It’s a three-for-one this Friday: some (baseball) eye candy, a knitting event, and a baseball game. How did I manage this? I went to The National Needlearts Association’s Stitch ‘n’ Pitch at Shea Stadium!
I procrastinated about registering, because I wasn’t sure until the night before if I’d be able to go, and somehow the order I placed didn’t go through. I was undeterred, and I decided to try my luck at getting a ticket at the box office before the game. Section 41 of the upper deck was all that was available, so I got one of those, and then employed the old trick of sitting in the section that I wanted, and being prepared to move if I had taken someone’s seat.
It turned out that I needn’t have worried about being in someone’s seat. I ended up sitting next to a very nice family of Met fans, surrounded by people who came in from central Jersey. I ended up having my pick of about 6 seats, and actually sitting in 2 different rows so as not to make the couple sitting next to me at the beginning have to get up to let me in after I got myself an ice cream cone as a snack. The only downsides to the way I went about attending were that I wasn’t counted for the Stitch ‘n’ Pitch attendance, and I didn’t get one of the cute swag bags. However, after the lengthy wait for a subway train I could fit onto, I was really just glad to be there at all.
Our group got a lot of attention during the game. First the people a few rows down from me were some of the “fans of the game”:
I’m actually visible in the background of the diamondvision screen on this one. I’m wearing my green sheep shirt, and holding my camera over my face.
We also got a lengthy visit from Mr. Met, because another lucky Stitch ‘n’ Pitch attendee got to answer the Mets trivia question.
There were needlework celebrities on hand for the evening, too. I thought I recognized a couple of people from their blogs, but was too shy to introduce myself. Lily Chin was there, and she showed off her baseball-themed apparel.
She was sporting a Mets jersey, a glove, and a “baseball cap”, and blended in pretty well with the sea of blue and orange:
The event even got New York Times coverage (registration required). Turns out that Lily Chin is actually a Yankee fan, and just knitted and crocheted up all the Mets gear over the weekend. I always knew that I liked her.
There was also a definite “freak out the non-knitters” factor at play. I nearly had my Addis taken away because I went to the wrong gate, but once I was sent to the right place, a bemused-looking security guard took a look at my sweater-in-progress and sent me right through. I’m not sure what they made of all the people bringing pointy sticks to a ballgame. Several innings into the game, a guy who was sitting several rows above the Stitch ‘n’ Pitch crowd looked around, walked down the stairs, and wondered if we knew that almost everyone in the section was knitting. He seemed to think it was cool once he learned what was going on.
I worked on my Wicked sweater, which was perfect ballgame knitting. Straight stockinette, around and around and around, and the Debbie Bliss Merino DK is smooth enough to knit by touch.
Oh, right, and there happened to be a game going on during all of this. Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez was the Mets starter, and he turned in a pretty good outing, giving up only three runs, all in the 6th (after striking out Escobar and John Smoltz, he walked Willie Harris, gave up a single to Kelly Johnson, then a double to Larry “Chipper” Jones and a single to new Brave Mark Texiera). To my surprise, he came out in the 7th, and worked a 1-2-3 inning.
The Mets spread out their scoring a bit more. Jose Reyes singled in the first and reached second on a steal attempt that resulted in an error to Atlanta. Then Luis Castillo and David Wright sacrifice bunted him over to third, and hit a sacrifice fly, bringing him home, respectively.
After that, John Smoltz settled down until the 7th inning. He gave up two singles and got a fly-out, and was pulled. Then the Atlanta bullpen proceeded to give up the lead, allowing the two inherited runners to score.
Moises Alou ended up being the hero of the game, hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.
Although closer Billy Wagner tried to make things interesting by loading up the bases with no outs in the ninth, a force-out at home plate and a 4-6-3 double play bailed him out, and the Mets took the game.
There was much rejoicing.
I got a pretty decent chunk of knitting done at the game, and on the way back (on the way out to Shea, there was barely room to stand, let alone do anything else).
I’m pretty confident that I got the body of the sweater to be long enough, especially once I take into account the amount that it’ll stretch out in the wash, so I started working on the pocket last night. I think I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this one: I have about half of the pocket to finish, and then the seed stitch border of the sweater and the sleeves. With about 5 balls of the yarn left, I should be sitting pretty on this one.