Craft people are the best people.
Yesterday I asked my twitter feed if any of my yarn friends had extra roving/spinning fiber they were looking to unload. I got rid of my stash when we left Alaska last year because I didn’t want to try to haul it across country in the back of my Honda along with all the rest of my worldly possessions. I thought I wasn’t ever going to really pick spinning back up.
But now, I’m desperate to spin and am out of fiber. I’m also broke and spinning is an expensive hobby. Braids of roving typically cost between $18-30 depending on the dyer and fiber content.
I don’t have that kind of cash just laying around at the moment.
So anyway, I asked Twitter if anyone was looking to destash some fiber on the cheap. I was willing to pay for whatever remnants they had and didn’t plan on using up.
And suddenly I was reminded why in my darkest moments the knitting community has routinely saved me: several of my friends offered to send me stuff they had for free or just for the cost of shipping. Because yarn people are the best people. They are kind and giving and understanding of a crafter who can’t afford her preferred craft.
Ten years ago when my anxiety had overtaken me, when I couldn’t leave the house and would literally hyperventilate at the thought of being in public, I picked up knitting as a way to calm myself. I taught myself from YouTube videos and KnittingHelp.com.
I used knitting as a way to get back out into the world. I took sock projects with me wherever I went and when I felt overwhelmed and thought I was going to panic in line at the post office or at a friends birthday party, I’d take out my sock and knit a few rounds. I’d see that I had control over something, even if it wasn’t my life or current environment, and I felt better. Even a few rows of plain stockinette was progress.
Later I taught knitting in a small yarn shop and started a knitting group to meet friends. I met two of my very favorite human beings because of that knitting group.
Later still, in the midst of a terrible break up, I traveled all over the East Coast of the United States talking to knit nights and yarn shops. I stayed with famous knitters and met dozens of crafters from all over. I was fed and housed for four weeks by the generosity of strangers. Some of those people only had knitting in common with me. But they let me in. They picked me up from train stations at four a.m. and let me cry on their couches and fondle their cashmere stashes and baby talk their pets.
They sent me back to Alaska with a heart full of new friendships and at least one suitcase full of an entire alpaca fleece, raw and unwashed and smelling like dingleberries and Ohio dirt.
I stopped crafting for a while, for the most part. I got busy with my career and falling in love and planning a wedding and moving and adopting dogs. I put it aside. I’d knit a quick baby sweater here or there when someone turned up pregnant. Or a hat to keep my husbands head warm one winter. But for the most part it was just this thing I used to do.
I am so incredibly blessed to have found my tribe. These are my people. These crafters, these warriors of sticks and string, these are my congregation and my church. They are my therapists and brothers and sisters. They are my inspiration and my cheerleaders.
And right now, they are throwing super wash merino at me to let me know that they have my back. That if I am a crafter with no craft supplies, they got me.
I’m so lucky to know these people.