Sunday, April 13, 2008

Far and Wide

As a middle school teacher I looked forward to time alone. We used to joke about how much work we got done when students were off for a day. I craved time when concentration on my own thoughts could happen for more than a few minutes at a time, often turning down invitations just to have some knitting or spinning or sewing space. Now that I have a home-based business my alone time is still valuable but social interactions are defintely more welcome.

Even before SmokeyBlue’s passing I had been meaning to write a blog about the wonderful people I meet in the fiber world via the internet. Almost everyday I have a positive upbeat communication via email or the phone with at least one other fiberholic. What can be better than ‘talking’ about fiber and yarn with other fiber/yarn lovers? We swap bits and pieces of our lives, all converging on fiber and our love for it. We discuss patterns and what to do with fiber we have spun.  Over time we get to know each other even better, sharing information about our families, our beloved  animals and our dreams.  How would I have ever met these incredible creative people otherwise? 

Laura is a phone friend who originally called to place an order, but the calls have grown to include much much more. She called last Saturday right after we returned from the vet’s to ask a question. When I explained in my out of breath mixed up state about SmokeyBlue she immediately understood.

The following Monday, when returning home around 10:30pm from a Pixie Batt carding marathon at Bob’s in Naples, this was on the counter. It was from Laura and her family, people whom I have not yet met in person. I dissolved. Thank you again Laura.

Others wrote very tender emails that had me again dissolving. Thank you all.

One more recent but regular correspondent is of a similar age and likes many of the same things I do, besides fiber and yarn. We exchange daily bits and pieces that amount to quite a bit of our lives. Another, whom I taught to spin via email, has blue animals so we have shared our love of that special color as well as parts of our lives.

My small world has opened up to include people from all over the world now. Seriously all over -- including Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, the UK, Australia, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Canada and of course all parts of the US. I am very grateful to those correspondents whose native language is not English yet write excellent English, because my foreign language skills rank way far below theirs. Sadly all I have is bits and pieces of Spanish and maybe restaurant French. I am told that in other countries, English is taught from an early age and used often, unlike here where we choose a language to learn at age 12 and then often drop it about 4 years later.

My sister says that people in fiber seem so kind and helpful to each other, very different from the competitiveness she has seen in other fields. I agree with her completely. Maybe its the wool fumes but very rarely do I see that other side. Even Bob, who is a big seller on eBay and could overlook little me, is generous and open (and my adopted brother besides). We have discovered that having vendor space right next to each other is great fun too.  

Several others from all over are infrequent correspondents but still more than acquaintances and many have been added as friends on Ravelry (I am smokeyblue). We write to each other for a few days and then go on with our lives, picking up easily again after a few weeks or months. Just like the Sock Hop yahoo group that is rather sporadic in its postings but again is friendly, helpful and upbeat.

I have truly retredded into a life of joyfulness.


Leah said...

You are living proof that doing what you love does make you happy.

There is hope....

Sandra D. said...

I've just checked back in after being sort of out for a bit, and read your thoughtful and optimistic post. I'm so sorry to hear of Smokey's passing, but you were so good for each other, and I'm sure you're right about his return to Source and painless-ness. Thanks for bringing your personality and outlook to the fiber world to share with us. You and the bunny have been an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Susas is so very modest. She not only taught me to spin via email but had a great influence in keeping me going after I lost a large part of my vision due to complications of diabetess. She is a wonderful, caring person who helped a stranger accept a live changing event and go forward with that new life...and the advice on how to spin wasn't bad either vvbg! Love you, Susan.

karen (and the blue girls!)

Kathleen said...


So sorry to learn about Smokey Blue. I'm still hoping to get up there and had been looking forward to making his acquaintance...

I know he was special, because you are so special.
Kathleen E.