The Fiber Community

The fiber community is like the best neighborhood you could ever imagine. We don’t always live in close proximity to one another but we’re nearby in spirit. If someone needs help, the community is there to help it’s other members. If there is rejoicing, we stage a giant neighborhood party. If there is sadness, we all share it. If you’re a part of this community then you know what I mean. It’s a beautiful thing.

Many live in actual neighborhoods of isolation or general crapulelnce (yes it’s a word). That makes the fiber community just that much more special. When our real life neighbors aren’t there, our fiber neighbors are. You know there are exceptions of course and places where any good neighborhood falls, but we’ve also seen this community rally so many times. I would pit our fiber community against anyone’s idea of a utopian neighborhood any day.

Why anyone wouldn’t want to be a part of a great community, I don’t know. Yet there are people that willingly toss themselves on the outskirts, or further. Every now and then I’ll read several posts by someone on one of the fiber boards being flagrantly mean for no obvious reason. I just think that maybe they don’t “get it”. Maybe they’ve been jaded by all the bad neighborhoods out there and just don’t realize how good the fiber community really is.

But there have been recent larger events that are hurting the community as a whole.

If you haven’t heard, there has been some pretty big thefts and vandalism at Maryland and a big theft at New Hampshire sheep and wool events. It’s quite sad that someone that probably was in the community is doing this. And through their actions, the community is likely to change. Or at least the events that we get to meet up at will change. With this stuff happening 2 weekends in a row, I don’t know how the events won’t change.

Then there is the flagrant copycatting of one of our beloved wheel and spindle maker’s spindles. Copying happens all the time. When it’s obvious, it’s sad and hurtful. Copying is not the sincerest form of flattery. There are so many ways to make spindles so I hope the copycat doesn’t stop making spindles, but that they change their design so their work can be unique and wonderful all on it’s own merits.

I’m thoroughly saddened by events of late. Many people report that stuff gets stolen at almost every show. Yes, it’s true, stuff disappears at almost every show. Little things usually but it stings none the less. The fiber community had such a cozy blanket kind of feeling to it. I hope that feeling isn’t lost.

I know it’s doubtful that the person(s) that are creating the havoc in our community is reading this or cares for that matter. But I guess I’m hoping that if anyone that does care about the community and wants it to remain the happy neighborhood that it is, will speak up if they know something hinky is going on. Rally around the community so nothing more happens to it.

I know it’s easier (and sometimes better) to just turn the other cheek, but when it’s hurting the whole, that’s when it’s hard to dismiss. I hope as the show season progresses, we all get to have fun and shop and hang out with our fiber friends without having the atmosphere change drastically.

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22 Responses to The Fiber Community

  1. margene says:

    We should all work together and keep on eye out for the ‘bad guys’…protect and care for each other. It’s a sad state of affairs.

  2. Scott says:

    Friends gather near,
    these words you should here.
    The fiber family faces peril,
    from some people who’ve gone feral.
    Extra vigilant we must be,
    to safeguard our community.

    The events at recent fiber gatherings are very disturbing. Especially in NH. Thing like this don’t happen in our part of the country, and they certainly don’t happen in the fiber community. I would say that we all need to be a little more careful, and keep an eye out for each other. It’s entirely possible that more than one person saw these things happening, and they never thought anything about it. Thieves are often very slick, and just as brazen. You may be looking right at them when they are perpetrating their crimes, and you’ll never see a thing.

    I shudder to think that these are people from our community. Hopefully, and probably more likely, this is just an example of people who saw these large gatherings of people as easy targets. If this is the case then hopefully a little bit of extra vigilance will see to it that it doesn’t happen again.

  3. Amy says:

    Is it wrong that all I can think of when I think about this situation is a flock of sheep pulling close together to protect eachother from coyotes? I hope this kind of thing doesn’t change our unique community

  4. Scott says:

    I forgot to mention that we obviously need some vicious, well-trained guard llamas for security. I know I would think twice about getting on the wrong side of a guard llama.

