Wednesday, June 4, 2008

There's One of You Here

I've an old friend from high school days that I keep more or less in touch with, even though we've not seen each other since our early 20s (And no, I'm not gonna tell you how long that is in years. Let's keep today a happy thought day, shall we? No age reminders necessary.)

Anyway, he travels a great deal and two days ago he pinged me from the airport, via his Blackberry, with the following message:

Subject: There's one of you here

There's a lady with yellow yarn and two big needles making something?? I am trying to visualize you sitting there doing it! Hmmmm??

He's been following the blog (though he never comments--loser) and I may have mentioned to him my...mild the pursuit of all things woolly here or there. In an email or two. Not more than that. Really.

But it's interesting. I've become a "one of you," i.e. one of them, to him. A part of a larger whole. I find that amusing when I know no crocheters or knitters in the metro area, still. I mean, the one event, the Yarn Harlot signing, at which I ran into large numbers of stick and string people, I was so blown away by the knitters around me that my wee little project and its larger companion stayed safely tucked away.

I was totally intimidated by the talent on display. After all, I'm a small town bistickual, a girl from a place where the lovely Darrin of my then-LYS made me feel like I wasn't a true sticks and strings person unless I'd made the boneheaded mistake that I'd just begged her to correct. ("Don't you know you're not a knitter unless you dropped eight stitches without noticing? And of course everyone crochets a border with a cast on so tight that it makes the rectangle into a lovely semicircle. That's what we all do!") I'm by turns extremely sociable or extremely shy, so things of a groupish nature have always been a bit of an adventure for me.

And yet, I am part of a whole, in a virtual kind of way. I've found other blogging crafters, like Needle Tart, who's offered advice that was blindingly helpful, so obviously practical and so un-thought of by me that it's a wonder she didn't question my I.Q. level and whether or not I should be allowed to handle pointy objects. But the virtual community has not ended with the bloggers.

Thanks to Ravelry, I've found not only fantastic things I'd love to knit or crochet, but also crafters who are stormy weather fanatics and those who are interested in crafts in ancient times. I've joined the Ankh-Morpork Knitters Guild and the Crochet Liberation Front. And though I've been busy, I've still lurked in the Knitting for Peace, Tunisian Crochet and Pen & Needles. (Those are all Rav links, btw, so unless you're a Raveller, you won't be able to view them. Sorry.) I had no idea that there were so many obsessed-with-multiple-subject-areas people out there. Especially not people who were obsessed with so many of my obsessions. Now if there were groups for those who are interested in falconry, kayaking or wanting to train for canine search and rescue... (Then again, knowing Raverly, there might be. I'm almost afraid to check. How much groupiness could one solo crafter take?)

I've also found individualized help from a lady on Rav who knitted up an EZ Baby Surprise Jacket in just the colors I knew the new mother for whom I wanted to knit would like. Said kindly knitter provided me with the exact numbers for the three Punto colors she used. Then, when I could find only one supplier of more than a color or two of Punto in the US, L & B Yarn Co. (and they still did not have the colors I needed), I posted a plea for help in the Yarn forum of Rav and what did I get? This and this from two lovely German Ravellers who offered to help me with the ordering as well, should I have trouble with the German (the Rikes Woolmaus site offers the option to translate to English, and I even figured out the other site well enough to navigate it).

They've welcomed me in, these virtual, global knitters and crocheters. Just like that and with loads of helpful, practical encouragement. And somehow, their finished projects, breathtaking as they are, aren't nearly as intimidating as uberknitters' and ubercrocheters' projects are when viewed in person.

So, I'm a groupie from a distance? Hmmm. I noticed that another new member of the Ankh-Morpork Guild is from the Twin Cities. Perhaps I should say hello. Maybe she's had trouble counting to five on a repeat section of a pattern too? (I know it'd be too much to hope for that she's crocheted through only half of the stitch rather than all of it, or that she's ever knit backwards along a circular project.)

But J, I think you may be right. Crafting klutz though I am, I am "one of you."

Sorry, crafters. Mea culpa.


NeedleTart said...

Ohh! Falconry! One of the books I remember best from adolescense (can't spell today) is "My Side of the Mountain" about a child who ran away from home and lived in a hollow tree. The most interesting part to me was how he/she (probably he as it was the 60s) trained a wild falcon.
When I teach I sometimes forget to check on the blog-o-sphere. Also when The Husband is home I rarely get to the computer.....He leaves again tomorrow and I have Friday off.

SunshineDreams said...

Hey do the blog roll option on your blog. It automatically puts the blogs with the most recent posts first.

All I have to do is glance at one page to see if anyone has blogged anything new.

Love it.