Saturday, December 17, 2005

Feel The Love

I was talking to my grandmother on the 15th, as it was her birthday... and our conversation turned to knitting, as it often seems to do these days. I confessed this fact to her:

"I have met more wonderful people over the last year because of knitting, than I have in 7 years I've lived here since Andrew and I got married."

Now, that's not to say that the people I've met through my various jobs (um, let's see I'm on my 4th since moving - the first one doesn't count 'cause it kinda sucked... so 3 jobs) weren't wonderful, but I haven't stayed in touch with many of them. It has often been the case that the only thing we had in common was the dude or chick who signed our pay cheques.

I have been fortunate in my current job to have met and befriended some incredible people like JAK. JAK and I used to take "meetings" over lunch at the mall. When we started knitting we started taking meetings at stores which carried yarn. Hey JAK, remember when Crafts Canada was right next door to our office? Ahhhhh... good times. We would like to thank the Boa for making us the people we are today: yarn snobs. Then we started taking road trips that involved yarn shopping and a lot of laughter. Smokers are soooo rude

Let me just give you a little background on the situation, k?

Moving to a "big" city from a small town is tough. When I was growing up, the population of my home town was less than 1500 people. My dad owns the local pharmacy. I grew up knowing about 1/2 the people in town and about 3/4 of them knew me. (the 1/4 discrepancy? I'm a little forgetful when it comes to who is related to who, so I always fail the "Remember Pam? She's so and so's cousin" game.) I didn't have to worry about making friends, b/c they were just built in. I grew up with my friends.

And then I married this great guy and moved away.

Can you say CULTURE SHOCK? I wasn't in university any longer, so all my university friends had moved away or were pursuing careers, degrees, men, women, the meaning of life or the perfect body for a Jeep. My hometown friends were far away and doing their own thing.

Enter knitting and the one-year contract of Minou's Mommy. She taught school for a year, we did a lot of knitting, ate a few donuts, a few crepes, then she packed up her truck, we cried, and she drove off into the sunset (that would be Vancouver). Once she settled into a routine (HA!) in Vancouver, she set up a blog for Minou.

Under pressure from the chihuahua, I set up this blog. A few months later, Moe left her email address for me at the LYS. We sent those first few "I'm not a stalker, are you a stalker?" emails and then we set up our first Stitch and Bitch meeting. That's where we met the fiery pixie that is Morgan or Morg, or Morgaroo.

A hint for those thinking about setting up a SnB - scope the chair situation out first. If the coffee shop only has stools, you'll end up with a sore back. Find a place with couches, chairs with backs... not just stools.

We knit our way through the summer and the fall, with various people joining and some, sadly, leaving the group including:
Lena - at home with her baby boy! Hi Lena!
Krysten who moved to Ontario with her wee munchkins and her hubby.
KnitJo who is a workin' less of the 9am-5pm and more of the 5am-9? lately.
Janniechan who will be home next week after her first semester at chef? cooking? school. yay!
Deb who just moved to the east coast and is getting used to the "damp cold" we all know and love.
Lynne the newbie knitter who just crossed her first cables.
JAK who you all know and love from seeing her at Tangled Skeins.
and our blogless regulars:
Amber and Lori

For the last 6 (?) months I've been ordering my decaf mocha and sitting down to knit with these women. As the weather got colder, more of them started showing up. And as the months went by we learned about each other, what makes us different (piles of things) and what brings us together (our collective agreement that this knitting thing is way cheaper than therapy).

Last week, when we all bid Morgan a safe journey and wished her a Merry Christmas, I realized how much I was going to miss the spunky little pixie over the holidays. And that's when I realized I had found some kindred spirits.

And it's not just the knitters in the Halifax group who have been great. It's the Dartmouth ladies too. I don't know all of their names, (um Pam just moved here, Lindsay is a TS regular, and Satchiko is too...) but they're all quite lovely (though not as loud as the Halifax group - perhaps it's Morgan drinking those double shots in the dark?).

And then there are all the people I've met through the shop:
Sheryl: The amazing owner of Tangled Skeins. In my mind, she is unofficially known as "The Woman Who is Living Our Dream". She's not only an amazing knitter, and a kind soul, but she's as funny as Hell... well not that Hell is funny, but you know what I'm saying.

