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Sticks N' Stitches, Pucks And Purls

Jan 9, 2008

I'm not the type to spontaneously attend a major league sports event. Heck, I don't even watch the little five-minute sports segment of the local news.

But even I can be persuaded by the prospect of knitters in hockey jerseys cheering on the Colorado Avalanche; especially if those knitters are knitting-whilst-cheering, and the knitting is for charity.

So, Saturday night, I grabbed my knitting bag and went off to watch huge-but-graceful guys push a helpless little puck around the ice. I was surrounded by 80 knitters, crocheters, and family members. We had goodies to give away (yarn! magazines! more yarn!), and everyone got a hot dog so they could properly drip mustard on their afghan squares.

It was a blast. I shouted myself hoarse. (It helped that the arena had huge screens that flashed instructions: "GET LOUD!" and "SCREAM!" at the proper times. Being a knitter, I follow instructions extremely well.) I knitted a square, and dutifully dripped mustard on it, as is apparently the custom at such events.

Besides learning about offsides and shoot-outs and icing ("oh my!"), I found out that one has to be crafty and creative when trying to socialize and show off one's knitting in a completely packed sports arena. Shouting works well. And pantomiming is particularly effective.

Alice, for example, just stood and held her completed spooky alien scarf up high over her head so everyone could see it. Other knitters passed their knitting on down the row so we all could admire it, and pet the yarn, and mouth, "It's beautiful!" back at the owner.

The poor guy next to me, related to a knitter, but not a knitter himself, deserves some sort of special sports trophy for patience. I pestered him with questions: "Why is that umpire wearing orange armbands?" and "How long does the guy who hit the other guy in the face with his stick have to sit in the naughty spot?" and he graciously answered every single one. When I offered to teach him a little knitting as a sign of my gratitude, however, he developed a burning need to go get a beer...for the entire second period. Poor dude. He did come back, eventually, and I politely kept my knitting well out of sight range so he could enjoy the game without feeling too much peer pressure to knit.

All in all, it was sooo much fun. I really enjoyed meeting folks in person whom I knew only from the comments, and I had several surreal moments when I realized that those complete strangers holding up their lovely knitting and waving it around were in fact waving it around at ME. (I'm still not used to being recognized in non-yarn-shop public places, like say, oh, the Chicago O'Hare airport or a sports arena.) The poor guy next to me finally broke down and asked, "Are you famous, or something?" and I just nodded and said, "Yep—'or something'." (I badly wanted to say I was Angelina Jolie, but figured the lack of tattoos was a dead giveaway.) Oh, and I got to sign my very first autograph. That was oddly fun. I sat there clueless as to what I was supposed to do, and finally had to ask the nice knitter what she thought I ought to write. (We settled on "May life keep you in joyful stitches.")

I loved getting to see all the wonderful knitting: husbands were wearing sweaters knit by wives, women were wearing gorgeous things that they had made for themselves, and Ian, a charming nine-year-old boy, came up to shyly show me the brown scarf he was knitting all by himself. (More photos!)

Oh, and the game was fun, too. Go Avs! We won, 2 to 1, in overtime. And we made, and collected, dozens of afghan squares for Warm Up America.

Methinks the truly good sports were the Go Knitters! You're my home team, and I'm proud to cheer you on.

Find out more information about Sticks N' Stitches events.

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I cannot tell a lie. I made a big boo-boo in the Gathered Pullover, and shall be calling Cap'n Frog in for help. And I'm working on a new Secret Project for Knitting Daily!

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on Mar 3, 2012 4:46 AM

Wow. As I write this, Monday's post has been up for less than 24 hours, and there are over 300 comments

ChristinaK wrote
on Feb 5, 2008 2:15 PM
Are there any updates on events in the Baltimore/D.C. area. I would love to go to a Sticks N Stitches event, but a Stitches N Pitches event would be cool too.
Lisa@2 wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 10:33 AM
Seriously-how can we add another venue--MN! Hockey is definitely knitting worthy--until someone scores. This makes Warm Up America! squares the perfect project. I would much rather knit at a hockey game than other professional sports. Brilliant. Tatally brilliant.
IvelisseP wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 7:05 AM
Is very nice to know that others knitters feels the same like me.
Emmy LouC wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 8:57 PM
to be a fearless knitter-

i need to allow myself to enjoy knitting instead of thinking of all the other things i am supposed to do in this world.

