Community, aka Our Tribe
My friend, Amy King, posted yesterday about Community. Our community. THIS community. A Tribe of OUR PEOPLE!! These are the people that come to our aid, when it’s just a question online, or if we need an extra gridwall at a festival… They are the people we share our triumphs with, and they are the people that hold us up when we don’t even know we need help standing. A community has many factions, within itself, and sometimes it has drama.. but it still stands together. And in this time of anxiety all around us, it’s even more important to have a community that can bond over the love of fiber. Something that transcends politics and race, money… together we can pet the fiber.
I have felt enveloped by a spinning community since my beginning days as an “Art yarn” spinner. We clung together, fighting the perception of our yarns being somehow “less” than what the traditional spinners create. I saw this yarn community rally around one of “our own” when HollyEQQ first got sick. Spinners donated and sold yarns to help Holly’s medical bills.
The internet has expanded since then. Etsy and Raverly have replaced the livejournal forums. Facebook has exploded. Instagram offers instant inspirations and YouTube provides endless videos. Technology like Facetime and Skype allows for International Spin In’s and online workshop potential. Rather than relying on well known instructions coming to a fiber festival or yarn shop near you, educators now offer classes via Craftsy and Interweave Video /Downloads. This “community” which was once local spinners getting together in guilds, has now global reach.
I have a keen awareness of how strong our community now is. Because when I got sick, the community rallied around ME, just like it did around Holly. I can’t count the emails and messages I got sending prayers and vibes and thoughts of support and healing and love. I was sent the most thoughtful cards, felted hearts with positive intentions, coloring books.. I was sent yarn to knit and fiber to spin while in the hospital and recovering. Questionable Origin donated the proceeds from their new Espinner to my medical bills. Ashley made a YouCaring site for me, that will be active through my next surgery. She made it when I was days out of the hospital, just trying to figure out how I was going to make ends meet between medical bills and not working. She made it for me without asking if I “needed it”, knowing that I did. She has kept it updated through my recovery, knowing that this is a long journey and I’m not good at admitting that or asking for the help.
I went to SAFF last Oct, being out of the hospital less than 2 weeks. It was ONLY because of my community that I was able to be there. Friends descended upon my “booth” like fairies. They gathered fixtures, unpacked and hung yarn, made sure I had a comfortable chair to sit while I was there (and a wonderfully cute sheep pillow to cling too). They ran the booth for me, because even when I was there- I was barely able to do anything other than sit there and gently hug people. They took everything apart and shoo’ed me out before the mass load out began so I didn’t get run over.
So, my community. I’ve said it quite often in these last few months of recovery, and I’m sure I’ll say it many more times as I continue to heal. Thank you. Thank you for keeping my spirits up. Thank you for helping me with my fiber booth (both in years past and in years to come). Thank you for taking my classes, reading my articles and watching my videos. Thank you for taking over hotel lobbies with our spinning wheels with me. Thank you for fleece shopping with me. Thank you for keeping me alive.
REMEMBER WHEN WE TOOK OVER THE LOBBY OF THE HOTEL AT MDSW?? That was in 2011…
and when we all sent Lexi yarn so she could make the World’s biggest Skein?
And she had Yarnival and we all played together?
And when we took over a Cruise Ship?
So thanks again. And I can’t wait to see you at the next whatever..