Thursday, October 9, 2008

In which Richard Simmons holds my Sock

It was The Yarn Harlot's idea. I've knit a gazillion things including about a million pairs of socks. I've knit cheap yarn and expensive, handspun and commercial. I've knit flourescent bright colors, subdued naturals, and even black. I've knit metalic yarn and I've knit beads into my products, and I've handspun yarn with beads in it and then knit it up. I've carried my knitting all over creation, and often my spinning wheel too. But even after Stephanie -The Yarn Harlot - McPhee posted a link on her blog to yet another one written by Tracy (a friend-or-fan-I-don't-know-which)featuring pictures of Barack Obama holding her own sock in progress, I admit it never occured to me to take a picture of the man holding my knitting. This being true even though he's seen me knitting and doing all sorts of other crafty things many times over the years. Even after seeing Stephanie post pictures of pretty-much everyone and everything with her own sock in progress, it just didn't seem right. "The Sock" was a Yarn Harlot thing. I was amused and delighted by the whole concept, but I did not equate it to my own life.

But then on October 4, 2008, The Yarn Harlot blog issued a challenge to her readers. Try to replicate the feat. Get a politician who is nationally recognized to hold our own work, and post a picture to prove it. For every photo successfully taken, a donation will be made to
MSF, a Nobel Prize-winning international organization dedicated to medical relief and witnessing-reporting human rights violations.

I read the rules with interest. Not knowing any politicians (although I will admit to knowing somebody who IS going to be one in the future and WILL be recognizable on a national basis), I was amused but not moved. But then I read the caveat in her musings. Celebrities count too.

I am not shy about saying that
Richard Simmons saved my life. Physically, by believing in me and my ability to lose more than 200 pounds way before I believed in myself, but also by seeing me through dramatic emotional growth. He knew me when I was a very angry woman - was the butt of my anger on more than one occasion - and stuck by me all the way to present times while I still struggle with my health and even my emotions, but am a fully functioning person. He introduced me to my best friends, taught me the merits of make-up and appearance, and enabled me to meet my love. He IS the man.

But Stephanie is the WOMAN. I have not had the pleasure of meeting her yet. In fact, when she last passed through Los Angeles on a book tour, I had tickets to her event but was too sick that day to attend, and it kills me even now. She is the rock star of the knitting world and, if she's ever taken any notice of my very-occasional comments on her blog, she probably considers me a little bit nuts and somebody maybe to be avoided. If true, she's right on the 'little bit' part, but I'm safe and not a stalker. Really. Honestly. NOW STOP LAUGHING AT ME!

Anyway, by virtue of the fact that I have lost a lot of weight thanks to Richard, I consider him a great friend as well as a mentor. I know him to be kind and compassionate and a good sport about photo opportunities. And I knew it the second I read Stephanie's post. If I knit it, he would pose.

So I called some of my friends as I excitedly put my handspun yarn that I've been saving to make socks with into a bath to set the twist, and they pointed out to me that Richard may be a celebrity, and Richard may be my mentor and friend, but Richard also recently testified on Capitol Hill about Physical Fitness and re-establishing P.E. in schools
. Although not a politician per se (he threatened to run for office during his testimony), he qualifies as a major participant in government!

We qualify on two fronts!

So I put aside my beading when my yarn was dry,

made balls,

and started my sock.

I conferred with Eric and Beth and Vennie... "You don't really think he will mind, do you? He won't mind having his picture taken and posted on my blog? I can't tell him why I need the picture in advance. It's against the rules." And they all assured me that he not only would not mind, but has already endured far worse hazing than that from me and my friends, all in good humor. (If you decide to click on this link, my apology. I built it way before I knew how to reduce the megapixels of pictures, but I promise you it's worth it.) And so I knit the first few inches of my sock. And worried just a little, although not enough to deter me from my purpose. I was going to rise to the challenge that The Yarn Harlot had put forth. If posing with a sock-in-progress was good enough for Barack Obama, certainly Richard must be seen doing the same. He should have been first. It's my fault he wasn't. I just didn't think of it!

I do admit to e-mailing him in advance of exercise class to ask him if he would pose. Richard is a very busy man who still makes time to teach classes himself at Slimmons (his exercise studio). The rules said that I couldn't tell him why - I didn't - but didn't say that there couldn't be advance notice. I wanted to make sure he had the time when I brought the sock to class. And so he did.

And now, without further fanfare, I present... Richard Simmons holding my sock.

You should know that after I took the pictues, Richard turned to me and asked "And why am I doing this? Why am I holding this sock?" to which I answered "I can't tell you. It's against the rules, but I'll send you the link later tonight."

I turned away from him, and then turned back again. "Don't worry," I said. "Barack Obama posed with a sock too."

Stephanie, I will also make a donation to MSF to honor the challenge that you presented and I thank you not only for your continuing wisedom and wit, but for the opportunity to have some fun.

And Richard... what can I say? You always rise to every occasion. I love you.


Anonymous said...

that's so cool..

Wilda said...

That was so nice of Richard to do that for you.

Becky said...

I got a real kick out of this. You had me laughing. I'm not surprised that Richard did it for you.

Doll Creelman-Migliaccio said...

What a great sport he is!!

Have you finished the sock??? lol


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