Um…. so this happened.
Meet Mystic, my gently used secondhand Ashford Traveler. She was sitting just so prettily on display near the front entrance of my LYS, Yarns Unlimited, at a price that I wasn’t going to be able to beat online or elsewhere.
The helpful woman behind the register told me this beauty was once the wheel of one of the spinning instructors that operated out of the store, given up because the owner couldn’t take all of her wheels with her in her recent move to assisted living. The story struck a chord with me. Not only was I getting a machine that had been kept up by someone who knew what they were doing, but I was getting a piece of someone’s life, a heritable strand now connected me, as the fiber arts have for so many others, with the passions and quietude of women from generations before.
This connection with the past and with the shared experience of artistic expression through generations is one of my most pondered insights into what makes fiber art so popular and moving for so many. Some may only practice stitching once a month, some may only work in the cheapest and scratchiest of acrylic yarns (more power to you!), some may insist on the most luxurious equipment (bamboo needles and teak yarn bowls galore!) some may only ever learn one or two techniques, some may be a techie fiber artist with a massive dictionary of stitches. It doesn’t matter, because we are connected by strand upon strand of a heritage, one that moves our hearts because it warms our families, and one that dictates through necessity our meditation on what it means to carry out work in the name of love.
…what it means to work in love, and to work on love.