I get to show people how to knit at @monkigras again!

I don’t consciously go out of my way to only work with amazing people, but it’s happened again: Not only am I facilitating another knitting circle at @monkigras this year, I’m also helping them a bit with their online communications.

Monkigras is an annual conference/party that has been on my radar since it started – because my friend James runs it, and other friends go there – but I never got involved. I always figured it was for people, like developers, who were more tech than I am. I do adore that scene, I just don’t want to intrude with my un-techy-ness. Same reason I don’t go to hack days.

My models at my Icelandic knitting talk. Tha's James in the centre

My models at my Icelandic knitting talk. Tha’s James in the centre

Then James made it all about Scandinavian craft last year, invited me to run a knitting circle and gave me a half hour speaking slot – so I had to finish my hand knit cardigan, prepare a talk on Icelandic knitting and project bags for everyone coming to the knitting circle, and go.

And it turned out, monkigras wasn’t ‘a developer conference’ but ‘a maker party’. Talks and party atmosphere and good people and good food. And alcohol, not just afterwards. And really good coffee. It attracted a lot of developer types because – these days you gotta know software if you’re going to build anything. Well, most things. But it really is about inspiration for changing things around in a more creative way (‘hacking’ in that sense). And THAT I can contribute to.

The reality of hacking things is that it’s only a few people who end up changing BIG things and making the big moneys. The rest of us hope they are up to it and make things better, but sometimes it’s the ones making the most noise who succeed, and not the ones building the best things. Events like this get the big changers out of their head space and into close contact with other people, other creatives, talking about craft and making things, and because the theme and the mix, entirely different ‘hackers’ – people who might not write code.

Last year's knitting circle

Last year’s knitting circle

And while it’s good to aspire to being a big hacker, startup founder and/or world changer, I personally have no interest in it. My heart lies in helping everyone else deal with what happens once things have been changed around, and make the best of the new normal.

There is a need for creating spaces and making time to talk about the new normal and about the future with people who don’t necessarily have something to market or sell. I love events that attempt that, even though it’s a difficult concept to explain (what? Nobody is gonna tell me exactly what to do?) Do follow monkigras and get yourself some of that.

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