Pretty, Pretty Pittsburgh

I know that the one of the best surprises I’ve ever had about a city, was the first time I arrived in Pittsburgh and discovered just about the opposite I was expecting. My whole life I’d heard the phrase “Steeltown” and had come up with a series of expectations about the place. I was so wrong. I’ve had a really interesting day in Pittsburgh, and I didn’t even get to the part with all the knitters yet. Turns out, in Pittsburgh? Knitters are everywhere.

Knitters are in the TV studios…

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Where the host did a few stitches just to be game…

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and couldn’t put it down. (He likes to learn new things. I expect he’ll have a sweater Monday. The producer had to ask him to stop.)

Longtime visitors to this here blog will remember that all this rushing around in the name of knitter started with Sarah-the-wonder-publicist, who quit her job (nothing to do with me, I’m sure) and

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Moved to Pittsburgh!

Sarah showed the sock a thing or two. Some stadium for baseball (I don’t know the name, I’m sure that native Pittsburghers, Pittsburghonians, Pittsburghians – people from Pittsburgh will fill us in) where they hit fly balls into the river.

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We went up Mount Washington (I think) and showed the sock the classic tourist shot. (Except mine has a sock in it.)

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The sock was impressed. Steeltown indeed, the place is beautiful.

From there, I retreated, ditched Sarah-the-ex-wonder-publicist and found Julia!

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Julia, seen here holding the sock on the streets of Pittsburgh, noted a thing or two. See what Julia is wearing? Flip-flops, regular cotton top…does she look cold? No. See me?

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Ahem. Tee-shirt, wool sweater, wool coat, wool socks, leather boots. Do I look hot. YES. It is springtime in Pittsburgh, and Julia noted that I might as well as “slapped a Canadian flag on my back” so obvious was my attire. I felt like a knob. A hot one. (I am only glad that I forgot my scarf in the hotel.) Julia took me into the batcave where she makes Vesper Sock Yarn. Now, Julia says right on her website that she makes this stuff in small batches, but you see it everywhere, so I was excited to see her little factory.

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Ahem. This is her set-up. Every skein sold in the world comes out of these three pots!…Well, to be completely honest…

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She has six. (Does that impress anyone else but me? A whole commercial enterprise being run out of this woman’s kitchen with six pots? Clever knitter.) When I got over my shock we ran over to Knit One. where I visited Stacey and Carla (wait until you see what Carla taught me. Fabulous.) and ran into this guy.

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Steven is a knitting teacher at Knit One and he’s also a clown (you cannot make this up) and he works with a healing clown troop (I am still not messing with you) and they are in the process of knitting a scarf more than a HUNDRED feet long. (I just find these people.) He’s cranking out i-cord

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then knitting the i-cord into the scarf. (Well. Him and a whole bunch of people.) There’s a blog about the whole thing here. The scarf is named The Marley…

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and I cranked on The Marley.

I swear. There’s just no place like Pittsburgh. Assuming I survive the event tonight, it will remain one of my favourite cities. (If I die of anxiety I’m taking it off the list.)