I dreamed about yarn that night. I thought about it all day at work. (It's okay, it was a slow day.) I thought about what I would like to have. Not the bulky yarns, I can't work in big gauge. Not the big needles, for the same reason. Some of the Cascade? Definitely some sock yarn. How much could I trade with what I have in my stash?
It was after about the fifth or sixth time I went through the box, pulling out yarn and putting it back, that I stopped seeing individual bits of yarn and seeing the whole box. I started thinking about how good it is of Ann to want to share this lovely stuff. Ann first stopped into my blog the night before Thanksgiving last year. She took the time then, time I'm sure she didn't really have, to look up a pattern for me on the net. I was very touched by that. And I want you all to know that. We started visiting and commenting on each other's blogs, a little at first and then a lot. (She has been known to comment on my latest post before I'm even done editing the thing.) To make a long story short, we emailed several times about the Sisterhood of the Traveling Stash before she made the decision to run with it. And now here I was last night, looking at this box filled with her yarn, and thinking that it's the next best think to sitting with her in her closet, going through her stash together and having her say, "Here, I don't really need this, let's trade."
See, I live in a small Arizona town out in the high desert, and I don't know any knitters except through the internet. But for me, it's similar to when I used to belong to a quilt guild in town. Except that we only met once a month. Here I can jump on line every day and talk to my friends and read the blogs I find inspiration in. Because of the internet and knitbloggers, I know about such things as socks and Sockapaloooza, Noro and cobweb and the Amazing Lace. There is only one store in town with a tiny yarn section, and I wouldn't know how to appreciate the yarns they carry unless I had read about them on the web. Otherwise I might have remained a Walmart knitter, and frustrated by not getting the results I wanted.
So here I am looking at all this lovely yarn that I never get to see in the flesh. The Trekking is staying here, because the only other Trekking I've ever seen was a six hour drive away. The red Cascade is staying, so that I can make a Wool Peddlers Shawl out of it. There are two shawl patterns that I'm sure I'm going to keep, and probably more sock yarn as well. The bulky yarns and the more unusual yarns are safe, because I don't work with heavy stuff. My thing is socks, and shawls and scarves, lace and cables. What am I going to donate in their place? Certainly whatever maintains the integrity of the box. Sock yarn for sock yarn, worsted for worsted, etc. I would love to snatch up the two cakes of laceweight, but I have nothing to replace it with. There ain't no laceweight out in this desert, folks, and certainly not in that quantity. And the box needs to keep it's variety.
What will I donate into the box? Well, for one thing, I haven't decided yet. So you will have to wait until I post it in a day or two. What I can tell you is that I will probably be throwing in a little more than I take out. See, there's stuff that I know I won't use, and I'd like to share it with my sisters, the way Ann is sharing with me and everyone else. See, it's my sisters we're talking about here, my sisters who talk my language and share with me.
Even out in the middle of the high desert. Having my sisters means I get to be as much in the middle of things as anybody else. To have as much fun as anybody else. Having my sisters means I get to at least touch and play with yarn I wouldn't get to see otherwise, and learn things and do things that you don't find at Walmart. So remember, when you're putting stuff into the box before you send it on it's next stop, remember that what you can't use, and what may be commonplace to you, may be pretty special to the next person in line.
Thank you, sister Ann. And thank you, all my other sisters.