The first week of December I received a message in my Ravelry inbox that went something like this:
I noticed that you have a skein of Sincere Sheep’s Cushy Fingering in your stash in the Circus Peanuts colorway. I realize it’s not for sale, but if you are willing I would love to buy it from you. I ran out of yarn binding off a scarf and would really like to be able to finish it.
Luckily I was at home when I received the message and sensing this was time sensitive gift knitting, I went to my stash & checked on the skein. I turned it over in my hands and considered. Like all the yarn in my stash, I really liked it. With no immediate plans to use it, however, I decided that I could indeed part with it so long as I sold it for what I paid for it. It’s something that I could eventually replace and this very nice knitter was just trying to finish up a scarf to give her mum for a holiday gift. I responded promptly informing the inquirer that I would indeed sell it to her for the cost of the yarn plus shipping. We exchanged a couple more messages including one in which she offered to also cover the shipping I originally paid when I ordered the yarn — an offer I refused since I usually order multiple skeins to make the shipping a bit more cost effective for me. Within an hour or so we had ironed-out the details and at almost the same time as it was all set my husband came home early from work so I was able to hop right over the post office and get this skein on its way.
This all happened on a Tuesday and on Saturday I awoke to another message in my inbox. This note was from the same wonderful knitter informing me that she had gotten the yarn, finished the scarf, & it was already blocking and that she was thankful I had been willing to send her the yarn to make it possible. Included was a gift pattern she had purchased for me, clearly picked from my Ravelry Wish List, Old Joe by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.
I was really touched. I’m the kind of person who does this sort of thing never expecting anything extra in return because it’s just one of those things that you do. I wouldn’t have been able to give the yarn away, but it was an even exchange for both of us. If you can help somebody, you do. To receive a special thank-you just really meant a lot to me.
So, of course, I cast-on straight away and within a couple weeks I had finished.
I knit them using a beautiful skein of Sheepish Yarn Company BFL Sock in the Nuthatch colorway. I stashed this skeins a few months earlier waiting for just the right pattern and this was clearly it. I have to admit, this is my second time knitting socks up with this yarn and it easily makes my list of top 5 sock yarns to use. It knits into a really lovely, soft fabric which holds its shape and washes & wears extremely well. I noticed on the Cream City Yarn online shop that there are two other yarn bases from this dyer now and you can bet I will be adding a skein or two to my stash the next time I’m able to stop in and peruse the selection at this gem of a shop in the Milwaukee area.
I haven’t done a ton of socks in this style, but I am just tickled with the final results. It is just one of those projects that starts in such a good place, with such special yarn and an equally special pattern, and just turns out to be everything I could have ever wanted. There is simply nothing about these socks that doesn’t make me feel really special and that is really kind of cool.
While knitting on these socks, I kept thinking about how special I felt when I got this surprise pattern and I really wanted to ‘pay it forward.’ Shortly after my birthday I noticed that a fellow knitter & spinner I had met through the Tour de Fleece and with whom I ‘talk’ with from time to time on Instagram had a birthday. I popped onto Ravelry, found her Wish List, and sent her a gift pattern. It only takes a few minutes and when you think about it, it’s just a couple dollars that can really brighten someone’s day. She wrote back to thank me, clearly surprised because we are pretty much strangers minus a bit of random online correspondence. It felt really good to share that happy surprise with someone else.
You would think the story ends here. Well, karma is a funny thing. On New Year’s Eve what did I receive? Another message in my inbox. A knitting friend and dyer I’d worked with during the Socks with Sarah KAL sent me a gift pattern with sweet words and kind wishes for the coming year. I have the perfect yarn (from this same dyer) for this project and you can bet it will be on my needles soon.
I am humbled. My heart is so touched by the kindness and thoughtfulness in this world. I am now more than ever a true believer that what goes around, comes around. And you can bet, there’s going to be another random Ravelry friend who will be downloading their gift pattern from me when it’s least expected. It’s definitely time to pay it forward… again.
For more details on my Old Joe socks, you can check my Ravelry project page here.