Thursday, September 4, 2008



Okay, peoples, it's time for you to pull a little weight around here.

But I'll totally bribe you, so what the heck, right?

In honor of my upcoming birthday - the last of my 40's - and in celebration of the recently passed milestone of gaining the 500th reader of Knot All That, I am holding a contest.

You tell me the funniest/most touching story you have connected with the Fiber Arts. That means knitting, spinning, sewing, quilting, felting, designing, or (for those of you who aren't experienced crafters) clothes you - or someone you know directly - wore or tried to wear. You can post the story in the comments section if it's not too long, or email the story to me at eileen at knotallthat dot com (adjust address as appropriate, I just didn't want to post an easy link for the spammers).

I will do a random drawing on my birthday (Sept. 24), and send to the winner a valuable** skein of Knot All That handspun yarn - or if you are a spinner, a Knot All That Batt/Roving or two - and a few other minor goodies on the side. If you happen to be a non-fiber freak, a reasonable substitute for the yarn will be made. I will collect the winner's pertinent information (address, favorite colors, whether you have a cat, how you stand on the Squirrel Issue, etc.) at the time of the drawing, privately.

But hey, it's not all about the wool and the randomosity. If your story makes me laugh hard enough to upset my precarious bladder control, or makes me cry tears of joy/empathy, I will post it on this blog along with a link to your blogsite. Because I'm all about public announcements re leakage of bodily fluids.

So. Let the story telling and partying begin!!

**Value is, of course, relative. The value to you depends on market value, emotional value, whether you are a Yarn Pig, and whether I raise the value by conveniently dieing of something particularly romantic or vulgar while you are still in possession of said item. The value to me is in my perhaps delusional hope that you will share your delight with your new acquisition (with photos!) in your blog, and link back to me as a sort of Birthday Present. A girl can hope, right?


Delighted Hands said...

Congrats for your birthday! I would love to share a fiber story with you-- I remember the joy of being grandma to a little girl and right from the start giving her yarn to carress, wave and tangle-I wanted her to love fiber with me and now at 4 she is a total connoisseur of textiles! What joy to share!

Barbara Maloney said...

Makes me wish I was into fiber (other than the kind one is supposed to eat as penance). Glad you reminded me of your birthday - I think we're going to have to be home for it again this year. Bummer - no fun trips this fall (South Dakota doesn't count). What kind of cake do you want?

Aunt Janet said...

My three year old grandson likes to spin with me. He stands beside the wheel facing me with his foot on the treadle. He pinches the yarn as I spin. One day as he was so occupied, his mom called him for lunch. He replied, "I can't, Mom. I'm 'pinnin'." (A kid after my heart!)

Happy Birthday!

Elaine said...

Happy birthday!!
Here is a story I find amusing. I was spinning with my fellow guild members in Southern Maryland, doing a demonstration at a historic landmark/ farm. Many people would pass by, watch awhile, and ask questions. What are you spinning? Where do you get your fleece? How does that wheel do that? Where can you learn this? What do you do with the yarn you make?

A young boy stopped and watched quietly a while...
He was thinking and looking at me quizzically. He looked around the area, behind us, off to the side, and scanned the area thoroughly.
Then he whispered to me..." Who is making you do this?"
I laughed aloud and replied "Have you seen Rumpelstiltskin around here? " This is my favorite demo story.
Elaine Deegan
Harmony Homestead
West Greenwich, RI

Grumpy Crumpet said...

My earliest fiber memory is from my preschool days. We lived near my beloved Swedish (via New York) grandmother.

One night the adults were not paying enough attention to me and I picked up some needles and yarn and started to flap my elbows and wiggle the sticks. When asked what I was doing, I responded I was knitting. They tried to tell me I wasn't, that it wasn't right. I knew that they were mean. I was too knitting!

Many years later I am now a knitter and spinner and weaver. So there!

Thanks for inviting us to remember. I'll see if I have any good/bad fiber stories.

Laughingrat said...

