Being a Keynote Speaker

Months ago, I committed to being the keynote speaker for the Fall Webs Knitting Retreat in Amherst, Massachusetts. I was excited to go and hoped to get in a few knitting classes but homework got in the way. Despite doing a lot of homework, I still made it to meals, knit night and got to talk to a lot of wonderful knitters. I also did not get a single photo and forgot to ask someone to take a photograph of me when I was speaking. Oops.

WEBS retreat
I did get to read by the fireplace in the hotel lobby!

My talk was based on the piece I wrote for Mason-Dixon Knitting, Knitting as an Act of Resilience. It isn’t just about knitting a sweater but how we tell ourselves we can’t knit a sweater before we even try. It’s really about how the words we say to ourselves matter and that we’ve got to be kinder to ourselves. I shared a lot of images from the blog since I can’t travel with all my sweaters and I talked not just about the successes but mistakes I’ve made in sweater knitting and what those mistakes then taught me. It was great to talk to people after who told me they felt that I was in their head or speaking directly to them. I have a feeling I’ll be getting more emails and messages sharing sweater progress this year – and I love that.

WEBS retreat
What I wore to speak.

I did at least snap a selfie per Jessica’s request before I left my room. I thought my Soldotna Crop over a purple dress with purple clogs was a pretty knitterly thing to wear. LOL I was also very tickled by all the people who came up to me and immediately asked me if Jellybean was at the retreat too. Unfortunately, the venue was not animal friendly, otherwise I would’ve held her through my talk without any issues.

WEBS retreat

I don’t travel as much as I used to and definitely not as much as my husband but it sure was nice to get greeted at the airport by Jellybean and my husband on Sunday. I feel really fortunate that I get asked to speak and come do workshops, or that people even get excited to see me in public (I was having dinner with a friend in Amherst when our waitress came out and told me she followed me on Instagram. My friend was completely thrown by that). And all of this really is because of that first sweater I knit after I stopped telling myself I couldn’t knit a sweater. Who knew positivity could have such an amazing trickle down impact on my life.

28 Replies to “Being a Keynote Speaker”

  1. I love the selfie! That is a great selection! Even the glasses go together with it! Nice job! I’m glad that you were able to get to the WEBS affair! Bet everyone enjoyed you!

  2. Sooo glad to hear your speaking engagement was a success!!! It’s official! . . . you ARE a celebrity!

  3. So damn proud! Get it Sweater Whisperer! πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ

  4. Thank you It was great and really spoke to me!

    Barbara Bronitsky

    On Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 10:30 Yards of Happiness wrote:

    > IamDWJ posted: ” Months ago, I committed to being the keynote speaker for > the Fall Webs Knitting Retreat in Amherst, Massachusetts. I was excited to > go and hoped to get in a few knitting classes but homework got in the way. > Despite doing a lot of homework, I still made i” >

  5. That’s so awesome; I’m glad your keynote and the retreat went well. I’d love to hear you speak; maybe something more local to the DC Metro area will come up πŸ™‚ Hope grad school is going well!

  6. “Who knew positivity could have such an amazing trickle down impact on my life.” YES you are positive, but also real. Rare in today’s online world. Whenever I feel too tired to do laundry I think of you and your blog and teaching AND NOW SCHOOL AGAIN and I think, Okay, laundry is do-able. So your positivity is really more of a flood than a trickle. πŸ™‚

  7. Samina here. We met & chatted for a bit. My retreat-mates & I really enjoyed your presentation. Your comments spoke directly to many of us in attendance & definitely gave me the kick in the rear I needed to finish up all that I start! Hope to hear you speak again someday.

    1. Hi Samina!! I am so glad we go to meet and I hope you’ll definitely finish up all those projects.

  8. That is so AWESOME πŸ˜„πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜

  9. A dear girl I know is starting to speak in October in Chicago . She’s going to talk abut abuse and recovery and Faith. It must take such bravery to start out!!!!!! Any words of wisdom for her?

  10. I love this so much. I’ve been making a conscious effort to trim back the social media/blogs I follow, but your message here is exactly why you’re staying on my list. Thank you.

  11. Oh, phooey! I would have driven across the state to hear you speak. Please let us know when you’ll be back this way–preferably in Boston!

  12. It was such a pleasure to have met you at the retreat this weekend! I was scribbling notes in my planner as you spoke, and am still feeling so much joy from it all!

  13. I’ve made a few sweaters for my kids and husband and one for my MIL (who liked things big and shapeless, so that was easy), but never for myself. I have three boys (no shaping!), the husband (no shaping!) and a daughter who likes baggy sweaters over slim leggings (again, no shaping!). But I don’t have my daughter’s cute little 17-year-old figure anymore (I was slim and could get away with baggy sweaters back when Lisa Bonet was making them popular on The Cosby Show and we coveted her wardrobe every Thursday night…yep, it’s been a while) so I need some shaping. The waist, the bust, the shoulders….so much time if I mess it up. I need to read your piece again and work up my courage. πŸ™‚

  14. I really enjoyed your talk at the Webb’s fall retreat. You encouraged me to be brave enough to try to knit a sweater.

    P. S. From Helen & I said you sure you didn’t get into my head! πŸ˜€
    I gave to figure out how to get pictures of my work to your as promised.

  15. That photo! You look beautiful, knitterly, and confident – the perfect keynote speaker!

  16. You have an amazing gift of putting color and patterns together – that selfie is fabulous!

  17. Sure wish I could have heard you!!! You look fabulous in your knitterly outfit! ❀️

  18. Your talk at the retreat was amazing. So inspiring!! It pertains to life, not just knitting. What a great message.
    β€œI know I can…

  19. Franklin Habit got a pic of you talking (from a few rows back). It’s on his Instagram. :). So totally awesome that you did the Keynote! I too would travel a fair distance to see you talk (though I wouldn’t have made it to this one). Let us know when you do it again! Love the sweater and the outfit! 😍

  20. I love that you bring your authentic self to everything. Your positivity even helps us out on the West Coast who follow you (and Jellybean)!

  21. I love your updates. Thank you. As a professor, are you aware of Prof Carol Dweck’s work on growth mindset? You talk about your knitting journey with a lot of heart, but there’s also a lot of research behind the things you focus on.

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