By Jocelyn Okubo
Closely knit: as in community. I believe there’s a reason we use that terminology.
In October, I joined a group of incredible people in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, on The Yarnery’s Knitting with Company retreat.
Social knitting for me is a relatively recent activity. Joining Ravelry at about the 2 million member mark, I was late in discovering this embarrassment of riches. Immediately, I was captivated and began, like all other Ravelers, losing hours down the rabbit hole of fiber possibility.
But my real awakening came from my LYS. On a trip to get yet another cable needle (where DID it go?), I came across a group of knitters sitting around the table. They were the “Friday Group” and they invited me to take a seat. I thought it might be fun.
It turned out to be so much more – a rite of passage into the adulthood of knitting. I had to recognize that there’s always someone better and someone I should help along. I discovered “the bond “- that immediate acceptance of another knitter - acceptance they deserved because they too have reverence for the discipline, respect for the creative process and share the frustration of starting over. (And will almost certainly recoil at the mention of the word “hobby”.)
The Knitting with Company retreat was a four-day social knitting Shangri-La.
Autumn colors - on the trees and in fall-palette skeins, the inspiration and advice of four of knitting’s illuminati. Four days where blissful, clock-free knitting topped the to-do list. It was a perfect format for the exchange of ideas. Discussion flowed easily with hands full of wool. There were conversations between people with technical savvy and stick-to-it-ness, (as evidenced by those knitting sleeves.) These were exchanges between people with patience, a sense of humor, an appreciation for the work of others, a drive to improve and a core need to create.
At one point I looked around the room. I’ve knit for over 40 years. At an hour a day and 20 stitches per minute, I’ve knit over 20 million stitches. Okay, 45 in attendance, some younger, some older. Just under a billion stitches have been knit by those in the room. A lot. A lottery lot.
Together we create - stitches, garments, friendships.