What is amazing about a retreat based around a shared understanding support and joy making give us, is that we know the each and every person there has a common understanding of something fundamental about us, something that is somehow deeply personal and deeply universal. They have felt it too! They understand why we want to make, rather than buy something. They understand how our fingers are connected to our hearts.
It's like a shorthand way of getting to know one another. Knowing something that fundamental about someone, gives us a wonderful base with which to start connecting to them on other levels. This shared understanding means there is a conversation that can be had that is more open and vulnerable than a normal introductory conversation can be; we know a part of what makes that other person tick, regardless of their mode of dress, their age, body language and their possible tribe.
I know I'm being a little repetitive but for that I am truly grateful.
My apologies for the delay in getting the prizes assigned for our giveaway the other day. I've finally read all the wonderful, thoughtful comments on The Craft Sessions At Home post where I asked you about community and craft. I've picked a few to share with you here - but I really wish I had more than five prizes to give away. The comments made my heart sing and I encourage you to go read them with a cup of tea if you have a moment. Thank you so much for playing along.
The comments from the five people who have won prizes are listed below. If you find your quote here then please email me at email@example.com with your full name and address and I will get them sent out to you. My apologies for not emailing you to let you know. My system has eaten some of your email addresses.
Connection Quote 1 - from kiran
I started knitting just a few months ago, and found it a way to soothe myself and "knit up" the unravelledness of my life. But the reaches of its healing keep surprising me. I found myself in the last few days not anxiously averting my eyes from acquaintances I pass, but instead meeting them with a smile. Something about living in my hands a bit more and not just my head, is helping me stand more solidly in my own being. I also find my eyes scanning for knitwear. My desire to talk about it is stronger than my anxiety. I feel the words come to my lips and the urge to speak overpowers my hesitation. "Your scarf is beautiful!" "What a lovely jumper! Is I handmade?" I have found a secret language which, in spite of myself, is breaking the barrier I saw between myself and others. I'm becoming human again. Woven in. Thankyou, fibres and needles. Thankyou, my hands. Thankyou, life, for the spark in me that made me want to knit.
Connection Quote 2 - From Sally
The community created by being a maker is cyclical & spans generations I think; with everything we make we are connected to those from whom we have learnt our crafts; we connect with those who are the recipients of what we make & also those who influence, inspire & generally hang out with us while we're making & then there are the connections we make with those to whom we pass our knowledge & skill. I feel this & think about every time I pick up every project I work on & consequently altho I work alone I am never lonely.
Connection Quote 3 - from Ellen
It seems I am not alone in using creative hobbies as a social support in meeting people and making community - I am very shy and introverted, but knitting and spinning provide a common ground to share with others when forming early friendships. I had the privilege of living just blocks from a brand new yarn store a few years back, and the inter-generational community fostered there changed the way I viewed my neighborhood and my friend group. I have also used knitting as a way to connect with and build community as a way to express emotion - I have often sent knitted items to welcome new babies, comfort for those experiencing medical difficulties, or send hugs to those in mourning.
Connection Quote 4 - From Karen B
I started knitting to fill my time and my attention on long hours of airplane travel for work. I find it satisfies my urge to be productive and to create - and unbeknownst to me, I make friends nearly everywhere I go! I have had an unexpected number of seatmates tell me that seeing me knit socks brings back warm memories of their grandmother or mother knitting. I've been told folks had no idea anyone knits anymore! Other knitters have pulled out their project and we have compared favorite yarn shops, yarn manufacturers, tools and patterns. And fellow travelers just like to tease me - "will you finish that (sweater, scarf, socks....) by the time we land?" Knitting has started dialogues with people who would otherwise remain distant and that engages me with community in a precious way.
Connection Quote 5 - From Annett
I feel like there really is no way to craft and not connect. Most of us learn a craft, whether it be knitting or sewing, embroidery etc.pp. from someone, and even if that doesn't happen in person, most of us learn a skill or two online, from all the lovely people here sharing their knowledge. And apart from the connections being made in "real life" through crafting together, or people asking about my knitting (seriously, there have been surprising people that would probably never talk to me if it wasn't for my knitting and vice versa), I feel like this online community has given me so much, blogs, Instagram and Ravelry are just part of my online home, people sharing their makes, me sharing mine, asking each other things, giving advice, encouragement, knitting along with each other, I really could not imagine my live without all the companions I carry around in my iPhone with me. :) So until I make it to events like your amazing Craft Sessions, Camp Workroom Social or the Edinburgh Yarn Festival I'll just cherish the community brough to me through the magic thing that is the Internet. Wishing you the loveliest of times with shiny happy people and awesome projects all the way from Germany! :)