Glenda walked into the conference hall and was amazed by the banner hanging over the doorway.
“How do you think they got a ten-foot banner saying ‘Knit & Crochet-fest 2021’ actually made out of yarn?” she asked her friend Bernice. “And look at that stitch-work!”
“I bet they have a machine that weaves messages or something. That can’t be done by hand,” Bernice replied. “My fingers just ache thinking about how long it would have taken.” She adjusted her red, white, and blue knit cap to a jaunty angle and removed her winter coat so that she wouldn’t overheat.
“Actually,” interrupted a young red-headed woman sitting at a folding table next to them selling raffle tickets, “my grandmother crocheted it while she was quarantined. She tells me she did nothing but watch her soaps, crochet, and Zoom call with the family for most of 2020. When I told her about all the people picking up old hobbies like baking bread again, she got excited and said we needed to put together this convention for when people could finally come together.”
“Wow!” Glenda exclaimed. She could hardly believe that some little, old lady could crochet such an impressive banner and come up with this convention for yarn craft enthusiasts.
“Here’s a brochure with a map and schedule of events,” the young woman said holding out a glossy print page. “Wheel of Fortune host and world-renowned knitter Vanna White will be giving a talk in fifteen minutes in the Orchid Room. Taylor Swift is debuting her new sweater line with a fashion show in the Rose Room at noon. Zooey Deschanel will be demonstrating how to make quirky bear hats at one in the Lavender Room.”
“How did your grandmother get all of these big celebrities?” Bernice asked in awe.
“Oh, they’re old friends from a knitting group on Facebook. Vanna uses Granny as a test audience for her yarn company, and Granny helped Tay-Tay with some design ideas for these sweaters. You don’t think T-Swift looks that trendy on her own, do you?”
“I guess not, but I always just figured she had a team of fashion people that hung out at fashion shows and such,” Glenda said.
“Tay-Tay tried sending Granny to some fashion week somewhere, but Granny told her there was no need and sent her a cat sweater, and that is what Taylor wound up wearing in Vogue.”
Bernice and Glenda were stunned almost speechless. “What about Zooey?” Glenda asked.
“Oh, Zooey and Granny hit it off when she was filming that movie Elf, and she was looking for some fun mittens. Granny made the hat and gloves Zooey wears when she sings that big musical number.”
“Can we meet your granny?” She sounds like a fascinating woman,” Bernice fawned.
“Oh, she’s probably around here somewhere with a clipboard making sure everything goes smoothly,” the young woman said. “Make sure you look over the prizes on our raffle table. We have a scarf knitted by Sarah Jessica Parker and a sweater knitted by Paul Rudd, although Paul made one of the sleeves shorter than the other. I guess it's like they always say that it’s the thought that counts.”
Bernice and Glenda turned back to the convention floor so that they could walk the aisles of colorful yarn and patterns. The first booth they approached held a dark-complected man with shoulder-length, rainbow color streaked hair, chatting loudly to a crowd in an Australian accent as he crocheted a vibrant purple scarf. On the table in front of him were stacks of paperback books he was selling. “So I told Martha that I insisted on using alpaca yarn for the ponchos, but she swore it wouldn’t be soft enough. When I finished, she admitted they were the best ponchos she had ever worn, and that is how Martha Stewart made the ponchos come back in style.”
The small crowd around him clapped politely, and Bernice and Glenda moved on down the aisle, passing booths selling subscriptions for knitting magazines and a booth with a woman demonstrating a loom. They stopped again when they reached a booth with a white banner with red lettering stating “Famous YouTuber Candace Monet”.
Candace was a forty-something-year-old woman with chin-length light brown hair permed into skinny curls. She was crocheting a shawl and talking animatedly about a dinner party she held the previous month. “I had crocheted individual placemats for each of the guests, and each had a color representing the guest’s aura. I had invited ten guests and had ten placemats, and what do you think happened? Someone brought a plus one! I had to break out my spare yarn and work up another placemat lickety-split before we could sit down for dinner. Thank heavens for my husband’s witty banter to keep everyone entertained and my King’s Cross brand yarn that works so smoothly that I was able to finish in time for no one to notice!”
Bernice and Glenda walked a little further, catching snippets from other booths. “So Gaga came to me for the awards show, and I told her she needed to wear the Afghan bodysuit that I crocheted for her with the tastefully placed granny squares…” “Tyra was begging me for another crochet bikini, but I had to tell her no because I’d already given one to Lindsey and didn’t want her to be a copycat…”
“Excuse me,” a woman stopped them. “That is a cute little hat,” she complimented Bernice.
“Thanks. I like your,” she paused for a moment to take in the woman’s yarn filled outfit, “knee-length rainbow shawl.”
“Thanks. I used a size 5 hook and Cheetah brand yarn in color Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” she said before walking away.
“I feel under-dressed,” Bernice commented as they passed another woman that looked like a Cabbage Patch Doll in an orange yarn wig styled into pig-tails.
“Can you believe all of the celebrities?” Glenda gawked. “I saw that guy on Martha Stewart’s show last week, and I watched that woman’s YouTube tutorial to learn how to make my fingerless gloves. And look over there,” she pointed to the end of the aisle where an older woman with dyed red hair held a clipboard and talked into a headset.
“That must be Granny,” Bernice deduced. “Let’s go say hi.”
They approached the 5-foot-two woman in a green sweater with 3-D knitted flowers and greeted her enthusiastically. “Hi! Are you the Granny that put this all together? Your granddaughter said such unbelievable things about you,” they gushed.
“She did?” Granny studied her clipboard and talked into her microphone. “Jerome, can you make sure Taylor has her low sugar apple juice before the show? I can’t have her getting dehydrated, and you know how she’s been on that cleanse.”
Bernice and Glenda made eye contact and mouthed to each other, “Taylor!”
“We just wanted to say how excited we were to be here. This is like a yarn-crafter’s paradise,” Bernice complimented.
“Uh-huh,” Granny gave a half-hearted acknowledgment as she scribbled something on her clipboard.
“I just can’t believe how many yarn brands you have here, and the assortment of speakers is fantastic!” Glenda added.
“Make sure you buy some tickets for our raffle and get a free gift bag before you go,” Granny dismissed them and turned away to give more instructions over her headset.
“Never meet your heroes,” Bernice commented as she and Glenda returned to their convention gawking.