Monday, August 6, 2007

Yarn Harlot, Cumulative Action and Sheldon the Turtle

Last Thursday Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka The Yarn Harlot) graced the Boston area with her presence (and Canadian accent!) at the Borders bookstore. Here is her impression of the local crowd. I was not one of the underwear tossers. That is what I get for not reading Vogue Knitting. Admittedly, though, I much prefer Interweave Knits. ( a total tangent, is anyone else in love with the sweater on the cover of the newest Interweave Knits? It is called Tilted Duster. I love it!)

An unflattering and blurry picture of Stephanie

after she recovered from being showered with underwear.

I'm a regular reader of the Stephanie's blog, but I have actually never read any of her books nor have I heard her speak before. I should get going on that book thing, I know. I really enjoyed spending the evening in the company of so many knitters and liked Stephanie's talk.

There was one particular point that Stephanie made that has stuck with me. In talking about the generosity of knitters, she brought up the term cumulative action. Her point was rooted in a story about her brother-in-law, a professional fundraiser, and a fundraising campaign she is running. Through Knitters Without Borders Stephanie has raised over $300,000 for Doctors Without Borders. Not only did she raise a huge sum of money, but she did it really quickly. Her brother-in-law wanted to know how/why/what's her magic ingredient? Stephanie cites cumulative action, the notion that a small act repeated over and over again can make a difference, as the reason for her fundraising success with knitters. Stephanie says a person needs to believe in cumulative action in order to be motivated to give and who better to understand that than knitters. Cumulative action is the essence of what knitters do...we repeat a small action (knitting a stitch) over and over again until we have made a knitted fabric. If we think of the impact a small donation makes, it doesn't amount to much. If we think of what our donations combined with the small donations made repeatedly by many people can do, that is where a difference can be made. I thought it was a pretty insightful notion both about creating change and about the patience (and faith) it takes to add your small action to that of others or to repeat your small action over and over again until it has made a difference.

It was a crowded house.

On a related note, I took a leap of faith today and entrusted my Sockapalooza package and Sheldon to the United States Postal Service. I've had knitting get lost in the mail before and that is mildly heartbreaking. I'm crossing my fingers that both packages will reach their intended people.

Sheldon the Turtle is headed to Minnesota. My sister-in-law gave birth to a baby boy last week and that calls for a knitted animal.

Sheldon is nekkid and vulnerable without his shell.

Yarn: cotton yarn from my stash

Colors: lime green and brown

Pattern: Sheldon from Knitty

Variations: Since Sheldon is intended for a baby, I decided to skip the button eyes in favor of little crocheted lumps as eyeballs.

Tchazo and Sheldon had a little cuddle before Sheldon went on his way.

1 comment:

  1. Your Sheldon turned out beautifully!! I think it's funny you posed him with Tchazo before sending him off...I posed mine with Twist and Jawa too! Someday I'll show you those pictures...xo


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