Knit Lit

Lunch with Jane

        I have been knitting for coming up on 5 years now. In all that time I have been a pretty solitary knitter. This in not strange to me, because I am a pretty solitary person. I like my own company and most of the time, prefer to be alone. (Except for my husband. Though, he knows when to talk and when to leave me alone, so it works out great.) Having said all that, I read all these other knitting blogs where people meet, start getting together to knit, go to fiber festivals together, and in general become life long friends; and I want that. I want the camaraderie of people who share a passion. While my dear, dear spouse tolerates my obsession with knitting and all things related, he does not share the passion.
        Today, I planned on marching right out of my comfort zone to attend a lunch time knitting group at Knit Nouveau. Well, I didn’t march but rather tiptoed. I packed up my knitting. I drove to the shop. I walked in the door. And I chickened out. I shopped for a little while. I talked for a bit. Then, Jane (I think it was Jane. I never did introduce myself.), said that today was the lunch time knitting gathering. I smiled to myself and sat down to knit. I loved it. There was yarn and talking and knitting. New people came into the shop, and I talked to them too. It was fun. I am sure to go back next time.
        A lady came into the shop while I was there and said she wanted to learn how to knit. There were several people in her life that were having babies, and she wanted to knit for them. I felt the desire to share projects, books, yarn, and patterns that I liked and disliked. I wanted to help her learn and discover the greatness that is knitting. I think that is something very special about knitters. They want to help others discover their joy. That is what makes knitting so great.
        My son is starting his first “real” season of soccer. He has played the last few years in the Upwards program; however, it has not provided him a realistic idea of what competitive sports are like. It is work. He attends two practices a week and games on the weekend. There are people in the world who love playing sports. I dare to say that they tolerate the work of practices and training in order to play the game they love. They very rarely nurture new players. It is always a competition. Who can run the fastest? Who can score the most goals? If you make a mistake, you let down the team. There is little room to correct mistakes. There is so much pressure.
        Not so in knitting. Yes, we work hard to complete a project, but the knitting is fun. We do not suffer the knitting to have a beautiful sweater in the end. We enjoy the whole process of selecting the pattern and just the right yarn. We may get frustrated when learning a new technique but enjoy the challenge of conquering something new. If we do happen to make a mistake (and believe me, I do a lot), there is very little consequence. All you have to do is rip it back and try again. Most of the time, there is someone there to help you fix your mistake if you ask. There is no pressure in knitting that you don;t make yourself. And again, I will raise my hand and confess to not planning ahead and giving myself too little time to complete a a gift. For knitters, completing the project is the icing on the cake, not the whole desert. And what good is cake if you have no one to share it with. (I’m not talking to you my dear husband. I know you are more than willing to not share the cake. It is a metaphor.)
        I will admit there are other hobbies that are not competitive: painting, writing, stamp collecting, soap making. None of these seem conducive to sharing and being with other people, though. I may be wrong. I do not know the inner workings of the artistic or stamp collecting community. They may have conventions and groups much like fiber artists. However, I imagine that most painters, sculptors and writers need solitude to create, or at least the ability to not be stopped when other people want to fondle their brushes/clay/pens.
        Over all, I think knitting is more than a hobby. It is a way to connect in a community. Having confessed my need to be alone for most of my day, I think I will enjoy the company of other knitters in this new lunchtime knitting group. I think being part of a knitting group is like being a member of an extended family. You may see them every day or you may see them only at the yearly reunion; but either way, you are still family. So, I hope I will be considered a new member of the family.
        Like a new baby, does that mean I get a hand knit gift to celebrate my new arrival? ; )

March 7, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. I am SO glad you stayed to knit, and hope you will come back a week from next Friday as well!!

    Comment by Jane | March 7, 2008

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