I present Gayleen and Susan hanging out at the Knitting Bee. Looks fun n’est pas? I’ll come right out and spill the beans – we have a few loose ends as a formal knitting group. It’s taken some time to hammer out an agenda for the Bee’s. Eventually we came up with: “Gayleen, Susan and Karin are to convene at semi-regular intervals and knit!”. Sounds simple but I daresay the optimism was a tad naive. At the beginning I imagined it was going to develop into a cutting edge movement, the knitting forefront! Hm m m … at some point I may have gotten a little ahead of myself with this whole endeavor. In spite of good intentions, some time down the road to knitting class, our wheels started spinning. Flummoxed we were all were taking the side roads to the class. Until we made our respective U-turns, steered our way clear of the detours (i.e. distractions, cancellations, excuses, personal drama) but in due course, we’ve each navigated back to the “Bee”, schlepping our wool and needles. Our “Knitting Bees” had become a smoke-screen for just chumming. A stratagem had to be developed. We all took our turn at controlling the chaos. I am beholden to these 2 women, who I’ve both known for many years. We had recently reconnected as a threesome and we were all feeling kind of nostalgic albeit unsure how to proceed. Initially I was skeptical when Susan proposed we form a “knitting bee”. Back in the day, when I was 19 or 20 I was a knitter, even a crocheter. I hadn’t given knitting any reconsideration for years and years. I wasn’t easily persuaded that knitting was my next exit. Did we seriously need an excuse to get together? Why was I feeling a deep sense of foreboding at making yet another horrible sweater that no one was ever going to want to wear? If I were ever to knit again, I had to take an oath that, if I picked up those needles, I’d have to once and for all complete something other than a scarf or a blanket! It was Susan’s persistence that got the ball rolling. Susan made a convincing case to Gayleen and I. We had to regroup, form a productive knitting group. Knitting was a valid reason to convene and as Susan pointed out, we had to get serious and start making “stuff”! Quite frankly, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into but it was clear, a leap of faith was imminent. So what you’re getting is this: I was reluctant to revisit knitting. I have no acceptable explanation only excuses my skepticism had raised its ugly head. I was lazy and unfocused and you guessed it, cynical. By the time we assembled for our first ‘Knitting Meeting’, Gayleen was taken aback that i indeed knew how to knit. When she finally saw me knit and purl she was flabbergasted. It wasn’t subterfuge – it just wasn’t, you know, plastered on my resume. It was then that I vaulted. First off, I bought myself some bamboo sticks and wool at the Wolseley Wardrobe. I commenced to seriously researching YouTube videos on knitting/purling/increasing and decreasing stitches/casting on/ & binding off . I knit and unraveled so many swatches it would make your head spin. Then I started sussing PDF Pattern downloads from free sites and paid sites. Next I was purchasing books and buying needles and wool of every size and colour and thickness and variety. Sadly I’m dating myself but the internet was barely registering on the richter scale the last time I played with knitting needles and wool. Equipped with my new MacBook, the world of knitting was now my oyster. This was a whole new ball game. I’m a continental knitter, for you fellow-amateurs out there. Europeans/Germans knit the continental way. I still can’t remember who taught me and I guess it’s not important now anyway. Susan and Gayleen knit English. Another-words it was the stiff upper lips vs. the pragmatics. But I digress. I have knitted up a virtual storm in the past 12 months and it has made me see new possibilities regarding a small business. Our little “knitting bees” as Susan calls them, have prompted me to actively pursue creating marketable items with a fervor. Since then I find I am doing the bulk of the knitting at the “bee”. Gayleen is frustrated and wants to have a movie night instead. I believe Susan is still willing to bring her wool but I think it is turning into a “Movie-Bee” night. Knit-Shmit! I think Susan and Gayleen were my reinforcements as I knitted my way through skein upon skein of wool. They kept coming to the Knitting Bee, out of arrant curiosity, erstwhile supportive of my obsession. Our Knitting Bees go way beyond knitting – as you may already have divined. They are about problem solving, bolstering, empowering, encouraging and nurturing. We laugh and complain and we honor one another. We listen. We communicate. Then we disperse sated and satisfied (to clarify it’s not just the snacks or the wine). Knitting is about the threads coming together to form something reliable. We knit therefore we are, and we are friends who try their level best to listen intently and to decipher each others mysteries and nuances.