I am a sucker for a good sales pitch. This doesn't mean that our house is full of junk that I've bought that we'll never use, not yet at least. What I mean is that I am fully prepared to be drawn in to an idea if the right person is speaking to me. Call it charisma, sales patter, passion, whatever you want, but if something sparks an interest, I'm in.
Most recently, this happened to me twice in a single day. Ok, so I was at Unravel, so of course I was likely to find someone to convince me that this or that was what my life was lacking. As it turns out though, it wasn't material items that drew me in, but the opening of my eyes to possibilities.
The first of these was during a workshop hosted and taught by Veera Välimäki on shawl design. I was there to brush up on my understanding of shawl constructions in advance of working on the Book of Haps. Trying my hardest to take notes, pay attention and make a start on a shawl, I had to give up part way through the workshop because I thought Veera was straying from what she'd prepared. For maybe ten minutes, I stopped doing anything except to listen as she very eloquently laid out her inspirations for design and her beliefs about what makes a shawl something far more than something to wrap around your neck. Very quickly, I could see that what she said made complete sense: there is a complete freedom in making shawls where gauge isn't an issue, where you can really put something of your personality into an object and where mistakes don't matter as what you end up with is likely to be wearable.
Fired up, I charged off, adding short rows in a contrast colour to the beginnings of a circular shawl. At this point, everything went wrong, since I hadn't really thought ahead and planned what I was doing. I will not finish what I started (at least not in the immediate future), but that really doesn't matter: Veera had planted a seed.
The second thing that drew me in was a bit more of a surprise. I'm not the most devoted knitter in the world, so when Rachel Coopey showed me a book on crochet I was more than a bit Crochet Yeah!, a book of designs by Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace of The Crochet Project in Rachel's Socks Yeah! yarn.