I imagine that when non-knitters think about knitting they see it as a solitary occupation. And to some extent, they're right: one of the advantages of knitting is that it can be used to occupy oneself when alone. But one of the unexpected pleasures of knitting is that it's also very companionable, as many women's crafts have been across time.
The knitting group I think of as my local group meets on Thursday evenings at the Morris and Sons yarn store in the city. It's convenient for people to straggle to as they finish work and easy to reach by public transport. When the shop closes around 7.00pm we adjourn to a nearby hotel for drinks and sometimes meals. There's a core of people who usually or frequently attend, but others who come and go. We often have visitors from overseas or other Australian towns and cities attending, and we have people who crochet or embroider as well as knitters. There's a range of skill and experience levels, preferences and interests, and the main delight is its easiness; its companionability.
Recently, one of our members became pregnant and then, unsurprisingly, told us she was returning to the USA for work and to be with her family. So the knitting group decided to make a blanket for her baby. We bought Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in watery shades of blue and green as the mother and father to be are both marine biologists, and shared the yarn among us. We were really pushed for time and so some of us gathered very companionably at A Coffee and a Yarn over the Easter holidays to sew up the patches.
There were plain patches, those with repetitive patterns, some stripey patches to use up ends of the yarn, and some wonderful patches with watery motifs - an octopus, sea horses, starfish, and even the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. We were so pleased with the finished blanket...
and so was Rachel when we gave it to her.
Thanks to MissFee for this final photo