Yesterday I had the great fortune of meeting a new friend on Twitter. He’s a guy that happens to own ManKnits.com, and his name is Lewis. I was thrilled to make his acquaintance not only because he’s another knitter, but because his approach to making yarn is really amazing – and the knitting world, like any other ecosystem, benefits from having guy knitters. And teens. And senior citizens… When creative spaces are filled with variety, they become even more alive. More creative.
So, I met Lewis, and decided to connect him with my friend Michael. Michael lives in Bangkok, Thailand. Louis is based in the UK. So, there we were, three knitters sitting at completely different points on the globe, chatting it up about things. Somewhere in all of that, I thought it would be really fun to swap yard with them. I had three skeins of yarn in my stash that were just sitting there. And I haven’t quite figured out what to do with them. They were lovely, squishy, fairly thick, woolly yarns made of Jacobs Sheep wool. I had gotten them from a farm in Virginia. At one point I had considered carrying the yarn in the shop I’m getting ready to open, but somewhere in the discussions with the lady who owned the farm the yarn came from, I realized there just wasn’t really super chemistry there. And while I really do want to carry Jacobs Sheep wool yarn, I figured that wasn’t to be my supplier. That left me with three skeins I really wasn’t sure what to do with. But when these two guys popped onto Twitter yesterday, I realized I had a plan. What if I sent each of them one skein of yarn, and ask that they participate in the yard swap with me? Well I put the question to them, and they immediately agreed. So, today I went to the post office to put their packages in the mail.
When I got to the post office I realized I had no idea what forms I needed to fill out to send one skein of yarn to England and one skein of yarn to Thailand. So I got up to the front of the line, and asked the postal worker what I should do. She told me I needed to fill out special forms, with all kinds of information on them, and then come back up to see her. I did so without any preparation for the comedy that would ensue.
When I got back up to the front of the line, I got the same postal worker, a lovely woman with a full wild an awesomely untamed head of hair, a beautiful smile, and the most funky fun pair of reading glasses I’ve ever seen, with red fronts and black and white Beetlejuice style stripes on the sides. I gave her the two packages, each take shot, each now clearly labeled as to the recipients address information, and handed her the forms I filled out. And she started to put the information into the computer, she started to chuckle. Cheers to what? Ewe. E-w-e. Sorry, I think my hand writing must’ve been a little bit wonky right there.
She started filling the information in for one of the recipients and started to giggle. Man Knits?
Yep I said, smiling broadly. It’s a great company with a great owner, and a really wonderful mission. And it’s a guy knitter! I love guy knitters.
That’s so funny, she replied! You’re a woman with a company named after a female sheep, and you’re sending this to a guy with a knitting company that’s clearly named after, well, men.
Yep! I know. It’s really fun.
So, she asked, you’re sending them yarn?
Yep I’m sending each guy a skein of yarn. We agreed to swap yarn.
You know what yarn makes me think of, she asked. It makes me think of one of those end of the world movies.
Her comment freaked me out just a little bit and I started laughing. End of the world? Wow, I told her, thanks for making my yard and seem really scary! I laughed and said how do you figure?
You know, she said, like in that movie The Fifth Wave? I feel like yarn could be one of those things that if the world were coming to an end, people might be able to actually, you know, grab it, and use it, and maybe it would be the one thing that would, I don’t know, save the world!
OK, I said. That makes me feel better. So, now my yarn is super super important. Wow, my yard is going to save the world! I started laughing again and so did she.
Well, you know, she said. You just never know what that one thing is that’s going to save the world and those movies. Who knows?
I left the post office with a smile on my face, still chuckling to myself about the whole exchange that was just so funny to me. What a wonderful personality that lady had, and what a great thing she had said, to tell me that yarn – something so simple – could actually save the world? Well, while I don’t think that’s actually going to happen right now, I do think it’s really encouraging that a lady I didn’t know told me that something I’m sending to do two guys I’ve never met, who live in two different places on the globe could actually save us.
Maybe it’s not actually the yarn that could save everyone, maybe it’s just the connections that yarn seems to have the power to create between people who’ve never met.