Over the past few months, as the world/internet has been shadowed with negativity, I find myself reflecting on what a privilege it is to part of a crafting community. And even more of a privilege to work in an environment that encourages such communities to flourish.
Every week I get to teach/host our in-store knitting sessions. It is a continual pleasure to meet new knitters/crafters and introduce them, not just to a new hobby, but a whole world of creative, supportive and genuinely kind people.
On a micro level, I have watched as conversations have turned into friendships. I have been warmed by kind words and observed the pure enjoyment of being accepted, just as you are. There is an openness and honesty that allows people to speak freely without judgement. A slow and steady rhythm that simply feels good in a world that can be so chaotic and rushed.
On a macro level, I have watched as knitters world wide joined hands and knitting needles in support of women’s rights. From our store, to what felt like every yarn store in the world, we united through our craft to make a difference. But it didn’t start there and it definitely won’t end there. Knitters have always stepped up to provide support, warmth and encouragement in times of need.
With the online capabilities of our time, we as knitters are uniting on a global scale. This has had a huge impact on crafting communities and those that may not have had access to a lys (local yarn store) or group in the past. Ravelry is now a place where knitters and all fibre crafters can meet and have that connection to community. Ravelry has revolutionized the way fibre crafters interact. It may also be the reason for what used to be thought of as ‘grandmas’ craft and turning it into a trendy art form that all ages want to learn.
Working in a knitting store has also provided an opportunity to connect with other community members and bring their craft to our customers. At Knit Traders we have always loved to work with local artisans, farmers and fibre crafters. It is a pleasure to get to know a farmer and then pass along their story. A great example of this would be Silver Cloud Alpacas.
Nancy Carr is the owner of Silver Cloud Alpacas. We are fortunate to know Nancy and have her deliver yarn and fibre to us on a regular basis. Here is a little information from her website:
“We have been breeding alpacas since 1998 and maintain a herd of between 50 and 60 alpacas – a large enough herd to offer a variety of bloodlines, but small enough that each alpaca is known and cared for as an individual. Like most alpaca farms, our breeding goals for fibre are to continually improve fibre fineness and density, but we have a special interest in breeding alpacas that maintain a fine fleece with age. Proper nutrition, exceptional care, and considerate handling and training are very important to us, as is making sure that new owners are taught everything they need to know to look after their alpacas.”
If you have a chance to come and squish the yarn from Silver Cloud Alpacas, you will instantly feel the quality that comes from a passionate farmer and well cared for animals.
This is just one example of many connections we have to our local community. I look forward to sharing more artisan stories with you in the future. Keep watch for my ‘Community Corkboard’ posts.
To sum things up, I guess the world comes down to how you want to see it. From this perspective, the world is a warm and loving place. I invite you to join our crafting community, I am forever grateful I did!