I left tonight’s once-a-month knitting/crochet group feeling a bit depressed. It wasn’t because of the group, or anything that took place tonight. In fact, I had my usual good time knitting and chatting with our eclectic group. We talk about anything and everything that comes to mind, in a group with an age span of 20’s to late 70’s. Everyone had yarn and needles or hook in hand, although progress slows when the conversation and laughter heat up.
But as we headed to our cars, one of my knitting friends asked if she’d see me Saturday–both of us are regulars at Knotty Girl on Saturday. “No,” I said sadly, “Steve starts 6-day workweeks this week, until the end of the month.” Without him home to take the kids, I can’t spend the day at the LYS knitting. I’m also going to be missing all of the Thursday night Sit ‘n Knits; one was cancelled by the LYS, but Steve has Thursday night meetings every other week, and on the only other Thursday, his ship will be underway.
I know I’m very lucky to have such a generous husband willing to let me hand the kids over to him the minute he steps in the door one night a week, and most of the day on one of his 2 days off. And I know if Steve had a choice, he’d make sure I got that time to knit with my friends…but this is going to be a very busy month for him, and we’re both going to have to just suck it up.
An article in the Spring 2009 Interweave Knits on knitting books started off with the assertion, “Knitting is primarily a solitary activity…” and I didn’t get any further than that before I started to laugh. Certainly, I do solitary knitting, but for me, knitting is primarily a social activity–in fact, it’s the basis for all of my social activity right now. Every Saturday, I meet with whomever else shows up at Knotty Girl. Every Thursday, I join a fluctuating group of women (sometimes as little as 4, sometimes as many as we can fit in the seating area) for Sit ‘n Knit. And one Monday a month I spend time with yet another group.
Knitting in my life serves much the same function as old fashioned quilting bees did in those ladies’ lives. It’s the basis for our gatherings and our conversational opening. We start by asking each other what we’re working on, what pattern we’re following, what yarn we’re using, and especially for whom we’re making the item. Be it a baby that a friend or family member is expecting, someone about to celebrate a birthday, or ourself, the answer spurs on conversation about our lives, our experiences, and our hopes and dreams.
It’s going to be hard for me to miss out on that community for a month. I’ll probably take the kids in for a quick visit for one or two Saturdays, even if I can’t knit with the rest. The knitting is important to me…but it’s my friends I’ll miss the most. It’s going to be a long drought.