Guest Post – Manpans of weTangent
Dear readers, meet ‘Manda Whitney, whom I call Manpans! I met Manpans about two years ago and we became creative partners in a joint venture called weTangent. She’s a huge geek and we share a love in adventure games, Densha Otoko, and teasing Manpans. Since our inception we’ve written a number of sketches together, wrote a musical, appear in a weekly podcast, and do a weekly video series called Dining & Dating.
She is one of the founding members of the Princess Bride Knitting Circle, which I still haven’t blogged about, but I will!
I’ve never been much of a knitter. For me, knitting, much like science, has always seemed like sorcery. The idea of taking a ball of yarn and turning it into some fantastical piece of garment or geeky toy simply perplexed me.
I DID sort of learn how to knit three or four years ago. I needed to knit for a play and so my friend taught me the basic “Knit 1 Perl 1” stitch and I managed to cobble together a lumpy green square that still has yet to be finished.
But for the most part, it’s been a skill set that has evaded me. I would watch my friends stitch together afghans like someone might watch a magician sawing someone in half. It was impossible and never something I’d attempt again.
But then I became part of a knitting circle. And it should surprise no one that it was because of my good buddy Errol that it came about.
Most of you probably know of Errol’s knitting obsession. He was never obsessed with it before. Quite the opposite. Next to camping, Errol considered knitting one of the most dull endeavors to try out. But then his wife made him a Totoro scarf and suddenly Errol got a whole lot more interested.
As is Errol’s wont, he went into it full force. It only took him a month to become completely obsessed. He joined Ravelry. He started his knitting blog. He knit an army of Totoro’s at the rate it would normally take an entire sweat shop of small children.
And the moment he found out a friend had even an ounce of knitting experience, he would gleefully declare them his best friend and wonder why they didn’t knit together.
Now, knitting never struck me as a social activity. Knitting for me was like reading or building a puzzle or going pee with the door open. It was something you did when you were alone.
For Errol though, there is no such thing as a “solitary” activity. Everything has the potential to be a big social event. Knitting was no exception. It wasn’t enough that he finally had something in common with his wife, or that he was creating his own freaking knitting patterns within two months of learning it. No, he wanted his own knitting circle. I figured it would never happen, seeing as he how Errol has severe fishbrain.
But then his wife left for the weekend. When Errol’s wife leaves, he is beside himself with despair. Or…as near to despair as Errol can get.
So he fills up his time with whatever social activities he wants. It just so happened that at this time we were just beginning our infamous G-chat sessions with our friends Amy, Jeanette (who I had yet to actually meet face to face) and Kari. And coincidently, Amy and Jeanette are also knitters.
I’m not sure how it happened. I’m not entirely sure why. And I’m too lazy to look up the chat history. But at any rate, Errol thought it would be a great idea if we all got together to watch the Princess Bride because his daughters had never seen it. And so he volunteered my place (aka the person with the big screen and no will power to say no) to have a viewing party.
And hey, since we were clearly all knitters, why not make it a knitting party? I was stressed to say the least. All I had to knit was my lumpy green square from all those years ago. And knitting was something I did not associate with talking.
Thankfully…it was actually pretty darned fun. There we were, a group of girls and Errol (who is probably fast losing any testosterone he had left), drinking tea, eating choclates and knitting while laughing at the Princess Bride. And wouldn’t you know it, I had a ball. We all agreed that it would be awesome to make it a monthly meeting.
And so…the Princess Bride Knitting Circle was born, or PBKC for short.
Of course this is Errol we’re talking about. Things tend to snowball with him. I think the conversation went something like:
Errol: We should invite more people!
Me: Bachelor. Apartment. Remember? That tiny thing I have?
Errol: We can have it somewhere else! OOOH, let’s rent a venue!
Amy: I have a projector!
Errol: Projector! Yes, INVITE EVERYONE! SHOULD WE CHARGE ADMISSION?!
Errol: LET’S MAKE A FACEBOOK PAGE!
So now it’s gone from “five friends knitting and watching a movie” to “renting a venue for many, many friends to knit and watch a movie”.
It’s odd. I don’t think I would have predicted I would start becoming a knitter, much less a social one. But wouldn’t you know it, knitting turned out to be an activity that brought a whole whackload of people together. Or Errol…yeah, it was mostly Errol. Still, here’s to learning more!