Concentrating the good
Thursday August 15th 2013, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Knit,Life

I was at Purlescence tonight, knit night, and admired what the person next to me was working on. It was a very soft variegated purple, I think she said a handdyed merino/kid mohair blend, a nice chevron pattern, densely knit and warm, very pretty.

I’d followed her pictures on Facebook on her trip to Europe she’d just gotten back from.

She’d had a great time, she told me.

“Did you buy any yarn over there?”

“No,” she answered, hesitating– “but I lost some. One skein. One irreplaceable skein.”  She paused, then said it again: “Irreplaceable,” shaking her head slightly, still grieving the loss in spite of herself.

It was for the project she was working on. She’d bought the yarn ten years ago, long since closed out now. She had started a scarf but now it was going to have to be a cowl and oh well. “Cowls are nice,” we both agreed. She had tried Ravelry, she had tried asking every likely yarn store she could find anywhere but it was long gone.

I told her my story, which wasn’t anywhere near hers, of trying to match a dye lot, leaving messages–and not thinking to mention that I was on Pacific time. One helpful shop owner, working through emails before she opened the doors for the day, called me rather than emailing back, the more personal touch. Very nice of her, actually.

And so my husband woke up to the sound of the phone in the dark of the winter night, California time, handed it to me, and growled, “It’s your boiler-room New York City yarn pushers. They want you to know: they don’t have your dye lot!”


During those last couple of sentences, the friend’s phone started buzzing and she apologized a bit and picked it up (oh it did? sorry I didn’t hear it) when I finished.

It was a message from someone on Ravelry who’d made a project out of that yarn. Ten years ago. She had three skeins left. “They’re yours.”

Overwhelmed to the point of tears, the shop cheering, hugs and huzzahs all around. Wow, what were the odds! And what timing! We all got to celebrate with her! For both of them! I tell you, that place was full of really happy people all the sudden.

What that generous knitter whoever they are could never know was that our friend had toured a World War II concentration camp in Germany, and I can only imagine the emotions and the losses it represented. I have seen and felt Gettysburg, a place beyond words, and that–


Her yarn. Somewhere on that trip. It was gone.

Someone stepped forward tonight for a complete stranger simply because she knew what it was like not to be able to finish the project as she’d dreamed it and she could well imagine what it would mean to her to now be able to. Because she empathized with her fellow human being. What a gift, what a deeply meaningful gift, and may it come back to this good person again and again in her life.

“Knitters are the BEST!” our friend exclaimed.

8 Comments so far
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Wow! I always say, knitters are the best!

Comment by Jody 08.16.13 @ 2:14 am

I wasn’t there for that happy conclusion to the story last night – but reading it this morning made me smile, which isn’t easy at 5:30 am! 🙂

Comment by (formerly) no-blog-rachel 08.16.13 @ 5:35 am

I got chills reading this post!

One of life’s wonderful moments. Thank you for sharing it with us. 🙂

Comment by Suzanne from Montreal 08.16.13 @ 7:25 am

Knitters ARE the best! (and crocheters and weavers and spinners…)

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 08.16.13 @ 8:51 am

Knitters ARE the best! (and crocheters and weavers and spinners…)

And timing is everything!

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 08.16.13 @ 8:51 am

What a marvelous story!

Comment by Donald Meyer 08.16.13 @ 9:26 am

What a lovely story. I love happy endings.

Comment by Channon 08.16.13 @ 10:03 am

I agree with the 14th Dalai Lama when he said,

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”

I hope the knitter who gave the yarn feels wonderful for having done so.

Comment by RobinM 08.16.13 @ 11:46 am

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