Three weeks ago, Friday January 18th I left a bag on the light rail. It was cold and snowing out, big heavy flakes that stuck to everything. I had been distracted and was rushed to get all my winter gear on and pull out my umbrella to walk to class. I thought I had attached that bag to my backpack. I was wrong.
Inside that bag was a whole bunch of stuff that to people who don’t knit would not seem like a huge deal. I had two projects in there, one of which was 10 rows from bind off and comprised of an advent kit from a local dyer, Six and Seven Fiber.
Together they represented well over 60 hours of work.
There were other things, called notions, that were inside as well: A Chiaogoo interchangeable sock needle set and case, plus all sorts of stitch markers, steel crochet hooks, measuring tape, darning needles in cases, some Chiaogoo small interchangeable needles, scissors, and a few other odds and ends.
All of that was just… gone. I didn’t even realize it until I went to pull out a project to work on during lecture – keeping my hands busy so my mind can focus. Only I couldn’t find it. During break I checked the student lounge area that I had been studying at. No bag. I checked the lost and found bin. No bag. I checked with the front desk. No bag.
After that I tried to focus on the lecture. I really did. I also failed.
On my ride back home I filled out the RTD lost and found form online. There may have been tears. At the very least there were pre-tear sniffles. It was the Friday before MLK day. I wouldn’t hear back until Tuesday at the absolute earliest. I had a tabletop convention to distract me that weekend, but every time I reached for what should have been my knitting projects I was reminded again they were gone. It was hard to focus there, too.
Tuesday came and the lost and found people said they never received a bag matching my description. I couldn’t find any of my travel friendly project bags so I searched the internet, pulled out some fabric, and sewed the easiest bag in ever. My lines were not straight by any means, but it would work for keeping stuff from rolling away.
I made a post on instagram mourning my loss. It kind of helped. It kind of didn’t.
I tried again a week later. No bag matching my description was found.
At that point I figured it was gone for good and it was time to replace the missing things. Most important was the sock needle set seeing as how March and the accompanying Sock Madness was fast approaching. Stitch markers were also needed. And those steel crochet hooks. Oh, and sock yarn sized darning needles. Slowly, over that week and the next I started to replace things. I marked those two projects as “hibernating” on Ravelry. They really need an option for “lost”. The projects hadn’t been frogged – I was never going to recover that yarn – and they weren’t really hibernating, at least not where I had the ability to pull them back out. It hurt to have everything in limbo.
Fast forward to Thursday, February 7th. Two friends tag me in an instagram post, “OMG!!!! It belongs to @faeriegal713,” and “holy crap, I recognize that knitting! Seconding @misdirected311 this belongs to @faeriegal713”.
O.M.F.G. someone found my bag and had posted on instagram to find the owner. The post I was tagged on was a repost but it only took a few moments to find the original post and get in contact with them. There again may have been tears. Her name is Jennifer and she is the most amazing person in ever. Her co-worker, George, is also quite the amazing person.
You see, they work at one of the places that provides services for the homeless population in Denver. The RTD donates all the unclaimed lost and found items to them and the person who was sifting through February’s delivery saw what was inside the bag and thought it was not the usual missing item. He knew Jennifer knits and that she may know whether it was something that would be missed or not. She took a peek and said yes, yes it was something that would be dearly missed. A few ideas had been tossed around and they landed on trying to search for the owner via social media for 30 days. If it wasn’t figured out by then they would send it along to a knitter who would appreciate it.
She took a picture of the bag with all its contents on Wednesday night with the request for Denver area knitters to help identify the missing owner. I contacted her around noon on Thursday, less than a day after she had posted. Either the Denver knitting community is teeny-tiny or I got really damned lucky.
Yesterday, Friday February 8th, I was reconnected with my bag. Since I was going to one of the places I’ve been meaning to donate to for years I spent some of Thursday afternoon grabbing hygiene supplies, cough drops, and the few adult gloves I could find that were waterproof and not way outside my budget. Cough drops apparently are a huge thing during the winter when one is homeless. It makes sense, but is not one of the first things I would have considered.
When I walked into the building I’m sure I stood out as a bit confused and uncertain where to go. The place was busy, not a surprise given that it was cold outside – though nowhere near as cold as the plains and north east were – and most of the sidewalks were still covered with hard packed snow and ice. Jennifer likely recognized the look of “uh… where do I go?” on my face and called me over to the other front desk (middle desk?). I was able to hand over my bag o’stuff and she gave me my bag full of squishy yarn goodness. She showed off her shawl and we both agreed she did a fantastic job with her colorway choices with beautiful earthy and metallic tones. I squished my bag some more and sadly had to leave to make it to class on time.
If you look at the difference between how messy the yarn was in Jennifer’s post versus this evening when I got home you have evidence of how much she cares and takes good care of things. She hand wound the bird’s nest of tangled yarn into those beautiful little rolls. ❤
Some items were not in the bag when it was delivered to Jennifer’s work place. They all were in the case of sock needles. Given that the bag was quite stuffed the case could easily have been misplaced during one of the many times it had been opened and sorted through. My hope is that it was through carelessness rather than malice. Given the tone and tenor of everything else that happened I’m going to err on the side of careless.
Jennifer agreed to a lunch date on Monday. This whole finding lost bags and people thing is way too bizarre for a single interaction to cover. Plus, knitters are a unique kind of odd and sharing that oddness is fun.
Tl:Dr – I lost a bag full of precious knitting and supplies 3 weeks ago. It was sent to a place that serves the homeless population of Denver. A knitter there recognized its value and posted a ‘find my owner’ on social media. I was reunited with my bag and it is the best.