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Knitting and the Community
My First Time
I have always been a crafty person, I enjoy scrapbooking and have always loved creating things from scratch. But it wasn't until I was pregnant with my first child, a girl, that I ever thought about knitting as a hobby. For some reason, I felt this very strong need to learn how to knit. In 2001 there weren't a lot of options out there to learn how to knit on your own, so I went to the local hobby store to find some books on learning how to knit.
I bought a few books and some yarn and needles and was all set to go. I was so excited! I got it home and sat down on the couch with my supplies and proceeded to try to figure it out. Alas, it was turning out to be a very difficult thing to learn from a book! Granted, I was never a very good "book" learner and really need to see things live to figure it out. So my first attempt at knitting was a complete failure and I gave up the dream of knitting something for my baby.
Fast forward 7 years. Now pregnant with baby #3 (my 2nd girl) I got the irresistible urge to learn how to knit again! This time, I had a close friend who was an avid crocheter who said she would help me figure things out. So I set out again on my quest to learn how to knit.
I went out and got all of my supplies, and decided that I wanted to try to knit a baby blanket. So I got the softest yarn I could find at the "Big Box" hobby store, a book on making baby blankets, and the right sized needles and started making my blanket! Now that the internet had so many valuable tools to help me figure out how to make a purl stitch, I was on my way and feeling excited about it! I was so happy to have finally figured it out (the basics anyway) that I went out and bought more books and more yarn and more needles!
Several months later my baby was born, and I was in heaven caring for her and my knitting took a back seat. I had practically forgot about it until about 6 months later when I had moved back home to Kansas and started looking for a place to go for some alone time. I went searching on Meetup.com for some local Mommy meetups to get out and meet people with my 2 children who stayed home with me while my oldest was in school and stumbled on a local KIP group (Knit In Public) and remembered that I really should get that blanket finished at some point, so I joined and started meeting up with them and it was GREAT! I had NO Idea getting together with people to knit could be so much fun!
Great Knitting Books from Amazon.com
Discovering the LYS
I started meeting with my new group of knitting friends every Saturday morning at 8am and really enjoying having the time alone and being able to focus on my creativity for a little while that I wasn't as stressed at home.
You see, my husband had planned on moving to Kansas with us (from Maryland) but was waiting on word from the job he interviewed for before he left his current position. Well, the other job didn't come through, and he spent the next 5 months trying to find something else in Wichita so he could join us. In the mean time, I was staying home with 3 kids, 2 dogs and a cat managing everything alone for the first time. So the couple of hours I had to get away and have some me time was truly cherished and I couldn't have done it without the support of my family and friends in Wichita.
My weekly KIP meetings were something I looked forward to all week. I was able to get help on how to improve my technique and also learn new skills to improve my knitting experience. I learned how to read a pattern, and also learned about the Local Yarn Shop (LYS) that the ladies went to for all of their supplies. This was a completely new thing for me, as I had always thought you went to Michael's or Joanne's for yarn and needles. I had NO idea what was in store for me at Twist. I went in on a weekday afternoon with 2 of the 3 kids to check it out.
When I walked in the door, I was blown away by the shop! It was stunning, filled with a delicious assortment of colorful yarn of every weight and dozens of beautifully made sweaters on display and 2 large tables and several comfy couches and chairs to sit and knit in. The owner, Shelly, greeted me (she recognized me from the Saturday morning meetings) and let me know about the kid's room so my son could play while I looked around. I was truly in heaven! A kid's room! After glancing around at the luscious yarns, I made my way over to the tables where a group of ladies was knitting, and sat down on the sofa with the baby for a bit and just listened and observed. I was so comfortable there! I was definitely going to have to come back another time and actually knit. I found out that on Thursday and Saturday nights was Stitch and Bitch nights, and was invited to come back and join them for the next one.