Last week I attended a conference for my other (non-knitting) job where I got to see friends who I see about once a year, but keep up with online throughout the year. My friend Daniel and I joke that we were virtual friends, but now we're real friends.
This year, Daniel came with a surprise for me. His wife, my virtual friend and a podcast listener, sent him to the conference with TurtlePurl yarn dyed exclusively for her LYS in Toronto. I was surprised and flattered (and really excited about my favorite color in one of my favorite yarn brands). Thank you, Megan!!
The last night of the conference a group of us were at dinner. What happened to be in the same strip mall, but a local yarn shop, Tempe Yarns! My conference friends know of my knitting problem and one of them wants to learn. We ran over before the store closed and I was able to pick up some yarns dyed with locally-sourced plant (and bug*!) materials from Sonoran Desert Dyed Fibers. Meanwhile, my friend documented the shopping experience because that's what we do - research. The store staff were friendly and stayed open a few minutes late to show us around the shop to show us the locally. And, I was able to send Daniel home with some Arizona dyed yarn for Megan.
I can't wait to make Megan my real friend when we meet someday in person. I know we'll have a lot to share because of our knitting thing. I see knitters on Instagram who connect through our hobby and eventually meet in person only to become great friends. No one else gets us like our yarn friends. Yarn friends, virtual and real, are the best friends.
*The yarn I bought was dyed with locally collected cochineal... bugs! I just liked it for the pretty shade of pink.