GBKG Member Spotlight
She picked up knitting again when she had her children and enjoyed knitting for them. The wonders of yarn had evolved during the time she since first picked up knitting to include yarns such as merino being widely available. Her two boys never expressed much interest in her knitting when they were younger but are now catching on and asking for queen size bed coverings, intricate jumper/sweaters made with fingering weight or lighter weight cashmere, etc. They are also the first to point out, if she seems stressed, that she obviously hasn’t knit today.
Her interest in all things knitting took a big leap after a yarn store where she had worked for years was being sold by the owner. She realized this might be an opportunity that would not come up again. When she talked to her husband about it, he sighed and said, “Looks like I am losing the garage.” She bought the shop, moved it, changed its name, and now runs it on the weekends. Her store, Hunter Valley Wool Store [https://huntervalleywoolstore.com.au], is attached to her house on the outskirts of town with kangaroos and echidnas running through the yard, as well as the occasional snake. While owning a yarn store can be a challenge (how do you know what the next big fad is and buy the appropriate yarn six months ahead of time?), she also says it is lovely being surrounded by yarn and receiving big boxes of it all the time. As a new yarn store owner, she said it helped once she realized she didn’t have to do what every other yarn store was doing since her store was unique.
So, back to Winter. Christmas and Boxing Day for her family meant a meal with cold meats, cold salads, cold desserts, then a dip in the pool. The temperature was 36 degrees Celsius that day (almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit). (By the way, Boxing Day sounds like so much fun—why don’t we celebrate it in the US?) Where Cynthia lives, snow is a bit of a novelty and we had great fun doing a show and tell with me using my Ipad to give her a tour of my snow-clad neighborhood and answering her questions about it.
Under Covid the lockdowns were extreme in Australia. She had to close her store to everything except on-line orders and the occasion “yarn emergency” from locals who would come pick up their yarn from her mailbox. She has missed hanging out with friends in Sydney (4 hours away) and taking over a corner of a restaurant/pub, watching the yarn come out and take up more and more room. She has also missed yarn festivals where it is the only time you feel comfortable having total strangers coming up and petting some lovely hand-knit item you are wearing.
As to the time zone difference between Boston and New South Wales, it is 16 hours. That means when our meetings occur at 10 am EST, it is 2 am in New South Wales. Cynthia says it is a good thing she is a morning person, but there are times when she is unable to attend due to something she has to be doing for work that day. Her work is running the Digital Media/Communications program for a local religious order. Still, Cynthia, 2 am? She is one dedicated knitter and guild member!
Cynthia said to share with everyone that even though she is a half a world away, she is still very much a part of the knitting community. “Knitters are knitters!” She enjoys the sense of community from the GBKG and has been absolutely overwhelmed with positivity and welcomeness from everyone.