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Breaking News: Passing It Forward

Dear Kay,
I don’t know why it never occurred to me that I wasn’t the only person in the world who was squirreling away Rowan Donegal Lambswool. It just seemed like a weird thing to be doing. I was all settled into a nice, long process of collecting yarn for my Donegal sweater.
So when I got an email yesterday from Mary o’ Texas, announcing that she had almost all the yarn I was missing for the Donegal sweater project–and she was willing to part with it–I just sat there for a while, contemplating the whole situation. I mean, really. How kind is that? Do other communities of obsessive hobbyists behave this way? Do people who go bass fishing send each other lures? What about the Civil War re-enactors? Do they swap rifle cartridges in a pinch? My guess is that they are trading gear just like we are–but they could not be MORE generous than knitters.
I have been amazed at the kindness of knitters. We’ve seen it in many places, in many ways. When someone like Mary ups and offers to part with yarn in such an effortless and generous way, I am reminded that our obsession-inducing hobby has another, very pleasantly human side: it’s more fun to do it in the company other like-minded people. Even if the hanging out tends to take place in a virtual way.
I can’t wait to return to this sweater, which at this point will include yarns from Susette of Ithaca, Mary of Vancouver, Cecelia of New York, Belinda of London, and now Mary o’ Texas. How cool is that?
P.S. Tracy in Qatar (one of the MOST generous of generous knitters ever in the universe, knitting for children in very faraway places) raised the question of the guinea pig and beta fish which I offered to trade for yarn. I want to make it clear that no rodents nor sea creatures will be shipped to Texas in return for this yarn. No matter how I begged, she wouldn’t take ’em.

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  1. Tres cool! It’s either enabling or passing it forward, but either way, it’s a wonderful thing! And it’s going to be beautiful.

  2. Well, obviously it was meant to be! I’ve had that happen before too, once being on the receiving end of some yarn (Rowan Kidsilk Haze)that a friend in my knit group thought she bought for herself, but really she bought it for me! (Thanks, Beth!)I made a beautiful Modern Quilt Wrap from it. And I have also been on the giving end. Something compels you to give someone what they need, you may not know why, but you just have to do it!

  3. I was sitting in my office by myself laughing while reading your blog!
    You are funny
    And correct.Knitters are generous.For example tonight is our Bimonthly Knit and Nosh where we rotate around to different homes and the hostess provides all the food and beverages. SO NO COOKING DINNER TONIGHT FOR ME-happy day
    will look forward to seeing more of your sweater in progress…

  4. I refuse to let my daughter know that people will trade yarn for pets, she would be in my stash in a flash to get a bird or rabbit.

  5. Let me know if you need me to look into my stash. Then you can also have yarn from Helen in Virginia who got it mostly on eBay.

  6. I think she should get a copy of your book (maybe even of the new book before it hits the stores!!)

  7. That’s great news! Wonderful! Knitters really are a very generous group. Feel any pressure now though…? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Yes knitters are that giving of their precious yarn. I have received many packets of leftover sock yarns for my own mitered sock yarn blanket although mine will be a large wall hanging. I’m still flubberwonked when I open the mailbox to find a goodie for me in there…like today!

  9. How very lovely, and now the madness can continue. I suspect there was no trading for livestock since they already have a goodly share of interesting livestock (read ‘armadillos’) there in TX.

  10. Knitters are probably as good as it gets for the human race. I think if we had a SnB with representatives from all Middle East countries, peace would be a, ahem, piece of cake.
    Trading pets for yarn, huh? Anybody want a cat?

  11. Mary is a good personal friend of mine and i can vouch for her generosity. She has a sh*tload of yarn in her possesion (i have seen it. when i saw it, i heard the angels singing and a great light from the heavens shone upon it all). But if you need anything in her arsenal, she will gladly part with it (sell or give). She is truly a generous soul!

  12. Too bad about the pet trade… around here my stuff would be traded in heartbeat for just about anything if they found out it was tradeable!

  13. The Donegal Lambswool is on it’s way to Ann, along with an unwanted armadillo or two (thanks, Robby, for the suggestion!). Thanks also to Ann and everyone else for the kind words. But, if you could see my yarn stash, you would know that I need to share it with others. I have on purpose not listed my stash in Ravelry. To do so would probably overload the Ravelry system and make it crash and burn! (The Yarn Vultures would also be stalking my house.)
    NOTE: My one skein of Bramble (shade #484) has eluded me, so I couldn’t send it to Ann. Therefore, Ann still needs 2 skeins of that one shade. Everyone please dig deep in your Donegal Lambswool stashes and help Ann out. You know you want to see her posing in the underbrush when the sweater is completed.
    Mary G. in Texas

  14. In the back of my brain (the nether-region of gray matter which is usually best ignored), I have for literally years been toying with the idea of fair isle. I take out Solveig Hisdal’s book, “Poetry in Stitches” and quietly think my little plans, fingers tracing over the photos, mind rearranging the colors, aching to begin a colorwork project I will *actually* finish. Leave it to you to unleash the beast. Perhaps I’ll just start with a mitten… plenty to play with there. No big commitment issues here. And I know you’ll have the required extra balls in no time… I’m just sorry I don’t have them stashed for you. Knit on, good woman. Cami

  15. YAY! That was fantastic – and *quick*!
    I’ll be looking forward to the progress shots, and of course the final, rowan-esque shoot. Mukluks, anyone?

  16. Ann, What pet[s] will be added to your household for the summer, when school is out? Such a wonderful tradition! [choke! gasp. sigh!] Glad my “child” will 28 years old this month.
    We knitters are blessed. Virtual community is a life saver, and “actual” hanging out at fiber gatherings is great. Sitting around after dinner, knitting and chatting at a festival can’t be beat.
    This all is making my fingers itch to find some color work… Love that Poetry In Stitches. [First I need to finish a couple sweaters before they are too small for this generation of nieces and nephews!]

  17. Knitters, and other fiber artists as well, are the best. The Donegal is going to be awesome with all the love and support knit into it. It already looks great.

  18. That’s really amazing. Knitters are good folk.

  19. This is sooo awesome! knitters just rock the world!!!
    and this knitting is absolutely amazing.
    I have a request:
    i would also like a photo of the innards, if you wouldn’t mind.
    i never do colorwork bc my floats are always tooooo tight!!!
    so when i see floats that actually float? well, … they float my boat! HAHA!!! ;o) ek.

  20. Oh, that gives me such a warm, happy glow.

  21. Aww, shucks Ann, you’re sweet.
    I’m starting to knit things for myself lately ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love it that your sweater is a cooperative effort of yarn-gathering. You could start a beautiful trend…..

  22. I was thinking the same thing, Tracy. Too bad we can’t have a North/South (or something)’trading post’. I guess it would get too complicated, though.
    You go Ann with your wonderful sweater. (This time, though since the yarn for your project was “pooled” together, I think you should model it by a pool…I know, “Say goodnight Gracie”.

  23. it’s May 20, Ann’s knitting her sweater, what happened to Kay and her squares?

  24. It is great that others have a great stash!

  25. It is great that others have a great stash!


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