Monday, December 20, 2010

Common Threads

At work tonight, while wandering around doing my job, I spotted a woman in a beautiful shawl. It was spectacular, and lovely, and light, and warm, and amazing! In hues of reds, purples, and blues blending into knitted loveliness. Drawn like a moth to flame I walked over and while feigning interest in their meal (rather my job as manager) threw out a 'that's a lovely shawl, did you make that yourself?'. She beamed and said yes she had, and with that, we were instant best friends, discussing knitting, yarn, spinning, the merits of triangular vs rectangular shawls, how they were so handy and warm, yet so unused,and how much one could really wear a shawl. Meanwhile her 3, non knitting tablemates simply sat and stared. When she got to her story about a friend who named her sweater after the sheep who contributed the wool they started looking worried. But not she and I. We had formed an immediate bond. The bond between 2 people who 'get it' get that this is art, functional, wearable, beautiful, spectacular art. That making something that keeps you, or another person warm, and is at the same time beautiful is a gift. And together, though we never ever exchanged names, we made each other's evening a little brighter, and spun more threads of friendship together.

Things like this always make me ponder the people who have created fiber art for years. When it was a necessity, did they still meet like this, share in the excitement and pride. Is that why, even when we can but the same knitted garments somewhere else we choose to make them, that knowledge that you're making something good.

I know the night of the Holidazzle parade was the first night that I looked around and thought, 'I have created warm clothing, and it is good'. Really, this is the first year that I have knitted on a consistent basis. While I have spun yarn for over 15 years now, and appreciated the textile world for a long time, I was only an occasional knitter. This year I became if not a great knitter, a passable knitter, and more than that, someone who is loving the craft for it's actual purpose instead of a way to make yarn into something to make way for more yarn.

And the excitement of meeting a fellow knitter, that common thread, is a lovely thing to feel, especially when it comes on a rather dreary stressful night, in an unexpected booth, while wearing the most lovely shawl..

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