Martha: who started knitting last January and blows me away with her talent and her calm, cool demeanor. I swear, you could walk into that shop with yarn wrapped around your body as if you had been involved in the most horrific knitting related fiasco and she would just calmly unwind you. There's something about her that makes you trust that everything will be ok!

Every single one of the customers: those of you who challenge me to answer your questions; those who get excited about new fibres; those new knitters who have the A-ha moment and suddenly understand what is so freaking magical about knitting; those of you who crack me up with stories about your mess ups, what your cat did with the yarn and how it had to be "extracted"; and those of you who are just so darned nice. I think Sheryl would probably want to put a ditto behind that statment, so I'll just do it for her. "Ditto" - from Sheryl. (I have to say, people in the shop today who had heard about the break-in expressed so much concern and love for Sheryl and that little wool-filled shop that it made me proud to be enabling the yarn purchases of such compassionate people.)

And the people I've met through this blog. Outside of my new hometown I've only met a couple of you in person (Jodi and Hockey Mom - I'm working in HTML code ladies, and I'm too tired to make the links), but it's been a slice reading all of your blogs, getting to "know" you, having a laugh and sometimes a cry and just realizing that I'm not the only one out there who dreams of throwing baby alpaca yarn on the ground and rolling in it for the sheer joy of its softness.

You know, it's the internet that brought us all here, but it's the yarn that keeps us together.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Peace out.

(Man, I totally blew some knitting time with this post. I hope you all appreciate how much I love you!)


  1. Aww, I'm feeling the love! Happy holidays to you, too, Steph. Knit bloggers rule.

    Now go and work on those Xmas gifts!

  2. Steph, you deserve all of these friends and more. Have a wonderful christmas.

    Next year, there will be an alpaca roll!

    I hope everything at Tangled Skeins is coming back together after the break in.

    Best wishes to you and yours.

    Knit up a storm. Gift recipients are waiting.

  3. Brenda2:44 p.m.

    Omigosh- I can't wait to visit the East Coast. It sounds like a place good for the knitters soul.
    Brenda from the Ontario London

  4. Steph, you're an amazing writer. That was a lovely tribute to the yarn in your life and the people who wield it.

  5. Anonymous8:50 p.m.

    Hi Stephy,

    You brought a little tear to my cold, heartless, cynical eye. I'm so thankful that I've finally found "my people".

    I'm a bit of loner by nature (seriously, I am, even though you would never guess when talking to me), but I absolutely cherish the new friendships that are burgeoning as a result of two sticks and some string. I don't say it much, as is custom in my family, but I really love you guys...

  6. Gee Steph,
    What a great tribute. I've been knitting alone (most of the time, except when my gram was alive)for nearly 25 years and it just isn't the same. Now, whenever, I speak to someone about knitting I want them to knit with me...or I want to teach everybody.
    May play hooky this week for one last chance at SnB before Xmas. Besides, I need more coffee for home .

  7. All the cockles of my heart (and various other organs... do livers have cockles?) have been warmed. Thanks! It's like a circle-knit of love. See you on Tuesday!

  8. Some day I'm going to come out to where you are (I sort of feel like a bad Canadian for never having been out of Ontario except for that one childhood trip to Montreal, especially considering how many states I've been to or through), and we are totally going to roll in baby alpaca together. In a platonic way (the Three's Company definition of platonic, of course); I'm not trying to get fresh with ya.

    Also: give my e-mail to Brenda from the Ontario London, will ya? I go to London all the time, when I'm home in Ontario.

    And we love you too, chica. You crack us up. I love a girl who will refer to a burning bum hole in the first four minutes of your acquaintance; it's one of the things I look for in a friend.

  9. we miss you and those cold maritime nights where the lack of shopping forced me to sit at home (or your place) watching only 3 channels and knit!!! sometimes I wish I had those evenings here - somehow I am always too busy these days.

  10. what a lovely post. I can't tell you how excited I was to find out that there was a stitch and bitch in HRM, 2 even!! I have to work this wednesday but am hoping to get to the later part and plan on attending as regularly as I can. I really like sitting and knitting with others.