i also like a definition a younger friend taught me- a mistake is something that a man galloping by on a horse can recognize. if he can;t see the mistake- there is none.
Emmy LouC wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 8:57 PM
to be a fearless knitter-

i need to allow myself to enjoy knitting instead of thinking of all the other things i am supposed to do in this world.

i also like a definition a younger friend taught me- a mistake is something that a man galloping by on a horse can recognize. if he can;t see the mistake- there is none.
on Jan 13, 2008 4:04 PM
Wow that looks like fun. Looks very similar to the Stitch and Pitch event we do at Major League Baseball games. It's great sharing a portable craft with the masses.
KayW wrote
on Jan 13, 2008 11:40 AM
Great job on the reporting of knitting at the hockey game. I was chuckling while reading. Extremely well written and I could see myself doing about the same at such events. Thanks for doing such a great job sharing your knitting live with us.
dakotaland wrote
on Jan 12, 2008 7:59 PM
I'm Robynn's mom ;-) and I've completed a couple pairs of socks, a scarf and a handful of dishcloths at Avs games. I can't knit during play, but the needles fly when the sticks are off the ice. Glad to see there is acknowledgment of this by others, I always had a lot of curiosity about what I was doing.
Usually a pair of socks in progress is my favorite, put in my pocket project.
KitrenG wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 2:41 PM
I knit in church (we're talking Universalist Unitarian, ultra liberal Davis, California here)and now I am not the only one. That took some chutzpah. If I had the nerve I'd knit in work committee meetings (boring!). I've knit at concerts, social evenings, waiting for my husband at Home Depot.
JaneC wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 12:40 PM
Hello All, I enjoyed hearing about "Sticks and Stiches" and as a true Canadian, am insanely jealous. Our closest NHL team is the Toronto Maple Leafs and even though they are the world's biggest loosers, their games are sold out YEARS in advance - I think you have to inherit seasons tickets! I content myself with knitting at my son's hockey games (soccer games etc.) Love Knitting Daily -keep up the great work.
JeanB@5 wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 12:32 PM
Sandi -- it was a pleasure meeting you last night. Jean
MarthaS wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 11:25 AM
I forgot to add to my previous post. There are 3 of us to attend the local baseball games of the New England College League -- We bring our own chairs and sit up on the hill knitting to hearts content. I also bring my radio so I can listen to the Red Sox while I watch baseball and knit.
MicheleM wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 8:37 PM
I'm so jealous. I am a huge hockey fan myself and I usually have something to knit or crochet with me at the games to work on between periods. I used to try and work during the game but then I would then spend the breaks undoing the mistakes I made.

