Aaron and I had been looking forward to last weekend for a while. We have been getting together with a “stitch and Bitch” group on Wednesday nights that are a lot of fun to hang out with, but this last weekend was our first adventure into the larger community world of the yarn crafts.
We traveled up to Loveland, Colorado for the Interweave Yarn fest. Unfortunately, we couldn’t attend any of the clinics and workshops that they offered. Apparently, all people who knit/crochet can take off work any time they want or are assumed to not have jobs, because there’s no such thing as an evening class. All of the ones that looked interesting to me were on a Thursday afternoon.
Because our schedules wouldn’t let us take part in the clinics, we decided we’d at least go up for their marketplace event. We figured we’d get to look at a bunch of yarn options, see a bunch of ideas for projects, and pick up a pattern or two or some fun toys.
Senor Party heard we were going and wanted to join us, so we all piled in the minivan and headed up. It was only a 40 minute drive so my wife and daughter came along too. They wouldn’t be going to look at yarn, and instead would go shopping for gardening supplies. She writes her own blog about all things “crunchy” and about our adventures in becoming a suburban self sufficient family at coloradourbanhomesteader.com. You should check it out if you’re into canning, gardening, making your own soaps, etc….
We got to the hotel/convention center and quickly realized we were the demographic abnormality. Under 40, male, and of diverse ethnic persuasion (Aaron and Senor party, not me). We went inside and waited in line to get our tickets and were met by some really nice ladies who seemed to wonder where our wives were.
AS we walked down the hall to the marketplace room there was a sad and pathetic looking conglomeration of husbands who were sullenly sitting in scattered chairs waiting for their wives to get done shopping. All of them looked like this was the most boring thing in the world they could be doing, and it was kind of funny to us. I guess we’d see the same reaction at a car show too in reverse, but it’s kind of sad in either direction when your significant other doesn’t at least feign interest in your hobbies.
The hall was wall to wall yarn of every size, color, material and style you could think of. There was looms, weaving, knitting, felting, ceramic yarn bowls, and every manner of knitting you could imagine: but there was virtually NO CROCHET.
Now, I’m using hyperbole a bit. There was the occasional random scarf in a booth, and there was one, exactly one, booth that was selling crochet patterns, but by-and-large there was almost no representation. I know that yarn is universal for all the arts, but even when we were in the booths, all the vendors would almost stop talking to us when we mentioned crochet and even had a few of them tell us that we should just switch to knitting.
I don’t have anything against knitting. I actually get a lot of “knit Envy” when I see some of the awesome thing that you can do. I actually plan on learning that down the line as well, but I really want to feel like I’ve mastered one craft before I take on another. I love crocheting, and the variety that it lends itself to. Animals, Blankets, Clothing, Hats, etc…
I was hoping to buy some patterns, find a book or two I didn’t have, and learn about some good resources, but to no avail, nothing was relevant. I thought for sure there would be a representation of like Amigurumi Patterns and artists or something, but nope.
So we met some really nice people, and everyone loved our name. We got lots of giggles and snickers about being Male Hookers, but Aaron bought a couple yarn balls for a hat he’s making and I got a couple for myself. We found some other local yarn stores near us and were told that they had some crocheting groups there. We’ll see how that pans out.
It was a good time, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit marginalized and in the minority. The class offerings, had I been able to attend definitely skewed on the side of knitting as well, and I’ve been unable to find any crochet classes in my area beyond a basic intro class.
I’m left wondering if it’s just our area, or if Crochet is the forgotten and overlooked hobby everywhere in the fiber arts world.
I guess that just means that Aaron and I need to get so good we can lead the hooker Revolution. Vive la “Cro-sistance!”