Probably not the funniest story you'll get, but it's very dear to me: Four years ago I adopted a beautiful, charming adult boy rat named Vincent. Vincent was not only handsome (he had markings like a Siamese cat, if you'll believe it, and huge ears because he was a Dumbo-variety rat) and well-mannered, but had an intense obsession with my knitting.

However, unlike most rats, he didn't so much want to chew my yarn as to play with it. I would sit on the floor and knit quietly while he was allowed to romp around the room and get exercise, and suddenly he would charge my ball of yarn, running under it and sort of tossing it back over his head as he ran. He'd do this several times before getting bored; I think he believed the ball of yarn, which was approximately rat-sized, was a kind of playmate.

But when he discovered my row-counter, well, it was all over--it was all he wanted to play with after that. I would have to go to extreme lengths to keep him from stealing the little pink capsule-like counter while I was knitting, and a few times I was unsuccessful: it bears some tooth-marks to this day. All rats have a lot of character, and all of them like fiber in some way (usually to shred!), but none of my rats has ever had quite the love of knitting that Vincent did.

Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

Happy Birthday!! Thank-you for visiting my blog, I am so glad to have found yours. Great post about being so close in having the singles so even on your bobbins. I just weighed out fibre for two bobbins today and spun them up, we will see tomorrow when I ply them how close I am.

Turtle said...

Happy birthday and congrats on your post marker!! I don't really know how funny it is but is a family story around our table. I was a "woodstock baby souvenier" for my parents who married when mom was 6 months preggers. They did not attend church on a regular basis, so when i was born it was quite the argument to get me baptised. My gram had made a gown and cap for me, then had to make a new bigger cap, and then another before the church finally agreed to let me be baptised. So in our family hopechest is the gown with 3 different sized caps! they can serve many differnt sized future generations thanks to my gram the seamstress!

Knitmomma said...

Oh, what a wonderful idea! You immediately made me think of my grandmother who died when I was 10 years old. She knit, and I think crocheted too, and since she didn't have tons of money, and loved my brothers and I lots, made us gifts. I still have a twin sized crocheted afghan, pink longie style pajamas, and loads of Barbie clothes she made for me.

I didn't learn to knit or crochet until 4 years ago (about 25 years after her death,) although I tried to learn as a child. I often feel connected to her now, though, as I am sitting and knitting. It's fun to think what she would think of my spinning, now, too!

mrspao said...

Hmm.. well.. a funny story related to the fibre arts... let me see...

All good stories start from the very beginning so that is where I'll begin.

About three Christmasses ago I was ill with a horrible chest infection and I was bored with being in confined to bed as it wasn't possible to go outside as we'd had some freak snow on Boxing Day. I googled 'cats and knitting' as I was knitting an incredibly nice and easy cardigan out of Big Wool and eventually found myself at Stumbling Over Chaos. I was intrigued by the reader called 'mE' and clicked onto her blog and I was hooked.

Soon mE and me became friends and comments and emails flew back and forth. Two years later, a plot was hatched to fly to their country and meet those mysterious knitters.

Picture this: American Airlines flight arriving in MSP airport from New York - the conversation ran thusly:

pao: Who is this person we are meeting at the airport?
me: Oh, it's Eileen. She's a nice lady from the blog.
pao: But this is a strange person off the internet. She might be a hairy arsed builder called Bob who might turn out to be an axe murderer or something. Besides, do you actually know what she looks like?
me: It's ok.... she's a knitter. She'll have the international flag of friendship in her hands when we arrive.
pao: How are you certain she'll be there?
me: Oh, I'm sure. (takes deep breath and crosses everything)
We arrived and found Eileen then hauled our bags off to her car. We were in her hands.. anything could happen..

"I'm a little lost," admits Eileen as we are on a big highway, bigger than any highway we've ever seen in the UK. The unfamiliar surroundings and bright sunlight make pao shoot me a bewildered look. "I'll just pull over and ask for some directions," she says merrily as we pull into what looks like a white washed hotel and Eileen gets out of the car.

