Friday, May 6, 2011

Creative Homefires: Moose Threads (Part 2)

Creative HomeFires is a series which highlights the value that creativity offers to family members of a deployed spouse/significant other.  We offer stories of the creative life and the beautiful benefits experienced during some of the most difficult seasons. 

 shop link
  This is Part 2 of a Feature written by

Kristin Gumpert

  shop owner of
    I attempted occupy myself by freelancing for some area publications, but found it financially draining. Gas prices, low pay and child care often left me paying to write, rather than the opposite. I was starved for an emotional and creative outlet with no idea how to fill the seemingly bottomless void - until I walked into Wild n Wooly.
Wild N Wooly was a Local Yarn Store (LYS) that my family soon lovingly referred to as my own personal "crack den."  Every nook and cranny was filled with the most amazing fibers, colors and notions. I felt like Charlie walking into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory for the first time. It was all I could do not to taste or touch everything in the store.  It was there, surrounded by all these amazing yarns that I recalled my near-forgotten love for crochet. Taught to me as a child during long summer vacations with my mother and grandmother, I used to revel in the scraps they let me practice with, combining textures and colors to my heart’s content.  

As I grew into an adult, the hectic nature of school and career responsibilities pushed this creative outlet into the dark recesses of my brain.  But in Wild N Wooly, surrounded by a Technicolor fiber rainbow, it all came flooding back.  A very social person at heart, my lack of friends and family had left me withdrawn, and I felt timid and almost scared standing there with my son tucked safely into his stroller. I was afraid to touch anything - all the while wanting to touch everything. I was a frozen ball of nerves.
It wasn't until I heard the welcoming voice of Wild N Wooly owner Caroline that I felt myself start to relax.  It was the first time since moving to our new duty station that I felt truly welcomed. I was encouraged to explore my surroundings and even invited to join the weekly group that gathered there every Wednesday to knit/crochet and catch up. It was among this group that I discovered what true friendship really is.  No matter how horrible my week or day was, how difficult I was finding a particularly long patrol, I knew that come Wednesday night I would feel better. It was a group filled with women of all types - military, non military, old, young, career-oriented and stay-at-home mothers. People who knit, people who crocheted, people who knew how to do neither but wanted to learn. 
It was a place without rank, rate or repercussions, but most of all it was a place filled with respect for one another as individuals.

Knitting Group peeps
 I've always been an off-the cuff, color outside the lines, type of person. It translated into my writing as a journalist and eventually into my crocheting.  As I became more confident with my crochet abilities, I would often deviate from patterns in order to create something resembling the pictures in my head.  Sometimes my creations worked and sometimes they didn't, but I always knew that my friends at Wednesday Night Knitting would give me an honest opinion.  Soon they encouraged me to sell my creations - resulting in the eventual opening of my Etsy store and a renewed sense of value in myself as a creator. Instead of using words to convey my thoughts and ideas I was using yarn. 
That was more than three years ago.  Though we no longer meet at Wild N Wooly, our core group is still going strong and the long lonely nights of separation from my spouse are filled with laughter and creative chaos. 

more knitting group peeps

Moose Threads
Custom crocheted items for infants-adults

Thank you so much Kristin for sharing your story! If you would like to be featured on the blog, please contact us via the tab at the top of the blog. 

Well of Creations - Blog Coordinator 


Homefront Artistry Team said...

Moose...wonderfully uplifting Post!
RObin (CreationsAnew)

LilacAve said...

Fabulous story. Great birth of a fabulous creator! All my Love,

Homemade Zen said...

Love the story!