Friday, April 4, 2008

Llamas in Cyberspace

The internet is a funny place. I don't mean the Google results you get if you put in a search term like "dirty sheep." I mean, funny in the way it creates such unexpected connections between people. How many of us have become friends with people we've met on line? People who live so far away and in such different circles that we would never have met in real life? I, for one, have traveled to another city to meet up with a knitter I had never laid eyes on, and I'm sure (really sure, because I read your blogs) that I am not the only one.

And what about all our on line relationships? I've never met Becky, or Romi, or Melissa, or Kristin, or Heather, or any of you for real, but I know a lot about you and your families and your lives. More, actually, than I know about most of my neighbors. I genuinely care about my blog friends. I worry about you when you're sick, or having financial troubles, or moving house. I celebrate with you when you get a pattern published, or start a new etsy shop, or have an anniversary. Doesn't that count for something? Doesn't that make for friendship, of an unorthodox sort?

The internet is a funny place. In one way, spending a lot of time on the computer makes you kind of a recluse. In another, though, it opens the door to a whole world of friendship.

The other day, I got an email from someone I've never met. Normally I don't open unfamiliar email (it's taken several hard drive reformattings to teach me that particular lesson). But the subject line of this one read "mini llamas" and there was no way I could resist. This is what it said:


I was actually doing a search for a bloodline for a llama stud that I thought was in CA when I came across a blog from a woman who has or had llamas and someone (you) mentioned mini llamas –which is why this blog was in the search. Anyway you commented how you wished someone would “make a backyard mini llama” and I do. I’ve raised them for 9 years now.

Thought you’d like to know is all.

Julie Chapman

when inches count, count on us

Well, yeah. I would like to know. Because, really, who'd have thought? I certainly didn't! Check this out:

How can you not love a face like that?

Or this. Don't they look happy, enjoying their hay al fresco?

Julie and I corresponded by email a little. She sent me the pictures above, and some others, and I visited her website and browsed around for a while. Sadly, even a mini llama is too big for my tiny Southern California backyard (apparently, they're not big swimmers). But yesterday I got the next best thing in the mail:

Llama fiber! In red and chocolate and tan and white--some 100% llama, some blended with mohair (also from Julie's farm), and some blended with wool. It's marvelous stuff, soft and colorful and calling my name loudly from the yarn closet, where I had to put it in time out until I finished this post. (If you want some of your own, you can order it from her website.)

Yes, the internet is a funny place. Aren't we lucky?


Patty said...

Those llamas are just too cute for words! And I can practically feel that fibre from here. Lucky you!

Kim said...

Holy crap! You wished for mini-llamas and there they are. I've had the same experience of meeting new friends in the knit blogosphere. The ones I haven't met in person yet are my "invisible friends." You are one of my invisible friends.

Unknown said...

Your experience is what I call, The Power of the Blog. Through blogging we have been able to make connections far beyond are usual reach and that is a very good thing. You know it's true because you just got a bag of llama hair/wool.

Life's a Stitch said...

They are precious. Hmmm, you can blend your recent fibre acquisition with the fibre from the other day. what would you call it? Dogma?

Sharon said...

Llama face! Reminds me of "Emperor's New Groove" when he sees he's been changed into a llama.

The friendships I've made online are just as enjoyable as getting together with friends for coffee and knitting.

Romi said...

OMG, they are totally *adorable*!

Melissa Morgan-Oakes said...

Maybe after Boo it'll be Next Llama instead of Next Dog....hmmmm....

punkin said...

Mini Llamas?! I had no idea.

Lets see, I wonder if I could ... no.

The fiber looks yummy.

I agree with you about the internet being a funny place. Most of the people at my LYS don't understand the online knitting community. I mention friends I have made on the knitting blogs and I get strange looks.

TheBlackSheep said...

Now you know I had to go Google Dirty Sheep. Unfortunately the firewall decided that 99% of those sites are not appropriate for the work environment. Could have been quite entertaining.

I want to pinch Llama cheeks now. I'm not sure they would take kindly to that though.

How cool is it that you met this person on-line? I know people say it makes you a recluse, but it widens one's horizens in a way that discussing one neighbour with your other neighbour, i.e only discussing what goes on directly around you with those directly around you, never will.

Haley said...

glad the internet introduced us. enjoy your yummy fibre!

ktb38 said...

Those llamas are adorable! And that fiber! YUM!