  5. Manise says:

    I did hear about the thefts, and was floored and angered by the copying of spindles of a dear community member. I’m glad someone brought it to their attention and the vendor was confronted. I unfortunately did see the spindles and thought it odd, but didn’t put 2 and 2 together until I read about it yesterday. You’re right it will change the feel of our festivals and they way they are run. I wish it didn’t have to be this way….. It really saddens me to see people cheating and stealing from others in our fiber community.

  6. Awesome post and well said.

  7. Melissa says:

    Thank you for putting into words what I was feeling. I got a call late Saturday night from the Manchester NH police asking me if I knew the vendor (they thought the vendor name was an actual persons name – which I thought was funny until I realized why they were calling). It makes me sad that this is happening.

  8. Loopykd says:

    Bravo Amy! Well said. IMHO people tend to think the way they are. By that, I mean that I tend to think people are honest and trustworthy because that’s how I am. So I assume people are telling me the truth. This is bad for me because I get burned but I’d rather get burned than be jaded by those that are less honest. Let’s not let them get us down. Let’s rally around those that need us now and support them as best we can.

  9. Emily says:

    This is so sad. Every time I think people have all gone to pot (the toilet, not the other pot), my fiber friends change my mind. What is wrong with people! Blah, blech, flush.

  10. Sara says:

    Holy smoking catfish… this migraine for the past two days has totally taken me out of the loop. What happened???

  11. Wendy says:

    I’ve been visiting my Grammy this week, so I’m sort of out of the loop, but I figured Ravelry would be buzzing with it: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/spinning-knitters/190727/
    if people want some filling in on the details, or a start on it because, geez, what a bitter pill to swallow all this news is.

  12. farm-witch says:

    Ick! This is so awful!

  13. Jennifer says:

    Oh no. I hadn’t heard of the theft. I’m very saddened, as I’ve met so many lovely and giving people from my time craft blogging, and attending fiber events.

  14. anj says:

    have I told you lately that I love you??

  15. Judy says:

    Thanks Amy for a well thought out response. It is disheartening although not totally unexpected as our small town attitudes grow into that of a city.

  16. Lynn says:

    Unfortunately, there is always crap in all communities. I suppose it’s part of being human. However, that doesn’t mean we have to tolerate such behavior; to me, it means I should redouble my efforts to be a ‘good’ member of the fiber community. Maybe comment on more blogs. Write something worth reading on my own blog. Contribute to the Knittyboard and Ravelry. Design something new. And buy more yarn and fiber, of course!

  17. tiffaney says:

    I wish the soaping community were more like this. Im a member of several boards, and maybe its just because these boards have the same jerks as members, but ALL those people are bitches. Its horrible!

  18. Chesley says:

    How horrible! Luckily, we are not only a kind and generous community, we are also fiercely loyal and protective of our own. Makes me proud to think of the wrath that will descend upon the guilty parties if/when they are discovered.

  19. Lucia says:

    You are so right, Amy. Resolving to be more vigilant and look out for my friends (and any fair-dealing fiber-festival vendor is a friend of mine, or will be, or could be) was exactly my reaction.

    By and large fiber folk generally and fiber vendors specifically do seem to be very trusting; any number of times I’ve wandered into a booth whose minder was momentarily absent, and thought how nice that folks can do that without worrying about crime. Well, we know all too well now that we’re not exempt after all. As I said in my post on the subject, we are only human, there are bound to be a few black sheep in every flock (nothing against black wool! it’s lovely stuff! just using a handy metaphor), and, sadly, it’s always the good people who have to change a little. I do think we’re still the same community we’ve always been — just a little sadder and a little smarter.

    Do you really lose stuff at every show? I have wondered while alone in a booth if it was ever a problem and to what extent.

  20. marissa says:

    I’ve never been able to visit either of the shows, but am saddened by the thought of changes having to be made for this particular reason.
    I’m going to show my support for the fiber community by commenting on ALL the blogs I read, in a positive and supportive and encouraging way!
    ahem, this may take a while….
    Thank you for making me think, and not take ‘you all’ for granted.

  21. Sheila B says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful post, and especially thank you for your support.

  22. Lisa says:

    I’m feeling like I’ve had my head in the sand for the past few weeks. I had heard about problems at Maryland but none of the others that you mentioned. It makes me so sad to think of people taking advantage of trusting souls.

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