I always thought of knitting as a rather solitary pastime. Even when I was knitting in a room full of people, I was usually the only one knitting. We never talked about the knitting; sometimes we even pretended I wasn’t doing it. There was no discussion on the merits of straight vs circular needles, or what the latest knitting magazines were like, or who had snagged the biggest yarn bargain of the week.
That changed a year and a half ago when one of my friends read Kate Jacobs’ The Friday Night Knitting Club and decided to start a knitting group. We’ve met once a month since then; a core group of about six of us with other occasional droppers-in. We’re a right varied lot in our knitting style. Maybe you know knitters just like us? We have:
- the prolific knitter. Her projects always cover her lap. She can knit stocking stitch at a prodigious rate; she either has a time machine in her bag or she has taught herself to knit whilst sleeping.
- the toy knitter. Produces beautiful toys and novelty items. Knits so tightly the needles squeak.
- the quiet technician. Never looks like she’s knitting but has always turned out an impeccable half a glove or a hat by the end of the night.
- the newbie knitters. Progressing in a timely fashion from garter to stocking stitch.
- the un-knitter. Loses concentration while talking/eating/drinking and has to rip back her work. Has been known to leave knit night with less knitting than she arrived with.
One of our regulars moved to Houston at the end of December, and we miss her just about as much as we thought we would. We did some secret knitting for her before she went. It was my first collaborative knitting venture; each of us made rectangle(s) using what ever stitch pattern we liked – ranging from plain stocking stitch to cables – then I seamed them together to make cushion covers. I admit to being a tad on the controlling side, so I had to remind myself that this was not MY project and not for ME, it was supposed to reflect the group, and our friend,and what she meant to us. If I’d been knitting them by myself, I’d never have thought to put the red roses on in a million years. But do you know what? They mean something; to the person who knitted them because our friend loves gardening; to our friend because she knows who made them for her; and in the end, to me, because they taught me to let go and let the project belong to everyone.
We gave them to our friend just before she left. We were really proud of them, and I hope she loved them too. She also loved the bikini that prolific knitter made her in about ten minutes flat! (For lounging by the pool in Houston, you understand.)
Knit night tonight is at my house, and I can’t wait.
P.S. I took the last bags of old clothes to the recycling centre today. It felt really good.
P.P.S. I may have passed some of my
hoarding frugal tendencies on to Big littl’un – we were buying a bunch of daffodils at the weekend; “look Mum” she said “we should get these ones, they come with a free elastic band”. Oh dear.