>> Friday, August 21, 2009
When I first started knitting, I was in college. I couldn't share my love of fibery things with my dorm buddies or classmates, because no one would have understood. That was back in 2002, before the knitting renaissance had really begun. So I kept it all hidden, knitting dishcloths and cat blankets in my spare time from yarn bought at Wal Mart. I thought I was happy.
Then in 2008 I found Ravelry. As soon as I received my invitation, I was a member of a knitting community! A new world opened up to me; one in which knitting was not only accepted, but was encouraged. Because of Ravelry I could knit in public, fearlessly. I wasn't a freak, odd, or an old lady. I was a knitter, and as such, slightly badass. It was awesome.
In a Rav forum somewhere, I saw a mention of Plurk. Supposedly a bunch of knitters were over there, too, and could actually TALK to each other. Don't misunderstand - the forums and messages and all things Ravelry were great - but I was still missing any kind of conversation with other knitters. No one in my town knit, there were no public places you could go to knit and hope someone like-minded would happen along and chat with you about stitch counts and fiber content. Blindly, I signed up for plurk and cast about for knitters.
And I found them.
Knitters, dyers, spinners, fiber artists of all sorts were there, on Plurk, talking and sharing themselves and their WIPS. Every friend I made had a passel of other knitterly friends that amazed me. These are my people, I thought to myself. This is where I belong. One of my first Plurk friends was Loribird. It was Lori that first got me spinning. She actually sent me one of her spindles and several ounces of fiber to learn on. I am eternally grateful to her for opening that door.
Another Plurker I met was CJKopec. She is one of the most talented fiber artists I've seen. I fell instantly in love with her stuff and signed up for her monthly spin-a-longs, enjoying each package of fiber I received from her.
While I was reveling in the community aspect of Plurk, I met you, Beverlysyarncrazy. You, I learned, live only 20 minutes away. I learned that you are well-loved on Plurk because you are unfailingly kind and generous. You have positive uplifting things to say to each of us, and you are a fabulous listener/reader. You are a source of inspiration to many. I also learned that you are on a fixed income, but that you love fiber and spinning just as much as I do. On the day you plurked that you'd received a spinning wheel, a flurry of private Plurks appeared, all suggesting we should send you some fiber as a wheel-warming present. Nothing could be more fitting or more deserved. I looked at my stash, wondering what I could send you that would in any way be an appropriate thank-you to the friendship and community you'd provided for me. I settled on about 4 ounces of 100%merino from Ashland Bay, colorway Primrose." I wasn't sure it was your color, but I knew the soft feel of the fiber would please your fingers. I happily mailed it off to you, glad of a chance to give back to you some of what you've given me. It was gratifying to see how many people sent you fiber. I know I am only one of dozens of people you've touched.
Then, last month, I got my own wheel. I trumpeted it from towers in Plurk, Ravelry, my blogs... anywhere I could find a forum to declare my delight. I already had a sizeable stash, and was delighted with a faster, easier way to spin it up. My next CJ Kopec spin-a-long fiber was completed in its entirety, something I couldn't have done with my spindles. I happily ordered August's fiber.
When the box came, though, it was different from the others. It was twice the size of the happy square box I'd been receiving from Coby. Curious, I opened it up. In the box was my August fiber (beautiful as always).
But something else was in there, too.
Wondering if there had been a mistake, I reached in and pulled out the most stunning 4 ounce bundle of fiber, in several glorious shades of green. My heart stopped with the realization it must be meant for someone else, and I'd have to sent it back to Coby. I lifted the tag it came with so I could at least read the colorway name, in order to buy it for myself. The tag read:
"Troll: 2/3 Merino 1/3 Colonial Roving. 4 oz. A GIFT FROM BEV."
I'm not ashamed to admit it. Right there in my truck, I had a good cry. Because even though you have already given so much, even though money is tight for you, even though you have a thousand other friends, you thought of me. Without comment or expectation, you reached across the distance between us and gave me a gift stunning in its beauty and generosity. I spent days wondering how I was going to thank you - a Plurk didn't seem adequate, and posting on Rav didn't strike me as beneficial to you. I didn't want people to start asking you for gifts, thinking they could cash in on your generous spirit. Because I believe if you could, you'd buy us all things we really want. Because you feel that our friendship is a gift for you. I dont know if you realize that we are the ones who are so grateful to have you in our lives. In the end, I settled on this long and rather rambling blog post as the best way I have to thank you.
Thank you, Bev. Thank you for being the kindest of knitters, spinners...
Yours with Love,