Oftentimes in life, we have a need to evaluate and reaffirm our beliefs. Do we believe the same things as a particular candidate, do we believe in the strength of our economy, do we believe our favorite sports team will win their big game this week? Some of our beliefs are trivial and do not necessarily shape our lives. Others, though, form the basis of who we are. For me, I believe in knitting.
For the uninitiated, knitting may seem to be a frivolous belief, and this may be true. After all, from the outside, knitting is just a couple of sticks and some yarn, but the simplicity of knitting is where the magic resides. The sticks and yarn are the basis for a remarkable community of people who generally have absolutely nothing else in common. Take any knitting group in any location and one will find some combination of men, women, single, married, divorced, with kids, without kids, blue collar workers, white collar workers, stay at home parents, in their 20s, 30s, 60s, 70s and beyond, gay, straight, black, white, Asian, mixed, natural fiber only enthusiast, those with wool allergies, cost conscious, liberals, conservatives, moderates, locals, transplants, and just visiting.
Within this wacky amalgamation of people, one will also find a sense of camaraderie, lively discussion, laughter, and very often true friendship and caring for each other. The sharing of a love of yarn bands people together to give up their precious time to knit for others in need, to explore the ideas of sustainable commerce, and to support local yarn shop owners. When a call to action has been placed in the knitting community, the call travels quickly and knitters respond in droves. A single fundraising campaign led by Canadian knitter Stephanie Pearl McPhee resulted in half a million dollars in donations to Doctors Without Borders in the span of a few months.
Of all the groups of people I’ve ever met, none have been as generous, as open, as accepting as knitters. Like a sweater made up of separate pieces, knitters join together to form one cohesive unit. We may all look different, have different beliefs and backgrounds, and knit with different materials, but the love of yarn and needles acts as a door to bring us all together. The yarn and the needles are no different really than any other door which is presented to us every time we meet someone. In some cases, the door is the town in which we share, it may be a love of a game or a food, or simply, the mere fact that we are the same species. We are all humans, striving to find love and happiness in our lives. This is the yarn that binds us all together in to one big knitted fabric and why I believe in knitting.
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