On Monday nights I head to the bowling alley, my bag in my hand, walk through the door, take a sharp right, sit down at the table, and pull out my WIP (that's 'work in progress', for you non-knitters). Depending on schedules, I share that table with anywhere between two and seven or eight other women (and occasionally men) every knit night.
When I started knitting, it was a private, solitary activity. I didn’t want anyone to see the mistakes I made, and was extremely grumpy any time a well-meaning person, knowing I was learning something new, asked me ‘how things were going’. I didn’t say “hate this, hate you, go away,” but I sure thought it.
About a year in, though, I started knitting at the doctor’s office, and even at work occasionally, or in other situations where I was likely to have a long wait. Soon after, I re-read Debbie Stoller’s Stitch and Bitch, and began wondering if there was a local knit group I could join. It wasn’t long before I found the perfect one: Knotty Knitters, Happy Hookers, and Salacious Spinners. Not your mother’s knit group!
I walked in the door that first time at knit night, and immediately felt at home. Everyone was welcoming, the conversation was warm, often raunchy, and occasionally outrageous, and even though we call come from different walks of life, we knit together very well (ha!). There are mental health experts, clerks, students, a photo colorist, at least one work at home mom, and people with other various and sundry jobs.
We range in age from eighteen (with guest appearances by Trouble on occasion) up through “none of your g-dmnd business”. Some of us make it nearly every week, some people make room in their schedules when they have time, and a few people peek their heads in the door and run off screaming and trying to wash off the scary.
We all have different skill levels. The Mistress of Corruption is working on those lovely color work gloves (they end up even more gaudy, but don’t worry, they’re a gift). The Seductress at Arms was working on a cowl made from that lovely light green yarn, and the Sub-knit-tress was making a pair of socks for the Imaginary Boyfriend (so called because none of us have ever seen him). I (the Duchess of Deadly Needles) was picking embroidery out of one of my husband’s old work shirts so that he could wear it with a new employer.
The conversation was relatively tame, but wide ranging. We expressed concern about a member who wasn’t present, but was going through a difficult time, we talked about events going on, including Tricia Gray’s exhibit at the Cellar Rat Wine Merchants, and my own launch of this blog. The Sub-knit-tress and I compared notes about experiences working with the mentally ill, and the Seductress at Arms had us in tears of laughter with her stories of the ongoing drama in her relationship with her significant other.
This is what community is all about. Sometimes we’re a warm, quiet group of supportive friends, sometimes we’re a wildly outrageous gaggle of juicy women. Sometimes we’re a blend of both. But always – always—we are there for each other.