Saturday, November 14, 2009

Joys of knitting groups

So I enjoy ravelry- I liked perusing the projects of friends and unknowns, wishing I knew everyone and could gain knowledge from them. Currently I have been meeting Heather (trifarina) at waldo's coffee shop on sundays. It has been a great way to meet someone new and also a great way to learn new things. I have been pretty much a self taught knitter. I learned from my two roommates, Brooke and Patty, when I was in grad school in wisconsin. The idea of knitting never really occurred to me until I lived in a very, very cold climate. Of coarse it was a challenge for them to teach me, because I insisted on learning left-handed. So, for my first 2 years of knitting I didn't quite do it right-- it was as if I had made up my own backwards stitch. But those were great times, sitting around drinking tea with them, knitting, and just talking.
After I left wisconsin, I tried to continue knitting, but it was hard starting a new PhD program and finding time to knit. It wasn't until my 3rd year that I really picked it up again. This time I corrected my wacky stitch and eventually found two lovely ladies to knit with, Jennifer and Valerie. During that time we drank lots of wine, laughed and cried over work, life, and school, and knitted a few projects. Once again I learned a lot and grew in certain skills. I miss them terribly now that we are scattered across the US (colorado, louisiana, texas).
Now that I live in houston I am once again trying to build a nice knitting group. Heather is a step-- she and I are trying to meet new people having both finished our degrees and taken a jobs in industry. Anyway-- I was just thinking how much joy such a small activity could bring me and how it really brings people together. Someday I should take a class to get to know people even more (maybe socks).

On a side note:
Right now I am going to participate in a tea and yarn exchange. Hopefully this will provide me with the opportunity to meet someone new and learn about the cool projects they create using needles and fabric. My first exchange was fun, but I didn't feel like it got people closer to one another. Hopefully this one will!

Here are some recent projects I have been working on for months-- I have been trying to get this pillow done, but was hampered by the button sewing. I kinda like how it turned out, but am not too happy with the button selection-- still fun to make.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Knit projects and reunions

Both reasons to celebrate (i.e. babies, wedding, etc.) and reasons to mourn seem to be the only things that brings friends together these days. That is one thing that is slightly melancoly about the wide-open world today. Instead of friends growing old together we have to watch from afar as our best friends from each period in our lives grow older- fall in and out of love, get married, have children, get jobs, find new jobs, finish school, lose family members and/or loved ones, travel, etc. In fact, the biggest life events are often followed via e-mail, facebook up-dates, or a chain or phone messages. I have recently come to understand how important all these friends from my life have been and are today only to also discover that we have all grown away and live in places either far from our original home or close-by. The sad fact is, even if we live in the same area we all find ourselves lost in the busy 'older, grown-up' lives that we let those friendships slip away.
I have been coming face to face with this reality more recently with brief events in my life that have caused me to reach out and ask for advice and an ear from those people in my life that I used to get advice from everyday. The funny thing is- even though we hadn't spoken in months or even years, the ease of catching up is so easy. One of these friends told me great news-- that she was gonna have a little boy in the end of november. This made me go out of my way to travel to her baby shower to catch up and see her and her family. It was great to see how respected she was in her resident community (she is finishing her residency as a ob-gyn). It was so amazing of me to think of us a silly little teenagers so full of angst and cynicism only to see how we have grown up to be successful adults so far. It just made me beam. Anyway-- enough pontificating-- these events just made me want to make some little project for her new little baby-- and also made me crave more 'reunions'. In fact, I also discovered that an old dorm roommate of mine is getting married in may and that all the suitemates are going to try to travel to her wedding-- this will be quite a reunion where we will all get to meet each others partners, children, and catch up a bit. I am looking forward to it (and hopefully more reasons to remain in touch and connected). On a sadder note though, one of my friends just watched her mom pass away from lung/brain cancer. It has made everyone have a reason to come together- to help support her in her time of need. It has also made us think to ourselves- 'we are too young to have to be dealing with our parents dying-- or are we?' We are in our 30's and during this time we start to discover not only the miracle of new life, but the inevitability of death. As this happens we start to think about life a little more seriously, understanding the importance of the relationships we have.

Anyway, here is the bib I am trying to finish. I need to sew on the patch and button. I wasn't too thrilled with the yarn (Bernat cottontots), but it was in my stash and I needed to try to use it up.

I am also trying to make myself something a little more challenging than a scarf or headband-- here are the beginnings of a lace shrug-- hope to finish it before it warms up again.