Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Salon Vision cont'd

Behind the Circles Salon vision is my personal experience with knitting. This is a great place to start this blog, as it sets the background for my joy of the knitting and the people and why I started a business that requires me to do things I'm not comfortable doing: selling and self-promoting.

During my 17 years of knitting I am constantly reminded of
the metaphor of connection. When we pause our knitting and ask, "Who was the first person to pick up sticks and twine and do this?" we are connecting to the knitting ancestry we are carrying on. Connection to my creativity came when i realized how harmless it was to pull out my stitches and knit the yarn again. I felt free to experiment, to try to get the sleeves long enough or to change the collar and then I tried changing the stitch pattern and anything I didn't like about a pattern. Eventually I felt the confidence to create something from scratch. Then there is the connection to my inner thoughts and feelings during those quiet moments when the knit stitches contentedly flow off the
needles, erasing other distractions. I have learned that when I feel agitated, worried or unclear, I can
center myself with some solitary knitting. Do you pull out your knitting when visiting in-laws or
siblings? You are using the knitting to keep yourself calm by connecting to your center.

This is the most profound connection that knitting has established for me. It is a sheer joy to sit with others and knit. I never cease to be amazed at the complex maze of conversations and bonds that are generated when a group of people, all knitting on different projects, sit in a room together. The knitting provides an immediate connection point between people who might otherwise believe they had nothing to share. I have seen knitters, within minutes of meeting, console one another lovingly over tragic losses or offer triumphant cheers for achieving difficult milestones. There is an openness to one another that can be so rare. Particularly in a city where out of self-preservation we walk around so heavily guarded.

A love of knitting, a joy in connecting to people and that all too common feeling of isolation in a densely populated environment (especially as the mother of a young chile), all contributed to the vision of the Knitting Salon. Yes, Circles is a yarn store and everyone is welcome to simply be a customer. I am happy to be here as a supplier of quality yarns (a whole different topic!). We are also a place for community. I have been awestruck by how quickly a vibrant community has developed. It is one big open circle always ready to expand for someone new or seemingly different. From social circles to pot luck events, to the Yarn Co-operative and field trips, we continue to offer a myriad of connection points that allow you to find your own place in the Salon Circle if you choose. Only you can determine if we're living our mission. We provide a placeholder for community with a space and a willingness to be your hosts. Your participation and your experience are what makes the salon vision a reality. Your willingness to sit with others, share even a little bit of yourself and to offer ideas and assistance make my heart sing and my needles soar. I trust that you will let me know when we're not serving you well. I also trust that you will remind us at times when we are.

Knit along now...