So this week’s assignment was to come into a new fandom that either ourselves and another classmate have never experienced and participate in. Diego and I wracked out brains a bit, since we had to limit to a certain day and time, and many of the meetups wee a little exclusive or things we knew. So we came across Pints and Purls– a knitting club that gets together, have drinks, and knit. Knitting has been getting very popular again and has quite the cult following here in New York city, so much that they have this ‘Yarn Crawl’– a shopping trip and scavenger hunt to some of NYC’s yarn boutiques.
Judy, the organizer was very sweet and welcoming, and quite keen to recruit us to the world of knitting.
(That’s her with the pink button).
She helped explained to us some of the slang and basics of the knitting world for us to keep up. Like the names of yarn types, needles and the like. They even have their own social media platform to share works and give the patterns for people to copy or alter called Ravelry– a portmanteau off Ravel and Revelry. (I’m a sucker for puns and knitting humor at least from the mugs and shirts I saw they’re big on knitting puns and humor.) And there was a discussion about a new fad in the group– hand dyed yarn– and that some shops offer that nowadays.
From the people we asked, a lot of them started when they were young, some started later in life (there was even a guy from NYU Langone in the group!) Some liked that it was creative outlet, others found it therapeutic, and just fun and obviously devote time in their lives for this. They also knit for charity too, and currently there is a drive for knitted blankets for refugees. And though the group is mostly knitters, they welcome cross stitchers and crocheters too!
(Diego thoughtfully perusing yarn. You think this was staged but I swear it wasn’t. FYI: SO MANY KINDS OF YARN.)
Diego and I went around by ourselves at first as observers just to acclimate, but as the day went on they seemed open and welcome enough to answer questions and even chat. Knitting seemed to be just the sort or ‘jumping point’ for us to go further. I got to talk about video games, to museums and parks with another.
It was at the second store we learned that Vogue has their own magazine just for knitting, and they host a large conference too for knitting. Further more there are ‘rock stars’ of knitting just as there are celebs and popular fans in any other fandom– one of which are Arne and Carlos.
Zoe, another member of the group I managed to warm up to gave me tips on starting off on knitting if and when I had an inkling to. Scarfs are usually the best to start with, and if I wanted to make like a Hogwarts or Fourth Doctor one, I could easily find a pattern online.
For a pair of people who have big social anxiety , I think we did fairly well mingling with Pints and Purls. And they really would love us to come back. That Evangelization, haha.