On Friday, 11/11/11, this yarn, these needles and I headed over to the Bean. We had a date.
At 10:30-ish, this is what the area by the Bean looked like:
By 11-ish, this is what it looked like:
Then, at 11:11am, this wonderful lady walked in with her yellow umbrella!
We had all gathered to beckon the lovely, to make the most of our time here and to feel that we are all one...all sentiments from Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Beckoning of Lovely project. She has been at this bean-related awesomeness since 2008. If you would like to get up to speed (you totally should), you can watch the videos on her YouTube channel. The story starts with "17 Things I Made."
Every year since 2008 a group of people have gathered at the Bean and have made memories full of whimsy and joy. We sang happy birthday to someone who was having an 11th birthday, we witnessed someone getting engaged, we saw people get merried (no, not married, MERRIED!), we hokied pokied, John Green came, Nick Gage performed, we flash texted and so much more.
I've been watching the videos each year as they get released and when I realized I could be there for this last one, I jumped on the chance. Amy posted an invitation to the event along with a call for ideas related to the 11/11/11 (aka We Are All One) concept. I added my thoughts with this comment:
One thought that comes to my mind when thinking about the symbolism of 11/11/11 is knitting! For me, knitting is based on the importance of each individual stitch AND how those individual stitches come together to form something complete. In knitting, it is the accumulation of many, many individual stitches that creates a whole. Each stitch could stand alone, but it really gains meaning and a purpose when it interacts with the stitches around it. By connecting with the other stitches above it, beside it and below it, it becomes something greater than it would be alone. I may be a strong stitch, but together we are a warm sweater!
Knitting! Of course! Amy liked this idea and what started as a blog comment turned into me standing front and center casting on a scarf while Amy talked about what it is we will be making together. I am very thankful that she did the talking. It is hard to cast on, count stitches, not fall over from nervousness and talk coherently into a megaphone that is being oscillated by an adorable child! Here is what Amy shared with everyone:
Trinity's idea is to knit a scarf together, stitch by stitch, person by person. It will then be donated to the Red Scarf Project. The Red Scarf Project creates care packages and sends them to college students who have aged out of the foster care system. Each care package includes a handmade red scarf. So Trinity is starting the scarf right now... If you would like to add a couple stitches to it today, or be part of it later when it gets passed through the mail, meet her over by the Bean after this gathering. She'll be the one with the red yarn.
After the event, I hung around for a good long while chatting with people while they knitted a bit on the scarf. There were plenty of people who were interested in knitting on the scarf but didn't know how to knit. A few people gave their friends impromptu lessons and a few people tag teamed the knitting by swinging the yarn around the needle while I worked the stitches.
I have a list of knitters who will be taking their turn knitting a few inches on the scarf before sending it on to the next knitter. We are aiming to knit this scarf throughout the next year with the goal of having it to the Red Scarf Project by 12/12/12. I am looking forward to seeing the end result of our collaboration and hope the person that receives this scarf will feel the magic knit into these stitches. Thank you, knitters!
The event was recorded, so when the official video goes up, I will let you know. Until then, you should check out Beckoning of Lovely (The Movie), the film that was released on 11/11/11 after 3 years in the making. Be sure you keep an eye out for the red scarf in the movie. Coincidences like that rock my world! (UPDATE: Amy has temporarily removed the movie. She says it will be back and shinier than ever later on.)
And, last but not least, a huge thank you to Amy and everyone else who made the event happen and to the super rad ladies who sat near me, one of whom took the picture of me while I was casting on the scarf. You are lovely. All of you.