Friday, 15 September 2006

non-knitting knitting projects

i started knitting a few years ago when my friends started having babies. my mom taught me how to knit, and i taught my sister in turn. this little hat was one of my first projects. of course, by the time i gave it to the kid for his 1st birthday, it fit his newborn brother better than it fit him...

when i moved to london, i lived in student halls, in a tiny room that resembled a swedish prison cell. it was far too dismal to think about sitting on my single bed and knitting in solitude. i hadn't bothered to join any knitting groups in the san francisco bay area because i had my own built-in knit buddies, but it seemed possible that there were other knitters in london if only i could find them. thank goodness for google! a simple search for "london knitting" revealed knitchicks and i became part of the foyles group.

the foyles group meets on tuesday mornings from 10 AM to 12 PM, in ray's jazz cafe on the 1st floor of london's famous foyles bookshop, on charing cross road. the group is diverse, international, and frequented by moms, students and people with flexible work hours. there is usually some show-and-tell (knitting magazines, japanese craft books), and a huge variety in the projects that people work on. it's not limited to knitting; some people crochet, a few women embroider. most of us bring projects that are easy enough to work on while chatting and sipping organic chai tea - the more complicated lace projects stay home, but the socks and baby jumpers come to foyles.

it's great to see who comes each week. sometimes it takes several weeks before you see the same person twice. new people come and go. about the only constant is the gender: for some reason, the foyles group is decidedly female.

this week i sat next to c, a knitter i have seen at foyles for ages but rarely talked to. she told me that she is working on a project looking at women's social groups, and asked if i had some free time to be interviewed. answering her questions about knitting with the group and blogging about knitting made me think about it more academically than usual. my sister is also doing a project about knitting for her MBA. it seems that knitting is a hot topic these days!

i am not as hard-core as some knitters. i don't knit everyday. i have a tiny stash of yarn and unfinished projects. i give away much of what i knit as presents. i don't attend every knit event; i don't read every knit magazine. i do other crafty things. but i enjoy knitting, especially in public. knitting with the foyles group has connected me to a lovely group of women across london, and blogging/reading other blogs has connected me to a creative group of people around the world.

not bad for two sticks and a ball of string, huh?!

here are links to some of the other foyles members' blogs... enjoy!



purl pirate



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