Once upon a time, a young and upstanding member of the community (who refuses to refer to herself as a YUPpie...that was SOOOOO eighties) found herself in a bind. The coffee shop and used book store she had worked so hard to build was now in the process of being dismantled due to a little cancer thing and a need for subsidized health insurance through an actual employer. The travel with said employer was getting to be too much to concurrently run a business and race the rat at the same time. So the question was, how could she fill up time and discover a new passion when one significant chapter of the girl's life is effectively closing?
The answer was found on the last day Corduroy's Espresso Spot was open. As I (yes, I am switching to the First Person) was packing up all 1,500 books to donate to local schools and resale shops, I ran across a knitting book published in 1980. I started unconsciously flipping through the pages, and mostly letting the actual physics behind knitting go unnoticed as I got caught up in looking at the fashions of the time, and thought that maybe this is something I should try. How hard can it be? If eighty-year-old women can manipulate their hands that way, then why couldn't I?
I went to Michael's Arts and Crafts. I had no idea what a Local Yarn Store even WAS. I bought two balls of yarn because I thought the color was pretty. I bought needles based on what my 1980 knitting book told me I should buy. I went home. I tried to knit. I failed miserably for about two hours. I decided that this particular day was not the day I taught myself to knit.
It turned out that the actual day was about four days later. I got it. My work was not very impressive, but it at least looked like "knitting." Knots all facing the correct direction, nothing falling off the needle (mostly because new knitters have a death-grip on their yarn; it is what it is), and no unraveling if I yanked at each side.
Over the next couple of months, my mother caught wind of my new endeavor and thought it would be a good idea to buy me a gift certificate to a yarn store called Knitche, in Downers Grove, Illinois. Even after being in probably a hundred yarn stores since then, I am here to tell you: Knitche is a lovely place to fondle yarn.
And on that note, Knitche is where the ballgame changed dramatically. I was not at the time in love with knitting. I was in love with yarn. The knitting with it was just a way to prevent from covering my bed and sleeping on the unknitted hanks in sheer, heavenly, orgasmic bliss.
Now, years later, I cannot allow myself to either travel or move without mapping out the landscape by Local Yarn Store. The color, the feel, the texture, the creativity behind creating that combination...I love all of it. My friends at Yarntopia in Katy, Texas find it amusing that I treat the yarn store like the animal shelter: everything gets touched, but since I know I can't go home with everything, I just go home with one. Of course in this case, "one" might be a ten-ball bag, or it might be one skein of Shaefer in all of its silky handpainted loveliness for more money than your average tank of gasoline.
It does not matter. Five or fifty dollars spent to bring home something that can fuel my creativity and balance my stress equally. It is worth every penny, and I still cannot get enough of it. My stash is not a stash. It is half a trunk of a car, a cardboard box in the house, a backpack, and a tote with the stray balls left after a project has been completed. Or, maybe I should look at that tote as the house for smaller balls needed for future smaller projects. Whatever. I am not apologizing for the happiness that All Things Fiber bring me.
Join me in the coming months and/or years and I will tell you what is behind my passion, and what the finished products look like. My knitting blog may be no better or worse than others...you can decide...but I do invite you to comment and ask me questions.