A Visit From a True Yarnophile

In June 2003, one of my postcards somehow made its way into the hands of an avid knitter, who posted my web site address to a knitting forum on the Internet. From there, the word spread to various other knitting and crochet forums -- and there are dozens of those, some of them with thousands of members. Suddenly for the first time in my life I started getting fan mail! I'd always thought that artists were the only group of people who really appreciated my car, but lemme tellya, nothing matches the ardor of knitters and crocheters! For the space of two or three days, questions and compliments were coming in from all over the world, almost faster than I could answer them. The Internet is an amazing thing.

One of the nicest messages was from a woman named Margaret Hubert. Seeing that she lived in Pawling, New York, not far from my home in Valhalla, I invited her to stop by and see the car in person sometime. She took me up on the offer, driving down with her friend Earl Slocum, and I gave them a ride in the art car to a nearby scenic spot to get some photos. She had brought along some of her own yarn creations, which, as you can see in the photos, are gorgeous. There are better pictures of those and others at her web site.

Margaret is well known among those who practice a fairly obscure art form called freeform crochet and knitting, and she has made two instructional videos about it. Contrary to what some people think when they see my yarn-covered car, I don't actually know the first thing about knitting or crocheting or whatever it is that normal people do with yarn, so I'd never heard of freeform before. But Margaret told me not to feel bad, since even many long-time crocheters and knitters don't know about it either. Another great freeform artist is Prudence Mapstone of Australia. Freeform, like art cars, seems to hop back and forth over the boundaries of craft, folk art, and fine art.

Margaret and Earl drove off into the sunset. But I hadn't heard the last of her. She carried a copy of one of the photos from our session to a fiber arts convention in Australia, and that led to an article about both of us in the magazine of The Australian Forum for Textile Arts (to be published in February 2004). And back in her hometown, she told a columnist at the local newspaper about our visit, and so we were written up in an article in the Pawling News Chronicle too.

Thanks for everything, Margaret!

The End

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