For several months now, one of the knitting blogs I’ve been reading is TrishKnits.com. I enjoy reading about Trish’s knitting trials, tribulations, and triumphs (we all have ’em) and I like her sense of humor and honesty with all of them.
Back in mid-October, I made a comment on one of Trish’s blog posts regarding a knitting designer. Trish responded via email, telling me she’d seen my February Lady Sweater and liked how it had turned out. And she invited me to join the Bowie Knitters for one of their monthly meet ups.
I liked the idea. I really miss the Saturday meet ups we used to have at Knotty Girl; I haven’t found any place around here where a group of people get together on Saturdays to knit. I do have a weekly group that meets on Monday, but unfortunately because of where it meets I need Steve to get home from work to take the kids early enough to make my trip worthwhile…and that hasn’t happened for a couple months now. I also haven’t had a free weekend where I had enough spare time to make the hour trip to Bowie.
But it occurred to me this week that today could be a perfect day to do it. Steve’s got a 4-day weekend, so I could take today off and leave him with the kids without him being robbed of a day off (in fact, he got Thursday and Friday to do whatever he wanted while I did most of the kid-wrangling). So I was going to drop Trish a line and let her know I’d be stopping by…but then I thought, “Why not surprise her?” It required a bit of blog and Ravelry stalking (where I found the Bowie Knitters group), but I was able to verify the location and that there would be a meet up today.
I got to the meet up location a little early so I was able to help set up by putting several tables together–group size varies from just a handful to over 20 knitters (and it’s a good thing we grabbed as many tables as we did, since today was one of the big days). Then we took our seats, started knitting, and greeted the others as the arrived.
I wasn’t the only first time visitor today, and I ended up sitting right next to a table with two other first-timers, Susan and Cathy (Cathy, if you see this, I hope I spelled your name right, and I’m sorry if I didn’t!). Susan and Cathy were working on a bag kit from KnitPicks where they’d be learning various new techniques, and we were chatting about that when Trish rolled up to sit next to Susan. Someone else introduced the three of us to Trish, and when she got to me, I smiled and said, “Hi, Trish!”
Trish did a double-take, then gasped, “Jennifer?!”
Trish and I (photo courtesy of Trish)
I’m sneaky, I am.
The meet up turned out to be a blast. I went with no expectations other than to meet an online friend, but I also really enjoyed getting to know other members of the group as well and chatting with them as the knit. It’s a very friendly and welcoming group, not to mention one of the most helpful I’ve ever seen. I’m not kidding–at any given point at least one person was holding or discussing someone else’s knitting, helping them figure out where they were in the pattern, making suggestions, or helping to fix mistakes.
I even found myself in a teaching role several times, which I always have a blast doing. One knitter was trying out a stitch pattern for the first time and had misknit a row, so I showed her how to tink both knit and purl stitches so the stitches are properly aligned on the needle, then how to read her knitting so she knew which row to work next. Then I showed Susan and Cathy what an M1 (make one) was and how to do it so there was no hole left in the fabric. And I even got to discuss the modifications I made to my February Lady Sweater with another knitter interested in making one.
The group official meets from 2-5pm, but when I looked at the clock it was quarter after 5 and most of the group was still there. Some people, I learned, stayed until closing, and I seriously considered doing the same (until I called home and found out Steve was grilling steak with blue cheese and bacon topping) since I was having such a good time. But I’ll definitely be back–I probably won’t be able to make it every month–but hopefully I’ll be seeing everyone again by March!
Trish has blogged about the meet up too; you can read her post and see more pictures right here.