I was terribly shy as a child. When we moved into a new school district in second grade, I was nearly friendless for two years because I was too frightened to approach other children and ask to join their play.
In fact, I first learned to knit from my second grade teacher because she would allow us to stay inside at recess if we wanted to knit with her. Knitting was better than being cold and lonely!
Somewhere out there in the world — in a thrift store or garbage dump or maybe even lost in my parents’ house — is an unfinished garter stitch burgundy acrylic scarf.
The shyness persisted throughout school, including college. That was about the time I began to purposefully push through. It helped to realize that other people have the same fears and it wasn’t just me. I also remind myself that talking to people I don’t know isn’t dangerous. Sounds weird, but if you are shy also then you know what I mean.
Here I am, in my thirties, and I don’t think people would describe me as shy. Sometimes reserved perhaps, but I no longer hesitate to go up and talk to someone when I want to. It’s very freeing! I still have my moments, but what a difference it has made in my life to not be ruled by those fears.
Which brings me to the Ann Arbor Fiber Expo this past weekend. I was working the Happy Fuzzy Yarn booth, but I also made a point to circuit the barns and talk to many vendors. I had to consciously approach people, but it wasn’t as hard as it used to be because the interactions are often rewarding, amusing, informative, and community-building. Only one or two people blew me off, and I left those booths quickly. I don’t even remember who they were.
I really love talking to farmers and shepherds in particular and am starting to see familiar faces after working at shows around the region for the past year. Now that I think about it, it’s going to be months–long, cold, snowy months!–before there’s another show around here. Good thing I stocked up on pretty things to get me through the quiet season.
I totally have a palette. There is no shame in my game!
Middle row: DK Merino in “Verdigris,” “Shadow,” and “Granny Smith” from Happy Fuzzy Yarn; Polwarth “Nessie” (darker braid) and Superfine Merino “Blue Lagoon” from Happy Fuzzy Yarn; 3ply worsted black alpaca from Amiable Alpacas.
I have specific plans for four of these purchases. The others I bought as part of my effort to try out the products of local fiber artists. So I just went with something that called to me and I’ll figure out what to do with it eventually. Dangerous words, I know.
The only question is: where to start?