I knit. I sometimes forget how much of "me" is a knitter.
My (German immigrant) grandmother taught me to knit long ago. My first project was a "potholder" -- if trapezoids can be considered "square". My second project was a blanket for my Barbie doll's horse -- if a stuffed animal can be considered relevant to Barbie.
My third project was mittens for my sister. Four needles, knit-in-the-round, and (because I lied) she thought they were for our adopted-into-the-family cousin. To this day, I remember the look on her face when she opened them at Christmas. The mittens were hers, and knit with love.
Time passed, sweaters are knit, socks are knit (bless you Joanne Marron, wherever you are, for reminding me about socks!), quilts were pieced and quilted, other crafts were crafted, and more time passed. Knitting was always there... not always the foremost craft, but there.
Eventually sanity returned -- and knitable yarn returned -- and life improved. I frankly don't remember what caused me to splurge on my first skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock, though I suspect that it was the Yarn Harlot's rant about the epic Tina-and-the-bank struggle (which Tina-the-incredible won, lest you had any doubt).
Y'know that saying about, "if you try this, you'll never settle for anything less"? BMFA STR. I'm the prime example. There have been times (I freely admit it, and have told Tina, so it's not a surprise) when I've had serious doubts about colorways and patterns. And every blasted time (I'm so NOT a pond scum fan) I've been impressed.
More time passes, I move home to the Pacific Northwest to a job I love, and (because I work odd hours) end up volunteering to help Tina, her staff, and the Sockateers with the de-stash sale, and eventually, sock club shipments. There may have been EEEvil brownies involved, but they were an honest "thank you" to the folks who produce my favorite yarn and intriguing and interesting colorways.
Side note: I'm JustJen on Ravelry. Several weeks ago, there was a thread speculating on the January Rockin' Sock Club shipment. Some posters seemed to assume that the pattern was by Sivia Harding and would involve beads because beads weren't an expensive treat. Being the subtle sort (stop it!) I posted:
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True, they’re not expensive. Frankly, that’s not the point. The beads would get weighed. And then… what?
Poured into teeny zipper baggies? Hugely time-intensive. (The moo cards were so fiddly that the Sockateers convinced Tina that they were a Very Bad Idea.)
Poured into the bag that contains the yarn? People will complain because they have to catch the beads as they’re flung across the room whilst winding yarn from their swift.
Poured into the pattern package? The whole point of that package is that the pattern stays flat.
Poured into the shipping bag/box? Complaints because the pattern calls for 230 beads and I only got 317!?!
And, parenthetically, all of this – as far as I’ve seen – is pure speculation. No one promised a beaded pattern. Heck, I don’t think anyone actually promised which designer came with the January yarn!
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And so it amused Tina hugely when I showed up to help with the January shipment and Sockateer Tammy showed me that there are teeny beads that need to be scooped into 2000 teeny baggies. Cat Bordhi showed up to work on Sock Summit, and bagged for a while, too. Tina took pictures, and said her amusement would end up on the RSC blog after everyone had their yarn.
A couple of days later, I got to work again with Tammy, Hot Flash, and the BMFA folks. It should be noted that, when I saw the January shipment yarn, I had to swear on the head of the chicken that I would keep RSC secrets, and then dance to make it Truly True. Embarrassed? Nah. Frankly, I was just hoping that I'd do a good-enough job that Tina would let me come back!
ALL of that leads up to the point of this very long post: I'm thrilled beyond words to be a new Sockateer. I'm seriously amused to disover this by reading the RSC blog -- which led, yes, to me emailing Tina with "Wait, WHAT?!?" email.
Seriously. How weird is it, that I'm excited to volunteer to work without pay to spread the yarny goodness of BMFA! (Apparently, it's not all that weird. I called my sister (she of the third-project mittens and multiple sweaters, socks, and mitts since) and, half-way through the build-up, she exploded, "You're a Sockateer?!? Wow!!" Thanks, Sis!)
p.s. I was at the Knit Night / Sip-n-Stitch / knitters who meet in Haggen's food court / PDX bloggers / whatever it's called last night. Tammy-the-Sockateer was there. Apparently she (and the others) voted (unanimously, according to Tina's response to my panicked email) me in. I hadn't read the blog yet, so had no clue. Seems appropriate, somehow, since Tammy was involved with the surprise! beads! episode :-)