I love a bit of time by myself to break out one of my current yarn projects (okay so there are quite a few to choose from actually), grab a cuppa and binge watch something on Netflix. Add some stormy weather and it is my dream afternoon. I must admit though that as much as I enjoy this solo time, I am really pleased to see that knitting and crochet have increasingly become social pursuits.
I love popping onto groups via Facebook or Instagram such as the Australian Crochet Community and seeing what other people are making. I like being invited to make suggestions to others about fibre, needle selections or colour combinations. I, like many, find inspiration for another project on these social pages.
I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, an advanced knitter or crocheter. A few years back, I was determined to make a Batman baby huggy for a special little boy. I was on holidays and well almost drove my partner completely mad as I frogged and re-tried part of the pattern. I reached out for help and a very patient woman whom I'd never met walked me through the whole process. She even checked back in from time-to-time to make sure I was getting it done.
On another occasion I had asked for suggestions for a quick but lacy baby cardigan that I could whip up for a gift. Another woman that I had not previously had contact with sent me an outline of her pattern that she had been crocheting for babies over many decades. This beautiful person laminated it for me and included a lovely note.
A friend recently shared with me a story about the world's largest hand-knitted blanket that was organised in Ireland but included donated knitted squares from many different countries including Australia. The blanket ended up being 2000 square metres and was later made into smaller blankets and donated to the Red Cross. Not only did people hear about the project via social media but groups of people organised to get together to knit at the same time and of course to stitch all the donated squares together. Motivated by helping others, this is just such a beautiful example of the bond that can be found in working with yarn in a collaborative way.
I see many posts of people living in isolated areas who otherwise may be very limited as to contact with people who enjoy yarn pursuits. Lets face it, these crafts have a language and a world all of their own. There is only so much interest our non-knitting or crocheting family members can pay! It really is inspiring to see such positives come out of connecting with others to achieve positive outcomes through our love of yarn.