Before Covid, I used to go to quite a few networking events – graying men in blue suits drinking cheap red wine from plastic tumblers standing around in a group laughing about something. All the big businesses and all the important people, with all the fancy titles. Eventually one of them notices the blond woman in the sweater looking at the wine in her plastic glass and wishing she hadn’t come. It goes like this:
“So, what do you do?” he asks.
“I own a yarn store," I tell him, "Crazy for Ewe, in downtown Leonardtown.”
If this were a cartoon strip, you would see the thought bubble above his head fill with images of little old ladies making unfortunate sweaters with too-long arms. The thought bubble isn’t actually there, but his weak smile and quick glance over my shoulder says it all. He’s looking for someone interesting who can actually help him along his networking quest. In a flash, I’m back in 7th grade feeling stupid and just trying to fit in. Funny how long middle school PTSD can last, isn't it.
Now that I’m a grown up, I know that other people’s opinions of me are none of my business, and I’m perfectly happy not trying to explain what I do to an unreceptive audience. It’s not just men, either – I’ve had the same response from women professionals. They don't get it. they’ll never get it, and that’s fine. Their loss.
Knitting is a secret little club--kind of like a speakeasy. Mild-mannered yarn store on the outside--a thriving community of bright, accomplished women (usually) on the inside. Only when you step inside can you see the super powers knitters keep hidden away. Mr. blue suit would be shocked to see how vibrant and creative – intelligent and engaged the community of knitters is. It’s fantastic and an honor to be part of it.
So, just how do you become part of this amazing community? It’s pretty easy, really: You get some yarn, and you start creating something beautiful. And by beautiful, I mean something that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to bring you joy. It’s about creating a beautiful space in your life with knitting--a beautiful moment in your day. Creating a beautiful place where it’s just you and the rhythm of your needles, or you and your community of knitters around the table, or now, in our Facebook Group, or you and your knitting and me on Facebook Live, or YouTube or whatever. You see?
The bottom line is that I’m really proud of what I do, and of the community we’ve created together. I’m proud of you, and I’m proud to have you as my friend. If you’ve ever felt like nobody understood your passion for knitting, it’s totally okay. They don’t need to understand, because we do. We are your people and this is your place. This is where you belong, and you are always welcome here.