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Name: Marsha Brofka-Berends
Location: US

Marsha knits . . . and reads and cooks and edits and gardens and hikes and thinks and eats and photographs and sings and writes and travels and plans and hopes and . . .

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A local knitting group

Last month, I attended a meeting of a local knitting group for the first time. I'm not sure how long this group has been meeting (in a nearby township's very swank community center), but I was first invited last fall by two friends who are fellow moms in my daughter's playgroup and who attend the same church we do. Only in the last couple of months has Sylvia's bedtime schedule become reliably consistent enough for me to be able to pop out of the house for a few hours in the evening. (Her dad is absolutely wonderful about baby wrangling, but if she needs to nurse...well, he really can't help in that department!)

At the March meeting, there were four people present: one of my friends, two longtime members, and me. Everyone was so nice, and I got some great advice about sewing on buttons (i.e., put a clear button on the back side to provide support, and use the same yarn for sewing because sewing or button thread is just too rough on the knitting and might tear through it).

At tonight's meeting, both of my friends were present, as well as four longtime members, one of whom just returned from a seven-week trip to New Zealand (*drool*) and showed off some of the amazing yarn she bought there. The leader (official or de facto, I'm not sure) of the group, Pat, is an amazing storehouse of knitting knowledge. She's also quite opinionated about knitting techniques and methods--and not at all afraid to tell you what she thinks. Surprisingly, this doesn't come off in the least bit obnoxious. She somehow finds a way to be very friendly and helpful when she tells you that your bottom-side-of-the-sleeve-seaming could be better. She told my friend Katie and me that...and then proceeded to show us, very carefully, how to do mattress seaming properly. I for one was grateful for the lesson, because seaming is not my forte (as the Frankenblanket aptly demonstrated).

I showed off the striped baby sweater (this is what elicited Pat's observations about my seaming), as well as Anouk (whose side bands I haven't adjusted yet--but since Sylvia won't be wearing until next fall or so, I'm not in a hurry).

I also got advice on my next project: a cardigan to go with Anouk. When I ordered the yarn for this pinafore, I actually ordered the exact yarn that was called for in the pattern--no substitutes whatsoever. And I ordered an extra ball of each color, just in case. Well, if you look at Anouk, you'll see that it uses very little purple and even less red--so I have a lot of those colors left over, along with a healthy amount of green and orange.

Anyway, I had a great time at the knitting group meeting, and I very much encourage everyone to knit with friends at least once in a while. It's nice to compare projects, it's reassuring to get a "That looks great!" or advice on a troublesome part, and it's great just to hang out and chat with friendly people who share your obsession, er, I mean hobby...

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