When you live somewhere like Tuscaloosa, the world sometimes feels like a very small place. Night life includes the usual suspects. A cool community event is happening? Well, chances are you know who’s idea it was! You find that there is definitely something to do at any given time, but not often more than one.

The same goes for shops. So when you’re a crafter, specifically a knitter,you hope that you can find somewhere beyond Hobby Lobby to supply your yarn needs. I am an admitted yarn snob. I love nice yarn. Soft yarn. And I like my yarn to be mostly (if not all) animal fiber. I love indie yarns- indie color artists, small mills, unique, thoughtfully produced yarn with lots of character. This is not what sells in Tuscaloosa. It seems Tuscaloosan knitters prefer a class of luxury yarns that often strike me as, well, kind of boring.

This being said, I love my local yarn store, Seredipity. I love my local yarn shop keeper. And I happily go there and buy a sweater’s-worth of yarn or new needles any time I can. This doesn’t keep me from spreading my yarn-love around. My annual pilgrimage to Fibre Space in Alexandria, my occasional splurge at Gypsy Wool in Boulder, my visits to the Haus of Yarn in Nashville- I’m a knitter. And knitters buy lots of yarn.

Today is my birthday, and its also a weekend of a lot of emotional turmoil because it was the weekend of my approximate due date. I took a half day off today and as I was out driving around, I decided to pop into the yarn store to get some new #1 dpns. It’s been a while since I stopped by, but I hadn’t realized how long. The absence was unintentional. Ellen asked how Austin’s dissertation was going, and I realized how much life had passed since last time I spoke to her! The it all poured out- the miscarriage, the grief, the despair. And she cried with me, in the middle of her store while other customers milling around, and I realized that this is what it is to make a life somewhere, and to build a community.

Maybe Serendipity doesn’t carry the wild and crazy things that I would find at the farmer’s market in DuPoint Circle. But she does carry Malabrigo and Marisol and Noro, and she has a selection of Addie Turbos that is second to none. And she cares about her customers. And that’s why I heart my local LYS.

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