About 2 months ago, my friend SP invited me over to her house for Stitch ‘n Bitch. Taken from the title of a great beginner’s guide to knitting, Stitch ‘n Bitch is exactly what it sounds like — a bunch of sassy ladies knitting and bitching. This isn’t your granny’s knitting circle! SP always generously provided delectable snacks (and occasionally a full meal!), while guests contributed wine or other treats.
I have to admit, the wine, treats, and social aspects are what drew me in initially. After all, I didn’t know how to knit; in fact, I wasn’t terribly interested in learning. My first time, I brought a silly art project I had started over Christmas (i.e. 6 months earlier) with my 9-year old niece. The second time, I brought what I thought was an almost done cross-stitch project. Turned out that the almost done project was actually ALL done. So, with nothing to do, my friend MP (aka my knitting fairy godmother) spent the rest of the evening teaching me how to knit. She didn’t hold back either. In one fell swoop, I learned how to knit, purl, cast-on, and rib. Translation: I learned almost all of the necessary skills required to knit just about anything, in a matter of 90 minutes.
I was immediately addicted. I don’t know if it was because it was a new thing that challenged my brain, the fact that I was keeping my hands and my brain busy, the problem-solving aspects (how, exactly, did I manage to end up with 12 stitches when I started with 16?), or that I was making something out of yarn and two needles, but something about knitting really hit the spot.
My first projects were bright blue cotton dishtowels, for which MP generously gave me the pattern, the yarn, and knitting needles. During my recent trip to Taipei, knitting kept me busy during the down-time between family activities and helped me maintain my sanity when I was close to missing my flight home.
The dishtowels, I have to say, are nothing to write home about so I haven’t included any photos here. What I am posting is a photo of my first “official” project, a ribbed scarf made out of an interesting blend: 70% wool and 30% soy. It’s been suggested to me that in a very desperate situation, I could eat this scarf. I hope it never comes down to that. I’m very pleased with the final product, especially since I wasn’t sure how the variegated yarn would turn out. The second photo is of our more recent Stitch ‘n Bitch hostess, AW, who graciously lent us her house, cable (for Project Runway!), and baked us cake while SP was busy with her Burning Man project.
Even though I thoroughly enjoy the knitting, the thing I like best about Stitch ‘n Bitch is the socializing. It’s funny — I see some of these ladies everyday, but something about the regularity of meeting once a week in a non-meal/non-“event” setting really encourages us to socialize differently. It makes me feel like part of a community somehow. So, if knitting isn’t your thing, I’d encourage all of you to get out and do something once a week with your friends, whether it’s a book club, trivia night, collecting cookie jars… whatever it is, I think it’s good for your soul.