Monday, 23 January 2012

Communal knitting.

Tonight I went to knitting group, or stitch and bitch as they are sometimes known.  I remember telling my brother once that I was not available to do work for him because I was going to knitting group and he laughed his head off.  Of course my brother does not knit and so the concept was totally alien to him, but still, his mirth had a little touch of mockery mixed in.

Our group meets in a cafe on a Monday night where Tony, the cafe owner, seems delighted to have us there.  He has a system to allow us to order and pay for our drinks and food separately, so settling the bill isn't a hassle and tonight he even went out and bought more bread.

I have been to this group a few times before (usually in winter) and noticed that we attract a lot of attention.  We've been pointed at, studied and photographed by curious onlookers.  I wonder what the attention would be like if we were doing something exotic!  I was second to arrive tonight and wasn't sure if I had previously met the first arrival (it's been a while).  First names meant nothing until we introduced ourselves using our Ravelry names.

The group of women come from all different occupations, backgrounds and lives, but when we take out our needles and start knitting together we share a common language and appreciation for each other's work.  Tonight I seemed to be surrounded by scientists and learned all kinds of things: there are no caves in Melbourne! the thylacine was present in Papua New Guinea! This is what a blob fish looks like and yes they are real!  We talk about work contracts not being renewed and problems with neighbours and what movies we've seen lately.  And we share knowledge and love of our craft.

It's fascinating to see what everyone is knitting - and how they're knitting it.  There are so many different ways! Tonight I was able to see how someone else changes colours for stripes when knitting socks in the round.  Our collective brains helped someone else decide whether the waistband of a top they had just cast on was going to be the right size and we pondered the question of whether the length of a circular needle includes the needles themselves or just the cables connecting the needles.

But there were also periods of companionable silence.  Just a group of women sitting together and knitting.  A simple and lovely thing.  And then we all disappeared into the night and back to our separate lives.

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