I am going to talk to the staff of the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins and see if we can get something like this set up at a game for charity as well. It's a fantastic idea.
RebeccaA wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 1:51 PM
So glad you had a good time. Although I am one of the most "athletically challenged" individuals there could be and detest most sports, I admit that ice hockey can be a very exciting sport. Of course, if one has one's knitting in tow, even the most boring event (I'll refrain from opining here) is not a complete waste! (I realize that I am preaching to the choir here.)
Anonymous wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 1:21 PM
How did you knitters with those DANGEROUS metal pointy needles get past the security screeners, hu?
CathiC wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 10:30 AM
Good Morning Knitters and Friends of Knitters!
I loved reading your (Sandi's) tale of the knitting gathering at the hockey game. Added a laugh or two to my morning.
Receiving and reading the Knitting Daily posts is one of the highlights in my day, keeps me knitting more and more. Knitting is something I've always loved doing since learning as a child, and as a working single parent, who completed college and worked while volunteering at my daughter's school for several years, etc., its one of the tangible symbols of putting myself back on the priority list as she matures into a delightful teenager.
Its amazing how simply receiving the Knitting Daily posts can renew my spirit and sense of self.
Many thanks and blessings to all who contribute.
Santa Rosa, CA
(I love hockey too!)
Donnaspins wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 10:30 AM
I am afraid that I would be very bad at knitting at a hockey game. I am usually so into the game that I don't even talk to my husband! I think that is great that everyone went to the game. At Joe Louis they have a lady that they usually show on the big screen called the knitting lady. Go Wings!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fliss wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 10:18 AM
Oh Sandi, you've done it again - had me smiling with delight as I read the post about pucks and purls. It sounds SUCH fun! Here in South West England, we don't do ice-hockey (not much ice usually)and I can't imagine getting quite the same feeling going around an afternoon's cricket! I just loved the photo of Alice and her spooky scarf - her face sent such a smile around the globe. Cheers, Fliss
SusanM wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 9:24 AM
Sticks and wonderful and you looked great in that beautiful blue sweater! And Sir Nicholas in his A jersey. So glad it was a great turnout and yes, you are famous! Susan
Anonymous wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 8:28 AM
Yay Sandi! Another hockey convert! Sounds like so much more fun than the Pitch N Stitch (I hate baseball, love hockey!). Guess I'll just have to have my own little Sticks n Stitches at home. (Though I'm in Dallas, where the Stars are, football is still #1 in Texas!) Thanks for mentioning WUA, though. It gives me the idea of what to knit when I can't find anything that satisfies: I'll knit charity afghan squares!
LindaF@2 wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 8:22 AM
I have found that my knitting allows me to get through any event, no matter how painful: meetings, graduations, sports events, bad TV shows, standing on line, boring, uninspired lectures, but my husband drew the line at knitting at a funeral. LFF
Julie McC. wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 8:03 AM
Oh, I LIKED this post. I laughed out loud at
'"Yep - 'or something.'"'
DeborahS wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 7:48 AM
This is so neat! My biggest problem at sporting events is sitting with my hands in my lap - well, okay, beer helps! But I can see baseball games in my future! I always have trouble knitting in summer because there are so many active things to do - like gardening and hiking. This is a perfect excuse to sit in the evening breeze and knit. Thanks for sharing!
SusanF@7 wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 7:05 AM
What a fun list to be on! Just introduced to it by a Patient. I am a PT in homecare.I knit watching curling(Purl 'n Curl?)especially socks which are mypassion
Sue(Can) Jan 10 2008
TSmith wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 6:09 AM
Be careful, Sandy!
Hockey can become so addicitve!
It's the ice, or the mandatory wearing of sweaters at games or something.
Soon you'll be in the knitters section of the fan bus!
KaranZ wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 4:23 AM
Loved the scarf that Alice proudly displayed in the photo. Where can I find the pattern? Thanks.
RonaS wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 11:38 PM
Go, Sandi. Soon we'll have a stitching day for every sporting event. Although I'm not a hockey fan, I do love baseball, especially Seattle Mariner baseball, as many know is the original Stitch and Pitch Location at Safeco Field. I hope to attend the next season's party. Thank's to all those knitter's who were there for the Charity effort. Go Team!!!!!!!!!!!
NoraC wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 10:24 PM
The Alien Scarf pattern is from Debbie Stoller's book, Stitch n Bitch (the first book in the SnB series). Thanks Sandi for the lovely essay and the fabulous photos.
on Jan 9, 2008 9:44 PM
I am a knitter of maaany years but still learn something new every now and then. LOVE reading the comments from your readers. I would like to get a free copy of the "central park hoodie" I saw a pic of it and would like to make one for my daugher. I only need the regular size but if there is a child's size (3/4 years) I would like to have that for my grand daugher. If someone could send me a copy (copies), I would be willing to try to help with any problems or send any patterns I have to anyone who needs. Much thanks,

