Sticks N’ Stitches, Pucks And Purls

I'm not the type to spontaneously attend a major league sports event. Heck, I don't even watch the little five-minute sports segment of the local news.

But even I can be persuaded by the prospect of knitters in hockey jerseys cheering on the Colorado Avalanche; especially if those knitters are knitting-whilst-cheering, and the knitting is for charity.

So, Saturday night, I grabbed my knitting bag and went off to watch huge-but-graceful guys push a helpless little puck around the ice. I was surrounded by 80 knitters, crocheters, and family members. We had goodies to give away (yarn! magazines! more yarn!), and everyone got a hot dog so they could properly drip mustard on their afghan squares.

It was a blast. I shouted myself hoarse. (It helped that the arena had huge screens that flashed instructions: "GET LOUD!" and "SCREAM!" at the proper times. Being a knitter, I follow instructions extremely well.) I knitted a square, and dutifully dripped mustard on it, as is apparently the custom at such events.

Besides learning about offsides and shoot-outs and icing ("oh my!"), I found out that one has to be crafty and creative when trying to socialize and show off one's knitting in a completely packed sports arena. Shouting works well. And pantomiming is particularly effective.

Alice, for example, just stood and held her completed spooky alien scarf up high over her head so everyone could see it. Other knitters passed their knitting on down the row so we all could admire it, and pet the yarn, and mouth, "It's beautiful!" back at the owner.

The poor guy next to me, related to a knitter, but not a knitter himself, deserves some sort of special sports trophy for patience. I pestered him with questions: "Why is that umpire wearing orange armbands?" and "How long does the guy who hit the other guy in the face with his stick have to sit in the naughty spot?" and he graciously answered every single one. When I offered to teach him a little knitting as a sign of my gratitude, however, he developed a burning need to go get a beer…for the entire second period. Poor dude. He did come back, eventually, and I politely kept my knitting well out of sight range so he could enjoy the game without feeling too much peer pressure to knit.

All in all, it was sooo much fun. I really enjoyed meeting folks in person whom I knew only from the comments, and I had several surreal moments when I realized that those complete strangers holding up their lovely knitting and waving it around were in fact waving it around at ME. (I'm still not used to being recognized in non-yarn-shop public places, like say, oh, the Chicago O'Hare airport or a sports arena.) The poor guy next to me finally broke down and asked, "Are you famous, or something?" and I just nodded and said, "Yep—'or something'." (I badly wanted to say I was Angelina Jolie, but figured the lack of tattoos was a dead giveaway.) Oh, and I got to sign my very first autograph. That was oddly fun. I sat there clueless as to what I was supposed to do, and finally had to ask the nice knitter what she thought I ought to write. (We settled on "May life keep you in joyful stitches.")

I loved getting to see all the wonderful knitting: husbands were wearing sweaters knit by wives, women were wearing gorgeous things that they had made for themselves, and Ian, a charming nine-year-old boy, came up to shyly show me the brown scarf he was knitting all by himself. (More photos!)

Oh, and the game was fun, too. Go Avs! We won, 2 to 1, in overtime. And we made, and collected, dozens of afghan squares for Warm Up America.

Methinks the truly good sports were the knitters…so: Go Knitters! You're my home team, and I'm proud to cheer you on.

Find out more information about Sticks N' Stitches events.

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I cannot tell a lie. I made a big boo-boo in the Gathered Pullover, and shall be calling Cap'n Frog in for help. And I'm working on a new Secret Project for Knitting Daily!

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