Finding my Niche at Stitch ’N’ Spin
Making friends has always been a mystery to me, especially as an adult. I’ve always been the shy type, with quiet, solitary hobbies. I’m a classic introvert.
Crocheting fit right into my lifestyle, which previously involved reading, drawing, computer games, eavesdropping at coffee shops, and snuggling kittens. At first I didn’t conceive of yarn as a conduit to a bona fide social life.
Shortly after I discovered the glorious existence of local yarn shops (which rocked my world after Walmart and Jo-Ann’s had viciously misled me to believe that acrylic yarn was the only kind and that even shopping for yarn was necessarily a lonesome experience), I met Jennifer at Over the Rainbow Yarn. Jennifer was kind, helpful, and polite. I liked Jennifer right away. I’d never talked to anybody about yarn before, and Jennifer was eager to talk to me about yarn.
When Jennifer invited me to Stitch ’N’ Spin on Thursday evenings, I felt honored. I considered it carefully, picturing myself sitting amongst a group of crafty women, practicing my craft in their company. I weighed my newfound love of crocheting and the repressed yearning for friendship that’s always been in my heart against my social anxiety. The decision to go to Stitch ’N’ Spin was one of the best I’ve ever made.
Let me tell you why, from the perspective of a chronically shy individual:
First, when you’re doing something with your hands, you have an excuse not to speak up. It’s perfectly acceptable to just sit and knit in a knitting circle. When silence occurs, it isn’t awkward the way it would be if you were all sitting there not knitting. Second, it’s easy to talk about craft projects. Conversation prompts are right out in the open, sitting on everyone’s lap. Opportunities for sharing knowledge and opinions abound. Third, since crafting is a way of life for many, you’re starting with a vital common interest. It’s easier to get into the groove of chatting with people who think like you do and value the things that you do.
Stitch ‘N’ Spin was the indisputable highlight of my every week for years before I ever worked at Over the Rainbow Yarn. I continue to meet people with all kinds of experiences to share (common subjects: world travels, good food, babies, pets, thrift shopping…), but without any kind of pressure. It’s exquisitely laid back. It’s just hanging out. Friendship is almost automatic at Stitch ‘N’ Spin. You guys are all my best friends. I feel like I finally found my place.