P.S. I am from Nova Scotia, Canada
Dianamcm wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 9:18 PM
Wish I had know about the event earlier, I would have been their with you!
BettyU wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 8:10 PM
Have watched a lot of hockey and knit in a few rinks! Best hockey/knitting memory was at Michigan Tech Univ when I sat in front of designer Lois Young who was working on a new sweater pattern at a DU vs Tech game - DU won! Great event at the Avs game - even with the fellow in the Calgary sweater! Thanks, Betty U
RobynnT wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 7:53 PM
My mom has season tickets to the Av's and usually brings her knitting with her. She is an avid fan and love's hockey. I also bring my knitting with me when I go to small AHL games in my husbands home town in Pennsylvania. What I don't understand is why both of our husbands get so mad when we do this. I get a lot of odd looks no matter where I take my knitting, but this proves to them that knitting can be mixed with hockey (sports) with out the world coming to an end.
AmyS@3 wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 7:39 PM
Where can we get the pattern for the Spooky Alien Scarf??!! My son would love that!!
AmyS@3 wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 7:39 PM
Where can we get the pattern for the Spooky Alien Scarf??!! My son would love that!!
Loomlady wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 7:09 PM
I had to chuckle about your sports adventure. It seems that I'm ahead of my time.
Have been knitting at sporting events, ah well a long time. I also use the different televised sporting playoffs to start or finish different projects. You can't believe how many things I have tried and or finished.
mminoff wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 7:01 PM
I really enjoy my KnittingDaily email. Where can I get a pattern for that great scarf with the two alien faces?
SheilaS@3 wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 7:00 PM
That looks like a lot of fun! I love hockey. And knitting at a hockey game would be way cool!
RebeccaW@2 wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 6:57 PM
One of my daughter's is also a goalie and for the past seven years I have taken my knitting to her games. Otherwise my arms and legs move too much since I "try" to stop the puck too. I do not know of any "hockey" patterns but I do knit hats/scarves/mittens/socks in the team colour(s) that my daughter is on that year.
Rebecca W/Jan 09/08
KarenM@5 wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 6:31 PM
Sandi, I totally knit the sweater you are wearing in the pictures. I made it for my son, who refuses to wear it. It fits me, but I haven't been wearing it because it is a "man's" sweater. You have inspired me - I am wearing it tomorrow. It was waaaaaaay too much work to let sit in the closet!

LisaK wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 5:49 PM
Sandi, I have to ask where you're from due to your use of the word "whilst."

Also, I wish I had known about Sticks 'n Stitches ahead of time. Is there a mailing list (I know there is for Stitch 'n Pitch)? I checked the link but to no avail.
CathyannP wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 5:13 PM
Regarding Brenda C's request for hockey knits, knitty has a pattern for skate guards. They are felted and have ties on them so they don't slide off of your blades the way some of the purchased ones do.
CathyannP wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 5:11 PM
Thanks for the survey. It would be nice if we could rank the answers instead of yes/no. My husband doesn't usually wear sweaters, but would if he had the opportuntiy (and a hand knit one) and it would have been helpful to rank preferences (say pullovers over cardigans) instead of absolutes.

It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. Thanks again. I enjoy the surveys
CathyannP wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 5:11 PM
Thanks for the survey. It would be nice if we could rank the answers instead of yes/no. My husband doesn't usually wear sweaters, but would if he had the opportuntiy (and a hand knit one) and it would have been helpful to rank preferences (say pullovers over cardigans) instead of absolutes.

It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. Thanks again. I enjoy the surveys
GretchenF wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 5:07 PM
I always want to take my knitting to Avalanche games but my hubby told me he has to draw the line somewhere. ~*~*
Brenda@2 wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 4:58 PM
I love it! My son plays goalie & is ranked #1 in the league. He is also nominated for the Flyers Goalie award. I am the proud mom! I was wondering if anyone had any patterns for anything ice hockey?
JoanS wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 4:46 PM
Baseball does the same thing - at the Rockies Stitch'n'Pitch last summer, a huge group of knitters from our church enjoyed knitting prayer cloths while watching the Rockies win - this was before their big Sept. run to the Series. Some of the guys were embarrassed, some were just shaking their heads that we would do such a thing at the national pastime! 'Twas fun!What was really funny though, was that the ticket-takers didn't know it was Stitch'n'Pitch, so they were all wondering why everyone had their knitting bags with them.
ChristineE wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 3:03 PM
I also must confess to knitting while watching all my daughter's sports activities. It's easy for her to point me out to others and I get lots of comments and questions, especially from her friends who want me to knit something for them too. I let them know I'll teach them to knit, but so far I've had no takers.
MarthaS wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 2:53 PM
I too bring my knitting to sporting events. I'm a tour guide/hostess for a local bus company and we have many trips to Saratoga Race Track during the summer racing season. I always bring a project with me. I bring my own folding chair, lunch, etc. and I sit under the trees and watch the races while I knit.