the group.
Sigh…
End of philosophy bit.

After that I was a little chicken running around the different halls trying to figure out where the #@#% Miss Stoller was going to be signing her books, when I ran into Sjoerd. This geezer I’ve know for a couple of years. He’s actually doing my job at one of the pop clubs/venues I worked a couple of yrs ago. But he’s also in television nowadays. In a daily talk show called ‘De Wereld Draait Door’ (loosely translated, funnily enough: ‘As The World Turns’) there’s always a couple of minutes taken over by de Jakhalzen (The Jackals). These Jackals are a group of well dressed men in black with red ties that make short films of interesting events while ‘tacking the Mickey’ out of it at the same time. Sjoerd is one of them. You know what’s coming next…
Yup, I and Puk were two of their ‘victims’. I could write a whole post on this subject, but for your sake I’ll post a link to the site where you can download the show after (and if) it’s broadcasted. If I’m not too embarrassed that is… Let's just say it all went great, but I'm thinking after the editing, it might all look very, very different...


End of episode I
Tune in next time for more funpacked adventures of SAS @ SnB Holland Day, while she Knits It Again!

12 comments:

miriam said...

Wauw! This IS epic as in North and South, War and Peace, Tom and Jerry, French and Saunders, Bed and Breakfast! (allright, I'll stop here)
How Bold and Beautifully written!
Now I want more!
I want the next epic-sode!

Andrea said...

Girlfriend...that was a post if I ever saw one :) That will keep us going for a week..heh heh. Great job!

Tijm said...

Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee wat een geweldige post!
Prachtig om te lezen, veel filosofische overwegingen (hou ik wel van, ben ook zo'n denker) en prachtige teksten en one-liners. Wanneer ga jij een column beginnen in de landelijke dagbladen?
Ik snap je terleurstelling over het feit dat je doelgroep (jong, hip, crazy en sappig)niet aanwezig was. Helaas, had ik ook meer van verwacht. Het spijt me dat ik ook niet aan die eisen kan voldoen (had het graag gewild maar ja de tijd jaren tikken door :) ).
Meid, ik vind je geweldig en hoop dat je snel verder gaat met je verhaal!!
Hope to see you again!!!!!!!
En ik zal proberen mijn site en mijn werk ook wat op te specijen voor jou!

Irma said...

Was there anyone who didn't knit?

yvonnep said...

Pfoe...dat heb je er nou van. Je verft je haar. Je zegt 'cool' in plaats van 'hip', je doet mee aan knitalongs en hebt een blog, maar toch hebben ze je door: oud ben ik. :-) Sorry, sorry. Ik zou graag anders willen, maar lukt niet. En verder: ik heb een ontzettende hekel aan cliffhangers.

astridpersons said...

Inderdaad: fantastisch beschreven. Maar het is wel even slikken om niet meer als "jong en hip" beschouwd te worden met een gezegende leeftijd van 44...

Storm op Zolder said...

lalalala loooovely post Sas! You captured my feelings about the day almost to perfection. The vibe, the knitting godesses, the atmosphere, the feeling of being there and seeing it happen. Described so well by you missy!
I myself didn't mind the fact that not all the knitters were 30-ish or younger. I like to hear that knitting makes the elderly as fullfilled and that they get as excited at finishing a WIP as I do. The most memorable moment of the day for me was whenI got to sit down at the big table for 15 minutes between teaching a workshop and managing my shop. I talked to a sweet old greyhaired lady in a wheelchair there who kicked ass bigtime. She got to Van Nelle on her own from Ijsselmonde and crocheted the most beautiful vintage babystuff and was as obsessed by it as I am with my modern stuff. Priceless. She's making my mini-person something and just this once I won't mind putting him in plastic. This is plastic with soul.
The only thing that irked me about the day and the vibe the media are trying to put on knitting is the whole hype-thing. Knitting is not a hype, knitting might just be a way of life, and it might just have been that for many years before I was even around. I am affraid that if we let ourselves be hyped my eachother & the media knitting will soon be unhip ands I for 1 do not want to be around when that happens...no new stash to be had!

ps. I by chance have a picture you will definately want, email me!

Lies said...

Heh :-)
It was nice too meet you! and I hope I did not disappoint you too much.
You know, not twenty or even thirty-ish.

Storm op Zolder said...

only just noticed the great greyhaired lady I mentioned before is in the picture with Ajour in the original post!
Found your email addy, emailing you now with a picture of you and....

knittingajour said...

You go girl! I'm still making my next post in my head, trying (how do you scribe that word?) to describe THE day in words. And now I know: just link to this post! Your gift is already around my needles, very smart knittinggear!Talk to you soon!

José said...

Tja...
Ik ben de leeftijd van aanbidding voorbij, en dat kun je beide kanten op lezen. Ik val niet op mijn knieën voor DS's in wat voor taal ook en over niet al te lange tijd mag ik een rode hoed op bij mijn paarse trui ;-)
Dat breien nu 'weer hip' genoemd wordt, ach, dat deed ik pas ook nog, toen ik een uitzending over de Kreadoe citeerde. Eerlijk gezegd ben ik gewoon iedere keer dat het weer 'in' is (ik ben nu aan de derde golf bezig) blij dat het blijkbaar steeds weer waardevol genoeg blijkt om nieuwe generaties te 'pakken'. Ik bedenk meteen een missie voor mezelf en verwerp hem weer omdat ik niet op missie wil, maar eigenlijk vind ik dat ambachten gewoon gewaardeerd moeten blijven, ook in de tijden dat ze geen hysterie veroorzaken. En breien zeker, want dat voelt zo lekker!
Zo, mijn zeepkist kwam ook weer van pas ;-)

Saskia said...

A whole bunch of lovely lassies replied here, beeeing a little sad about the way I portreyed the knitters at the SnB Holland Day. Gosh girls, I wasn't talking about you!! Not in the least bit. Aren't you girls the funky online knitters that are knitting funky and hip stuff? You are! Give yourself some credit! I should have mentioned Holland when I talked about my knitting world online. You are part of it too you know. Quote: 'I’ve got in contact with young(-ish) girls and women that are on the same knitting wave-length as I am.' THAT'S YOU! Little did I know that you were older than 30-ish (as mentioned) Which, when you think of it, is proving that I réally think you're young. Haha! ;-) I do feel that in addition to that it would've been nice to see some younger knitters too, another new generation. Which certainly doesn't mean that I don't have a world of respect for the elderly knitters. That's a completely different story altogehter. Hope I've explained myself better this time. ;-)

Knit it on you frisky young things!

x