Iâ€™m a life long hobby enthusiastâ€¦ quilting, knitting, doll house miniatures: you name it, I am into it. But I never thought my love of hobbies would lead to not only a new romance but what is turning out to be a pretty funny new web comic that quilters and knitters are literally in stitches over.
â€œBy the Yardâ€ is a web comic that I created shortly after I met a model train geek on a quasi-reputable online dating site. At first it seemed we had little in common other than we were both tall. I was a talkative MIT-trained software engineering manager from Cambridge, he was quiet, laid back wood worker and landscaper from the South. But his accent was charming (and he was very cute) so we started dating. We quickly found out we were both hobby nerds to the extreme: he was into scratch-built model trains; I was â€“ as I might have mentioned â€“ into more crafts than you could shake a pair of knitting needles at. We spent many of our early dates driving to train shows and quilt shops. We found out we both hoarded craft supplies, bought WAY too much hobby stuff and were forever starting a new project before the prior one was even finished. No horizontal surface in either of our houses was safe from the spread of hobby stuff.
As a long time fan of comics, I had drawn many comic strips for VooDoo Magazine (the only intentionally funny publication at MIT) and had a self-syndicated comic strip called BizToons that ran for years in old-school newspapers, but I hadnâ€™t picked up a pen in quite a while. I had stopped cartooning in order to earn an MBA and focus on my day job. Life with Train Guy proved to be far to entertaining (not to mention covered in sawdust and thread) to pass up a chance to start a new comic strip about a Quilt Nerd and a Train Guy who found loveâ€¦ â€œBy the Yardâ€.
â€œBy the Yardâ€ has received overwhelmingly positive responses by tens of thousands of hobby fans each week on a variety of Facebook groups ranging from knitting and quilting to model trains. Other hobby geeks are enjoying seeing themselves in the comic, whether it be hoarding craft supplies before a snow storm or trying to hide their latest purchases from their significant others. Iâ€™m delighted with the positive reception â€œBy the Yardâ€ has received and am taking that as tacit approval to buy more fabric.