Some years ago, I bought two pointy sticks, some fake yarn, and a ‘how to’ book and I taught myself to knit. It was a painful process to start out – everything just felt so awkward in my hands, as it is with any new thing we try. However, I persevered and stayed the course. I found a nice knitting shop where I took a class or two, and forged ahead. I do not remember at what point holding the needles in my hands no longer felt cumbersome and instead felt like a comfortable old friend – but that moment happened.

And, garments were made. Some good and some not so good, but I learned along the way.

I came to spinning in a much different manner, but still the learning process was challenging. I was fortunate to discover Beth Smith early on – she had the nice spinning shop where I took a class or two and forged ahead. Again, I really do not remember at what point the fiber in my hand combined with the treading of my feet felt aligned with the universe – but that moment happened too.

And, yarn was made – if you could call it that. At the start, it was all horribly over-twisted, poorly drafted “rope” – but I learned along the way.

It was not an overnight process, but rather a long journey – one with good and some not so good, but always with learning along the way.

Then some months ago, this was the cover for the Knitty Spring+Summer 2014 issue, and I wondered if I was ready for a new phase in the journey. Could I create a yarn worthy of such a lovely project? Spinning the Shetland was good – I think I was lucky that the roving had a good bit of vegetable matter in it – it helped me to be slow and consistent. I channeled a spinning instructor when I plied the singles together – another lucky thing because the plying was practically perfect – no loose or over-plied spots, just a uniform and consistent yarn.

I cast on with the intention of entering the finished shawl in a local fiber festival. The finished shawl is truly the best thing I have ever knit – ever. It is truly a thing of beauty, the perfect marriage of fiber and pattern.

I carefully boxed it up and sent it off to the festival and waited like a nervous parent. I loved the shawl, but would others appreciate the workmanship?

Imagine my excitement when I arrived to find not one, but TWO ribbons on my shawl! It feels so amazing to receive validation for doing something you love. It brings joy to the journey and uncovers new paths to explore with infinite possibilities…

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” ~ Rumi

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