A couple of weeks ago, I was faced with a life-changing experience that altered my own life’s viewpoint. The experience was not mine in which to own, but it was close enough that I analyzed everything around me and gratefully considered myself lucky. That is when I realized my important “F” words: family, friends, fiber, forever, fabulous, FO (finished object), feeling, fearless, frugal — there are plenty more.
My BFF (best friend forever) and I had spent March 25th at the Homespun Yarn Party and the after-dinner with a fabulous group of friends. Two days later we learned from JT that her parents’ home in mid-state NY burned down March 26th and they were left with nothing but with what they could escape and whatever was on their backs. They not only lost their home with its possessions to the fire, but even their vehicles were gone. As if a switch were turned on, this same group of friends came together like bees fearlessly swarming to protect their hive. Immediately lists were created for clothing and shoes, others that addressed hobbies and things to administrate, and another for signing up to make squares for a blanket. The feeling of family was amazing. Even though some of us in the group had our differences, all seemed forgiven so that we could help JT.
Because I am not in the Baltimore area where the base of helping is located, I did what I could immediately think of: Seeing that the blanket being made was the Great American Aran Afghan with Lion Brand Wool-Ease, I contacted both my former boss, Benjamin Levisay at XRX, Inc. and Zontee Hou (who forwarded me to Brandyce Pechillo) at Lion Brand Yarn to ask for donations towards our group. Benjamin connected me with Lori and Mavis to send us 6 copies of the GAAA books and Brandyce sent 30 skeins of yarn plus 2 garments for Mom and Dad to wear. Two other companies, Kate Chiocchio at Dragonfly Fibers and Karida Collins at Neighborhood Fiber Company, donated yarn to be made into sweaters: one each for mom and dad. We all are incredibly grateful for what these fiber companies in our fiber industry did for us. It may be April, but in that part of New York state, it was still snowing last week!
Besides the books and yarn, BFF and I were also able to donate my December FO Cascade 220 SW hat, January FO Ripen shawlette, February FO pair of teal washcloths and 3 of his shirts. The hat is part of the stack of (minimum) 15 hats I have been knitting for 2012, 12 of which will be for Halos of Hope. Seeing that I already have made in 2012 5 hats for HOH, 2 for a local charity, and 3 for a family gift, I figured this one in maroon would be okay to give to JT’s Hokie Alumni dad (mom too!). The shawlette has an interesting story. When I finished it in January, I realized it was meant to be a gift, but could not think of whom to gift it. After deciding that I should just frog the whole project and reuse the yarn into another Mezquita Shawl, JT’s parents needed help and blue/green was her favorite colorway. As for the washcloths, they were part of a “helping” tool I made for the “Learn to Knit” class I taught early February. The end project was to make 8-inch squares that could be used as individual washcloths, paired to be sewn up as fingerless mitts, or multiples sewn together to make a scarf, shawl, or blanket. I am still in awe on how my little finished objects are being needed, wanted, and especially appreciated.
If you are curious how did I react when I heard the news that night… After finding that JT and her parents were physically okay (no surprise, but they still are in a bit of shock), I kissed my husband, hugged my fur-kids, look around my home, and decided that unless an item had to be purchased (health, food and house necessities) we could only use whatever was immediately available to us in our home. This meant no more fiber-related purchases, no extravagant foods, no frivolous purchases. We would live off what was in our pantry, freezer, and fiber stash by being frugal. Going to knitting groups that take place in a restaurant or coffee shop (anywhere that would encourage you to buy food/drink) are now off limits. As status quo for entertainment, we knit (or crochet) while sitting with the bunnies every night unless we meet at a friend’s or family member’s home. Now that I have had two weeks to digest what has happened, I am happy to say I still am in the “Making Do” mode even though it is often times difficult when I want something like pastry from a bakery or coffee from a Bucky’s. Those very “F” words brought me there and as difficult it can be, the feeling of being self-sustaining is amazing.
So when you life makes you want to shout the “F” bomb, remember other “F” words. They can affect our daily lives, change our surroundings, and even alter our perspectives. =:8