While at the writing conference this Saturday, I sporadically pulled out my knitting. Between classes or waiting for pitch sessions, the needles and the yarn were a calming influence.
Plus, knitting told me something about myself that I did not know.
I showed up as instructed ten minutes before my pitch session and took a seat surrounded by other writers, many of whom were either reciting to themselves or were reading off much-edited index cards. I’ve been there, but hey, I’m an old pro: I wouldn’t be nervous! I hadn’t even bothered memorizing my pitch because I wanted it to sound conversational and heaven knows I’ve assaulted enough friends with it that it’s practically memorized as it is.
So there I was, using size zero needles and fingering weight yarn while waiting for my pitch session, and only when I began to knit did I realize how badly my hands were trembling. As in, I had a hard time getting the yarn over the needles. Right. Totally calm, that was me.
(Yeah, that “calm” veneer felt more like what happens to a wool coat in the company of 5000 starving moth larvae by the time I got in. Feel free to laugh at my expense. I certainly do.)
I was knitting the “tiny sock pattern” from The Unique Sheep. It turns out that this sock is about the size of a quarter. I knit it kind of as a good luck charm, finishing it right before my final pitch session, and then strung it to hang from my conference badge. Tiny socks and tiny shoes are my good luck charms. Later, someone asked me how she could get the pattern, and I just handed the pages to her.
Prior to one session, as I was knitting, another writer said to me, “Oh! Can I see that!”
I handed it over. She took the spare needle and sighted along it, weighed it in her hand, and then said, “I bet you could kill a man with this.”
I love writer conferences. I replied, “I’d probably use a size five straight needle for that.”
(NOTE to all law enforcement who read my blog: I don’t actually own size five straight needles.)
Therefore I have to recommend bringing knitting needles and yarn to your next conference if you’re a writer. At the very least, you might hand some other aspiring writer a murder weapon, and at the best, you get the world’s tiniest sock.
PS: When I got home,I handed it to Kiddo#2 and said, sadly, “I’m sorry. I put this in the hot water wash, and it shrank.” She laughed and said, “No, that’s not true!” and the looked at it and said, “….really?…” I’d post a picture of it, but someone seems to have absconded with my tiny sock.