Sunday, May 3, 2009

Meet our knitting group

Back in the fall of 2006, on another egroup far far away (nonknitting), I shared a link to a pattern for a witch’s hat. A bunch of people offered me all sorts of money and candy bars to knit it for them. I responded that I don’t knit for pay, but will be happy to teach ‘em to knit for free, and then we can make one together. I thought maybe one or two might want to learn, and that would be that.

Ten, count ‘em, ten wanted those free lessons and only some of those were motivated by the hat. Who knew?

Okay, how do I handle ten people? One-on-one in my den went out the window with this development, lol. Hmmmmm . . . a one day workshop, it seems, and I could think of no place better than the coffee café in the Borders where I was working at the time. Knowing the traffic patterns there and the preferences of that particular group of would-be knitters, I chose a late Sunday morning. That was in November 2006.

It was a success, and they never wanted to stop knitting together!

That core group of friends, plus newcomers we’ve picked up over the past two years, now comprise our weekly knit-togethers. Still in that coffee café, and still on Sundays, and we now total about two dozen. You can gauge the weather (pun intended) by how many attend, as storms and chilly temps will bring out nearly all of us. Warmer days will bring about eight or ten of us.

Several of us are comfortable teaching beginners, and some of us came to the group as passers-by, once upon a time, who wanted to learn. Stuck on that one step in the pattern? Mention it here and see if a dozen people don’t try to help ya through it. Wanna learn to crochet or how to even read a pattern? Same response. The 10am – 2pm thing gives us enough flexibility that folks come in a little late, or leave early when they need to. The every week thing also alleviates a lot of pressure. Skip one when ya need to, ‘cause you won’t have to wait long for the next one to roll around. Buy what you want from the café, or not, it’s your choice.

I really think the options and freedoms in our organically evolved thing is one of its strengths. But not its biggest.

That would be the partnership between diversity and acceptance. As diverse as we all are, in ages, beliefs, and backgrounds, we all value the diversity. We see someone different as interesting instead of threatening. This diversity not only provides for some lively conversation, ‘cause we all need to be entertained while we knit, but for some inspiring knitting to investigate! It takes me at least 30 minutes or more, when I first get there, to make the rounds and see what everyone’s working on. There are colors I wouldn’t have thought of, and patterns I didn’t know about, and techniques I’ve only ever heard of. There are updates on this one’s move, on that one’s new job, on another’s children, and, well, you get the idea. Once I finally settle into my own knitting, there’s a rhythm to the conversations that flit across the table, just like there is in my hands, and I often times just listen while I knit.

Funny, I’ve noticed that when I pipe in with a comment, my hands freeze in mid-stitch. Apparently I can’t really talk and knit at the same time, lol. But I can sure knit and listen at the same time, lemme tell ya.

Yeah, I started it, but it was Carol who has nurtured it all along – she’s our lifeblood, our teacher, our inspiration, and everyone’s Mom. There’s no knitting that she doesn’t already know all about. There’s no pattern so botched up, that she can’t tell ya how to fix it. And there’s no getting out of it when she tells ya to frog it. There’s no sweater that she can’t knit up in just one quick week. She’s taught all of us something new, and she remembers everything any of us have ever cast on, and will ask ya how it’s coming along. If Carol ever moves, we’re all going with her! Is it possible to have a successful knitting group without a Carol in it? If you're in a knitting group too, go hug y'all's Carol right now.

Today, I put out there for consideration us forming a Ravelry group & forum for our knitting circle. Some of us are on Ravelry already, but not all of us. So that’s the first step, and I sung the Ravelry Recruitment Song today, lol. I also asked everyone to be thinking about a name for our group. The name we’ve been calling ourselves, ahem, I recently discovered that there is a lady who does business under that name, so it’s a no-go. Besides, we’ve outgrown it and it no longer reflects the diverse group we’ve become.

So far, we’ve got Fertile Turtles (funny story there), SKKIPers for Sunday Knoxville Knit In Public, and the Mostly Harmless Knitters.

Okay, I’ll tell it: when I first got there, one of our members was perusing the books for something about how turtles fornicate. I had missed the beginning of that conversation, but was told that she would be back with an answer. Oooooookay, then. We were then informed that it had a lot to do with the males having longer tails than the females. I did not know that.

Having this thing in a book store turned out to be brilliant, if I do say so myself.

Nicole, Jason, & Daphne

Jason's working on some chain mail. He can knit, by the way, we saw to that!

Deborah & Angie (Jason's mom)

Carol the Ambassador, talking to the curious folks who just happened by. Turns out, they were from Oregon.


  1. You mean I'm gonna have ta put on makeup and do my hair now since ye're takin' pictures of ever'body? I'ma wear my pj's....

  2. omg, knitting in PJs is one of my very favorite ways to spend the day, lol.
    Before taking those pics, I advised the shy ones to just hold their knitting up in front of their faces ;-)