(Knitter’s) Heaven Must Be Like This

As a birthday gift to myself, I decided to take my reserve post out of the can and publish it.   I wrote this early, when I had just begun to attend this particular knitting get-together.  I’ve enjoyed it immensely, so I decided to make the description public.  I cannot be specific about the attendees, but I will say that they are interesting women.  There is no age, family situation, or neighborhood that is typical of them.  They seem to knit and meet for different reasons, but all seem to have some deep attachment to knitting.  No one appears to be just passing through, trying one more craft.  I’m thrilled to see the variety of projects that they bring to work on or show off.  ‘Nuff said.  Here’s my first impression: 

Picture a hip cafe frequented by young people with chic haircuts.  There are lots of tables, but it is spacious enough that no one is crowded into a corner.  The coffee is in a huge canister, perfect for refilling at will.  It is also a bakery, and the shelves are filled with sumptious breads and pastries.  Around a large table, a group of women whose ages span at least two decades are talking.  Most of them are knitting, and discussion weaves in and out in no particular pattern, sometimes about knitting, but frequently not.  There is no topic for the day, no agenda.  Everyone who comes to the table fresh is introduced; some people have met already, some know one another from youth, others are brand new.  This is a knitter’s group I recently attended. 

This morning I tried to explain the phenomenon of a knitter’s group to a high school senior who is one of my host kids from a local boarding school.  He has seen me knitting at home, alone, for the past three years.  Before that, he saw me making my original, freehand cross-stitch pieces, also as a solitary pass-time.  He wasn’t aware that my crafting had another side, a social facet, that is a driving force with considerable mass behind it.  He had not been around on the weeknights more than a year ago when my house filled with women and their knitting or crocheting, and the fun and talk that went with it.  

I think I can relate my desire for knitting companionship to something in this young man’s life.  He is an excellent student and athlete and has competed in several sports during his tenure at this prep school.  Nevertheless, his first few visits to my house revealed a talent totally unrelated to those activities:  he is a natural chef.  He has an interest in food, and his palate is unusual for a teenager.  He can put together ingredients in ways that he has not experienced personally, and predict the outcome.  He enjoys being in the kitchen, and has an artist’s touch with the dishes he prepares there.  He received early admission to a prestigious cooking university, and I have no doubt he will excel there. 

Now that I’ve thought about it, I think I could tell him to look at his cooking.  He doesn’t just cook for his own edification.  He loves taking his dishes to others, hearing their comments about them, and seeing them enjoy what he has prepared.  He talks to other people who cook, and to other foodies, discussing everything from ingredients to kitchen equipment.  He goes to new establishments with friends that will try uncharted territory, discussing what they’ve eaten and how they would change it. 

It is good to take your hobby or past-time out of the solitary arena and use it as a basis for social interaction.  When I do that with knitting, it instantly gives me a broader perspective on my work, one that helps me do it better and appreciate it more.  It takes the seriousness down a notch, keeps me from being the only knitter in the world who knits too loosely or keeps too many projects going at once.  My knowledge base is instantly expanded with the sharing of web sites, books, and information on workshops. 

In one of my birthday conversations, I told my eldest sister that my life is good.  I would include this knitting fellowship as one of the elements that strongly contributes to that.



2 Responses

  1. What a super description – thank you!

  2. I am going to be there on Saturday…hell or high water….hope to see you. I have to learn how to cast on…it eludes me.

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