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Joann Fabrics and Amber Making It on Public Square

Joann Fabrics and Amber Making It on Public Square

Have you ever heard of finger knitting?

So, I have but not in the expected I-worked-at-a-craft-store-in-high-school kind of way.

I knew it was a thing because - my dad was a sailor and he made a lot of knots. In turn, he figured out how to crochet without a hook. I'm guessing boredom on a ship would do that to a guy in WWII. He showed my brother and me when we were kids, but I could barely crochet with a needle. Maybe that's why he tried to show me. Connecting in a way that he was comfortable doing.

Crocheting wasn't my thing, but maybe finger knitting could be my thing?

So, I dragged the kids through downtown Cleveland on an overcast day to go to the world’s largest finger knitting event! Why would I do this when I never even considered finger knitting? 

Three words - Amber Kemp-Gerstel!

Amber was a contestant on NBC’s series Making It and writes the Damask Love blog.

I was obsessed with this reality, contest, craft-show for weeks. I was hoping to be inspired or even maybe absorb some of their creativity through the TV waves.

Amber (yes, I am on first names with her now) has been my favorite from day one!

I don't think I would have gone downtown for anyone else on the show that weekend.

First of all, it looked like it was going to storm. Secondly, I had been fighting traffic all week as stages were being built for a music festival. I was done with the festival and I wasn't even going.

But Amber was going to be there, I was going.

Joann Fabrics and Amber Making It on Public Square

Needless to say, I was super nervous to meet her.

This is not like me at all. I worked at the Improv in the 90s. I waited tables not only for during the Baseball All-Stars Game but at the gala during the Basketball All-Stars. Famous people do nothing for me. Then again, I never met Ben Affleck. He will forever be my number one crush.

I saw her right away. She was eating an apple. I only mention this because it's what kept me from going right up to her.

Joann Fabrics and finger knitting

We got ice cream, watched a few demonstrations, looked at some amazing examples of knitting, and even tried our fingers at knitting.

All the while I was nudging the kids, "Hey, there she is...," "Oh! look she's not eating the apple anymore!" and "Damn, she's talking to someone else!"

I was annoying myself.

Finally, my daughter handed me her knitting, walked over to Amber, and started talking to her.

Of course, I had to run after her! She was talking to a stranger!

 Amber Kemp-Gerstel from NBC's Making It and Damask Love

Amber was chatty and kind. She answered my questions and never let on the results. There were still a few weeks left before the winner was announced at this point. Now we know that she didn't win, but she was in the top three!

Check out Making It on Hulu for two weeks free, on me! Plans start at $7.99 after 1st 2 weeks. Terms apply. 

On the show, everyone seemed to get along. With a group and a competition, I couldn't help but ask if everyone did get along as it was portrayed. She said they did for the most part. Amber explained that the show did a good job of keeping the drama out of the final episodes.

She talked about her experience as if they all got along and maybe even liked each other - for real! I don't know why that makes me happy, but it does make me happy.

My kids with Amber Kemp-Gerstel from NBC's Making It and Damask Love

In between the selfies with Amber, crafting, knitting, and dancing, my daughter was trying her damnedest to win a Joann Fabrics gift card. She hula hooped, scavenger hunted, and some other random games to no avail.

I won't say that she was super pissed off that she didn't win, but her brother would say it.

Joann Fabrics' finger knitting day on Cleveland's Public Square.

Have you ever met a celebrity crush?

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