Most of the fiber arts people I've met are online friends. They are some of the most giving, helpful and encouraging people anywhere. They never make fun of beginners (at least not to my face) and they are quick to offer advice and instruction.
Even though I'm a complete novice, I'm made to feel like a part of the "in crowd" with fiber people. They jump at the chance to talk sheep, wool, hand spindles and spinning wheels, and don't get them started on roving vs. top! Actually, I love to get fiber people started. Uh-oh, I'm becoming one of "them".