I met my International Scarf Exchange pal this week and I really like her. I won't tell you too much about her because I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I was amazed with how easy it will be to talk to her. She's different than me, yet from her email, it seems that we may have quite a bit in common. Plus, I really like her outlook on things.
This is my first exchange of any type and I must admit, the idea is pretty exciting. For starters, I get to meet someone I would never have met otherwise. I also get to make a gift for someone who is new. The feeling is a bit like the idea of "pay it forward," or a "random act of kindness." I don't know what the appeal is with doing something nice for an almost stranger, but it is a different type of warmth than doing something nice for someone you love and know.
The International Scarf Exchange and a recent article in Publisher's Weekly have me thinking about knitting in general. Knitting is definitely slowing down. There are fewer new knitters entering the scene, but unlike the Publisher's Weekly article, I don't see knitting slowing to a crawl or even falling back. I think the boom is over and the introduction of new knitters will be a slower trickle as knitters take over the world one person at a time. Just look at the over 900 knitting blogs online, the knitting podcasts, and the swarm of knitters that come out to see the Yarn Harlot and you can see that the knitters who are still knitting are planning on sticking around for awhile, and we are growing.
What I find interesting is that we are an eclectic bunch of people. It's pretty evident from looking at the International Scarf Exchange or any other knit-along. But I think that's what makes us grand. Most of us don't knit because we have to. We do it because we want to and we pass on the things we make. If you receive a knitted item, it usually makes you feel loved and special. Don't be fooled though, we are just trying to bring you into our wooly ways, one warm scarf at a time. Resistance is futile.