"Should we make a run for it?" asks pao. "We seem to be in what looks like a hotel car park. Maybe she isn't who she says she is and she's kidnapping us."

"It's ok, she's a knitter," I reply relieved that she is heading back to the car.

Pretty soon we find ourselves in St Paul and pulling up in what looks to be a partly residential neighbourhood. "I thought we'd take a quick stop at a yarn shop on the way to your B&B."

The relief was palpable: Phew, she's not an axe murderer after all then: She's a knitter.

ikkinlala said...

I've only been knitting for a couple of years and I can't think of a good knitting story to tell, so here's my sewing/mending story:

When my mom was in university, she bought a good quality backpack. She used it at school and for hiking trips and any other time she needed a day pack until I was in grade 6 and my previous backpack got wrecked, when she gave it to me. I used it for a couple of years before it started breaking down, but at this point it was about 25 years old and the seams started falling apart. My dad (being the same kind of person that I am) suggested that I could mend them instead of getting a new backpack. He found me some heavy-duty "thread" (50 lb test braided nylon fishing line) and I re-sewed almost all the seams. Then the zipper started to have trouble. I suppose I shouldn't have been carrying that many textbooks in it. By that time I was fairly attached to the backpack, so I sewed the broken section shut with some more of the fishing line and kept using it. I made it last until the end of my second year in university, and I haven't had the heart to throw it away yet. Maybe I'll replace the zipper someday.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

knitnzu said...

I used to have these really hideous crocheted pants... that I wore to a Grateful Dead concert. Now what happened to them? I think I passed them along to a more dedicated fan. Or did somebody at the beer/sandwich shop want them and I couldn't sell them because then I'd have nothing to wear for the rest of my shift. I am at an absolute loss for any really good story!

Carol said...

My mother was a knitter. in high school she knit me a sweater that I adored, it was a burgundy sweater with bobbles all over it. We called it the pimple sweater. I wore it until there were holes in it. When my sister got older, remembering how much I had loved the sweater, my mom asked her if she wanted one. My sister was horrified. No accounting for taste....

Becka said...

My best fiber story:

I teach sewing to kids. I had a group of 5-7 year olds coming one day for class. Their teacher stopped me outside the door just as they were going in to my room to sit down. "They are afraid of sewing" she said. The class had been talking about what they were going to do with me that day. "Afraid of sewing?" I said. "They are afraid that they would prick their fingers on a needle and die of sewing." (These were mostly immigrant kids whose only experience with needles was going to the doctor's office.) We made a quick adjustment to the lesson plan and talked all about different kinds of needles and they left with huge smiles on their faces telling everyone how they learned to sew.

bySarah said...

Neither funny, nor touching - or a little of both depending on how you choose to view it: here is my story.

I have made a lot of friend over the last 6 or 8 years through my involvement in the fiberarts - knitting, then dying, then spinning. I ended up volunteering to work at my friend's booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this spring (so much fun), and was happily ringing the register when one of the customers stopped by and said. Oh my gosh, you're bySarah...I read your blog. I was so stunned (I thought all 11 of my readers were family and close friends, and somehow didnt realize other people may have added me to their bloglines, even though I have like 150 knit blogs on my own)...I replied: "Really? (long pause) Why?"

Then my friend Erin wacked me in the back of the head and said, she means thankyou, whats your name/blog, and I am really happy to meet you. That is exactly waht I meant. Opps. Normally, I have social skills...I swear! I was just surprised to have readers. (Now bloglines reports I am up to 38 readers by the way.)

Hope you enjoyed my story. Happy Happy Birthday!

Karen said...

hi, this is my first visit to your blog. When my youngest daughter was 9 she went on a sleepover where they have two golden retrievers. That night the mom gave the dogs a bath & brushing and my daughter asked her for the dog hair. Of course the mom wanted to know what for, so she told them that I could spin it into yarn. Well, we brought it home, I blended it with a little wool and spun it up. Then she crocheted two friendship bracelets out of it, one for each of the friends. She is now a teenager and would be mortified to know I wrote this, however it is a treasured memory for me.