For those of you still running amok about the city, yes I’m home already. I have to take small children to see art tomorrow and thus must be somewhat lucid at seven a.m. But I did go down and I did participate in the first of what will probably become an annual overnight of insanity.

My general impression was that they weren’t expecting the cold snap we seem to be having (wasn’t it 80–yesterday?) or the number of people who turned out. There were lots of lines and lots of full rooms that no one else was allowed to enter. However, this did not apply to the room I was headed for and the security guard didn’t even roll his eyes when the short, french braid pigtailed hedgehog asked “Where are the knitters?”

In a large room there were tables with yarn and needles and a lot of people sitting around chatting and knitting. Many people seemed to be learning for the first time or relearning a skill that “my mother taught me forever ago.” There were obligatory punks, too cool to sit in chairs and use needles, who sat on the floor and did finger pieces. Not that I have anything against the floor, nor even against finger knitting, but it was a little too edgy for me.

I had brought a shawl that is in a perpetual (since January) state of being worked on. It’s not a particularly hard pattern (feather and fan) but it’s a pleasing color and texture and showcases the two basic stitches. While I worked I chatted with two young girls who were excited about being downtown and learning how to knit. The elder of course had “learn to knit before but hadn’t done it in a while.” When they left I was on my own devices for a little while and then two girls my own age came over and asked for help. One of them had never knit before so patiently for about a half hour, I taught her how to do the basic knit stitch. When she finally got it she was very excited.

The whole two hour experience though felt a bit like being in a zoo. The “wall” to the hallway was glass and people would come along, press up against the glass and take pictures. I could just see some documentary going on….

“Look Jimmy, it’s a wild knitter…see how they’re using round needles instead of the weird straight ones?”

More people came in and just took pictures–without any seeming regard for whether or not I really was interested in having my picture taken. So if any photos turn up of a pigtailed hedgehog in a white hoodie with a lap full of green yarn…let me know.

And Franklin said he’d be there. I saw him for a HOT SECOND and then he disappeared. Bummer.