Image details – knitted cake by freeformbyprudence, via Flickr
Don’t talk about Knit Club!
I think I might get this made up into a slogan t-shirt, along with ‘Knitting is not just for Nanas’ or some other suitably informative knitting-related cliches. There is a clandestine ‘stitch and bitch’ going on in the Chateau Shinybees locality, however its members (other than my good self, of course) and its precise location remain shrouded in mystery. I’m an ‘out and proud’ knitter and would quite happily be seen in public, brandishing a pair of knitting irons with gay abandon, my latest work in progress hanging from the needles. Alas, however, the other stitchettes are definitely not out of the knitting closet yet, and prefer to secretly beaver away at their latest project far, far away from prying eyes.
Naturally, I respect their need to keep their knitting a closely-guarded secret, however, it has to be said that, believe it or not, knitting is trendy again. Whether it be celebrity knitters such as Cameron Diaz or Julia Roberts flying the flag or a return to handicrafts and ‘make do and mend’, sales of yarn are on the increase and the knitting renaissance is underway amongst the generations.
And so onto the rise of the stitch and bitch. Now readily found across the country in all kinds of venues, from coffee shops, to pubs and art galleries and encompassing stitchers of all ages and backgrounds, the stitch and bitch groups provide a social setting to meet with like-minded individuals and talk about all things stitchy. There are knitters, crocheters, spinners, cross stitchers, tapestry makers – the full spectrum. There is also a range of experience to be found, so whether you are a novice and need help with bits of a tricky pattern, or a ninja knitting Nana, there is something for everyone and a great opportunity to learn and pass on skills. There is always plenty of tea and cake, a staple requirement for crafty get-togethers, or even something a little stronger should the fancy take you. I will add the caveat at this point: in my opinion, knitting or any other needle sports and drinking don’t really mix. It can be somewhat amusing the next day trying to figure out exactly what you did last night to your current project and counting the number of needle-related injuries, however it will more than likely end in tears. And with a hangover.
Oddly however, given the health warning I just issued, ‘knitting under the influence’ is kind of how the secret stitch and bitch I set up came to being. I banged on about how great knitting is, managed to get one of the other yarnistas to try it after plying her with a couple of glasses of vino (no rohypnol required here, folks!) and she became addicted after finding a lovely alpaca blend in a boutique yarn shop in Cornwall, which she made into a scarf. I then suggested a ‘knit night’, plied the other ladies with tea and cake and showed them the basics, punctuated by a liberal amount gossip exchange, naturally. One basic bootie project later, a few slightly competitive ‘I’ve done my 12 rows’ comments on Facebook and they are all hooked!
But what can you do if you want to stitch and bitch, but don’t know anyone who knits? Find a stitch and bitch in your area! The local yarn shops are always a good place to start as, if they don’t run one themselves, they are sure to know where the nearest one is. Alternatively, there are a plethora of groups on Ravelry (www.ravelry.com) and quick search is sure to get you heading in the right direction. If you still draw a blank, why not start your own? You can find a guide to this at http://stitchnbitch.org/How-to-Start-a-Stitch-n-Bitch.html
Just remember, the second rule of Knit Club – you don’t talk about Knit Club….