Two weeks ago, I had the good fortune of participating in Madrona Fiber Arts down in Tacoma, Washington. This was my first time attending the market both as a vendor and as a patron, and it was a really wonderful and affirming experience. For four days, I was surrounded by yarn, gorgeous knits in the wild, and passionate weavers, spinners, crocheters, and knitters. I got to see Catherine Lowe's stunning couture finishing in person, chat with excited knitters about their favorite colorways of Madelinetosh, and squish lots and lots of yarn. I got some amazing books, a few yarns that are on my knitting bucket list (Toots LeBlanc and qiviut, to be exact!) and some yarn that just sang to me (3 skeins of Sincere Sheep Equity Fingering for a shawl design that is brewing in my noggin). It left me with a sense of belonging and excitement about this community that I love so much.
It also reminded me of something important as I navigate through the murky territory of wellness. I was in the Toots LeBlanc booth looking at samples, and the vendor showed me the difference between a scarf that had been knit and blocked only a few weeks before, and one that had been traveling with the booth as a sample for seven years. The newer scarf was crisp and pretty, but it also felt slightly brittle behind a light halo of softness; the old scarf, on the other hand, was fulled and strong from handling, and as soft as a rabbit's belly. It reminded me that the beginnings of things are so often the most difficult, when that fragility is right beneath an exterior of calm; that strength will come with time. And that's okay.