Warm Weather, Social Knitting

Sunshine and warm days = social knittingknitting in wine countryI will knit here or there. I will knit most anywhere. In a car, in a tree, on a train, by the sea…

The other day my friend Carlee and I took an afternoon drive up to Sokol Blosser Winery with our knitting. The pourer was a bit aloof at first (must have been an odd day — that’s not usual at my favorite winery) but then she saw us knitting on the patio. “I don’t know what that is, but I do needlepoint and it’s very meditative and rhythmic like that.” Just seeing us with our needles moving seemed to take the edge off for her. It had never dawned on me that someone, really anyone, might not know knitting when they saw it. And — news flash — young people are doing needlepoint. This was news to me. But yes, Dear Wine Girl, it is meditative and rhythmic like that.

Contrary to common thought, knitting is not just for winter. Warm weather draws the knitters out in droves — we knit at the coast with our toes in the sand. We knit at picnics. We knit at wineries during tastings. We knit at book group. We knit at the park. We knit in the aisles of Lowe’s while our partners hunt for the right table saw. We knit in line at the DMV. While knitting can be quiet and solitary and perfect for holing ourselves up in the winter, it’s so versatile that it lends itself perfectly to sunshine and socializing.

A few weekends ago I sat outside knitting and sketching new designs while my husband worked in his wood shop. I got a bit too much sun, in fact, because I was bathed in pure bliss and lost track of time. Sunshine, birds chirping, needles sliding gracefully. I can’t imagine anything other than year-round knitting. I knit with the seasons — I never ever stop.

In summer when the weather is so dewy and gorgeous, I throw patio parties for my knitting friends. Bring an appetizer. Bring wine. Bring your knitting.  

We sit out on the deck and we muse about our partners, our children, our careers, our plans. We show what we’ve been knitting, we ask about colors, we help each other with an odd stitch. It’s seamless, really. Knitting is so unobtrusive that it melds perfectly into the event; we rally between our plates of tapas and glasses of pinot and all the while the fiber slides through our fingers. And we laugh, sometimes so much that we tear up and our mascara gives out. It’s not until the daylight fades to a small glowing orb in the sky that we say things like, “I think I dropped a stitch!” because it’s getting dark. Knitting is the barometer for when it’s time to call it a night. If it’s too dark to see our stitches or we’re too tired to remember our pattern, it must be time to go.

And then the sun comes up and it’s time to start again.

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