Emma Ross is here today with her first post that focuses on wool, wellness and the individual. Craft can be a solitary pursuit, but it is also a very communal one too. Many of us can struggle taking ourselves from the periphery of our own knitting to large events and shows.
You have followed the shows on social media, watched the podcasts, heard the whispered gasps of appreciation for the ‘Glastonbury’ of the knitting world. Yes, they really are out there. The world of wool is full of events and fairs, knit and natters, as well as all manner of things in the middle. But no matter how long we have known and become integral parts of our wool tribes, it can be a struggle to go out and engage with other people when you have anxiety or depression, like I do.
Yarn festivals are incredible places to visit, to meet friends and other makers, from Shetland Wool Week in the north, to Fibre East in the south or Wonderwool Wales in the west. There is a yarn festival for everyone, but many of us struggle walking into a room of complete strangers at the best of times, but strangers en-masse is another mountain to climb; we know it can be a real struggle to go out and socialise with people.
Knitting is a supportive community. We celebrate what brings us all together and makes us unique. This is a community that celebrates us all. No matter our differences, similarities and anxieties about ‘getting it wrong’. Every single person who can knit, crochet, spin or weave, can count themselves amongst us. You can find us in every local yarn shop, knit and natter group or yarn festival. On your local high street on social media and online at Ravelry.
Next time you’re contemplating your next or first yarn-related event and you’re really not sure about joining us, just remember this; there are so many wool users out there, we have no membership fees or small print so tiny you need a magnifying glass. It’s more than ok to be you. Wear your hand-knits with pride – we can’t wait to see you. We are all weird in our own unique style and that is just how we like it. Feel free to be yourself and don’t fret about getting it wrong or messing up. We are fantastic listeners and every one of us has a story to tell.
Wool creates strong bonds with people in this community we feel at home in. Don’t worry if you can’t speak to everybody that you have planned to, we won’t be offended. These events can be manic. Its ok to take a step back from the yarn fumes and breathe. You don’t need to bankrupt yourself, because you need all the stuff. We know we will see you again. We grieve together for the loss of a tote bag on the number 44 bus. The outpouring of love and support you receive in the moments after the realisation that you have lost your Lush cardigan will leave you forever grateful for a community of people that rallied around trying to help no matter what, creating lasting friendships along the way.
We realise all of this makes us a little bit weird, and that is just fine by us. When we all come together throughout the year, we know how special it is to be amongst our Wool Tribe again.
These are my people and so are you.
To illustrate Emma’s great post, we’ve included images from the Edinburgh Yarn Festival Photobooth from 2017. This wool tribe is made up of individuals who all took part in a KAL ahead of EYF and all met for photos and chat in the Podcast Lounge. We heartily agree that your are never alone when you are in the company of knitters.
What are your own tips for attending large wool events? Let us know in the comments and do share on social media using the hashtag #wovember2017