When I moved to NM in 1993, I knew only a couple of people and suddenly found myself quite alone. One of the first things I did was attend a weaving guild meeting in Santa Fe, so I could connect with others in the fiber world. I am not a big group person, and I didn't get active in the guild...but because of that guild, I made a couple of great life time friends.
During the shop's last week of business (last fall's Taos Wool Festival), I started chatting up one of our customers who looked like someone I wanted to know. She turned out to be Lori Lawson, of The Twisted Sisters Sweater Workbook fame, among others. I mentioned to her I was toying with the idea of dropping our own web store and moving our merchandise over to Etsy. She was extremely supportive. Her own Etsy shop is Capistrano Fiber Arts, where she sells her own gorgeous hand dyed rovings and hand spun yarns (if you're lucky enough to get them before they sell out!).
When I was in Encinitas recently, Lori invited me to join her monthly spinning group at the Common Threads yarn shop. I showed up, wheel in hand, and felt immediately at home. It reminded me of that day, long ago, when I was so terrified to walk into that guild meeting alone...and also how the common bonds fiber people share make us welcomed, strangers or not. I loved my time with these interesting women...and hope that I'm able to spin with them again someday.