When it's got an amusement park, a wedding chapel, a meandering moose, and a whole lot of yarn crafters! The CYCA Mall of America Knit-Out this past weekend in Minnesota was awesome, huge, and truly wild at times. In addition to the moose, I saw a shark, a tree frog and a lion. It was like Disney World with no mice. I met amazing knitters and crocheters, famous knitters and crocheters, young and old knitters and crocheters, and got some terrific sushi (and a shirt for Mr Wonderful that says "Macho Maki Man").
I met Judy Johnson who knits bears for Mother Bear, which is a great organization "... providing comfort and hope to children, primarily those affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of hand-knit and crocheted bears". She had a few friends in tow, as you can see. You can visit the Mother Bear website - and if you feel inclined you can give yarn, needles, knitted bears, or - of course - money. So far they've donated 25,600 bears.
On Saturday and Sunday there were author's forums and books signings featuring authors (alphabetically!) Susan B. Anderson, Edie Eckman (she's got the coolest crochet motif book coming in August called Beyond-the-Square), Nicky Epstein,Antje Gillingham, Vickie Howell (author and forum host!), Debbie Macomber,Annie Modesitt, Kristen Nicholas, Isela Phelps, Karen Thalacker, Kim Werker. I apologize if I missed anyone, it was a busy weekend! Not all of them are featured in the pics on the blog since I could not take pictures and be on stage at the same time. Demos happened during the day in front of Sears in an area that was usually packed with people at demo time - really packed. After demo time, people seemed to just grab chairs and knit, which is always awesome to see. Sort of an informal knit-night, only afternoon and in the middle of a mall.
The fastest knitter competition drew a big crowd. 260 or so stitches in three minutes would get anyone's attention. It would also kill me, for sure. I can knit fast in spurts. But not that fast!!! The winner was Hazel Tindall from Aith, Shetland. Watching her was staggering. Very small movements, no wasted effort or energy. At one point she looked up out into the audience, and just kept right on knitting at that speed, almost casually. Awesome.
I really want to thank everyone at Storey for sending me to this, especially Amy - who's head probably often aches because of me. Thank you for putting up with my neurosis. I had a blast, and can't wait to do it again.