I was just watching a DVD series where actor, Ewan McGregor, and his real life buddy are riding their motorcycles from London to NYC, called "The Long Way Around", that is to say through Europe, Russia, flying across the Beiring Strait and down through Alaska, Canada and across the USA.
While visiting a children's shelter run by Unicef, Ewan asked the kids if they had learned to knit. They replied that they did knit, and did it quite well. Ewan then related the very sad story of his 9 year-old self knitting a scarf for a beloved uncle, emphasizing the time and patience that it took. When he presented the gift, his uncle laughed..."And I never knit again," were Ewan's final words on the subject. But you could tell that it was with some very real regret that he put the needles away.
Let me tell you, I hear more than my share of stories of people who have had such experiences. They find the courage to come to the store and shyly ask about taking lessons, feeling that their previous experiences with frustrated teachers and/or inapproriate tools mean that they are, as they've been told in the past, "not very good" at knitting.
Coming up in June is an opportunity for all knitters to go out and find some wounded knitters and extend the hand of friendship and encouragement to them. June 12th to 20th is World Wide Knit in Public Week.
One great way of celebrating this fact is to get together with friends at a local cafe and knit, but I'm planning on doing something a bit different this year.
It will be an exercise in building up knitting karma: I plan on spending 1/2 hour each day, knitting by myself at some different location in the city. The idea is that I'm hoping that people will come up and ask about what I'm doing, or will share a bit about their knitting history or memories. It should be fun...and who among us would not want to have a reason for sitting down to knit for 1/2hour each day, no matter where or what the circumstances?
I plan on keeping a record with pictures and will keep you up to date about the results. Do you have any plans? Let me know and we can share them with each other.