Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Day of Connections

From Lucia Herndon

In my 1 1/2 years as part of the Tangled Web staff I’ve seen a lot of people with their knitting and crochet problems and some creative fixes.

I’ve seen newbie knitters gain confidence in their skills as they gained experience. I’ve seen experienced knitters find new joy in the simplest of patterns. Most often I’ve seen the love of a project-- or the recipient of it -- make a project come alive.

On a recent Saturday -- a day that brought a vast variety of knitters into the store with a variety of issues -- I witnessed a couple of moving moments.

A knitter came in with a piece of lace she was working on. A self-proclaimed new knitter I was impressed with her adventurous spirit.

But she was stuck. the pattern was no longer making sense to her. The pattern of eyelets no longer lined up. The increases had gone awry.

I consider myself an experience knitter, but the pattern left me confused. Thankfully, there was a young woman in the shop who is an accomplished lace knitter. Being young, she flipped out her blackberry and looked for pattern corrections on line. Nothing. My newbie lace knitter was losing patience. In frustration she began pulling out her work. Stitch by stitch, row by row, the eyelets disappeared while the woman muttered “never again, never again.”

Jen, the young lace knitter, wouldn’t let her quit. “I’ll chart out the pattern,” she said. “I’ll email it to you.”

The knitter looked at her incredulously. “You’d do that?” she asked. “For me?”

Jen assured her that she would and took her email address. You could see the tension ease out of the woman’s body. She continued unwinding her lace work, but without the ferocity and frustration of before.
Later that afternoon a regular came in. she used the Web as a place to de-stress after work. In comes a young girl. She had made an afghan for her mom and now wanted to make one for her dad. How much yarn would she need?
I gave her an estimate of yardage and suggested a yarn. She began counting her money -- funds she earned babysitting. My de-stressing customer wasted little time reaching into her own wallet. Out came her frequent buyer card with nine of the 10 squares tagged -- ready for 20 percent off the next purchase.
“Use this,” she said, “for your dad’s afghan.”
The young girl’s face brightened. “Thank you,” she said. She made her purchase and left. The day continued as usual and before long, I was locking the door and heading out into the late summer sun.
I went home that day feeling marvelous. I got to see the generosity of knitters: taking their time and expertise and sharing with others. The work of an older knitter was uplifted by a younger knitter. The newbie lace knitter went from frustrated and ready to give up knitting altogether to a woman with renewed interest and energy for the project. The effort of a teen knitter was validated by an older knitter. She was encouraged to make a really cool gift for her father. All this done by people who had never met each other before.
But at the back-of-the-shop table connections were made that were true and strong and real.
It was a great day.

1 comment:

Connie said...

A wonderful story to share when you come back to I.H.!!!