Sunday mornings in Tucson found me in Espresso Art (a cafe by the University) knitting with a great group of women. While I love knitting alone, I really like the social aspect of gathering to knit. I've noticed that I don't knit nearly as fast in these groups as I do alone ... but I love to see what everyone else is doing. We end up teaching and learning from each other and just sharing our lives.
Since coming to Germany, I've been trying to fill some of this void with my internet explorations. The knitting/personal blogs that I've been reading have been quite inspiring. I really like the knitting podcasts that I've been listening to. I treat these almost as I would a knitting group ... I put on the podcast and start knitting. But it is not the same.
I went into a yarn store here in the Fußgangerzone but the proprietress was so unfriendly that I didn't ask her if she knew of any knitting groups in town. I posted an ad on Craigslist -- Köln has a city entry but Bonn does not. I figured Köln is not too far away and perhaps Bonn people look at it. This would have the advantage (or disadvantage, however you look at it) of reaching knitters that speak English. But alas, I had no response to the ad.
One of the women in MPI suggested that I go to the Münster (the main catholic church right in the city center). She was fairly sure that they had a knitting group. So I found the Münsterladen (church store) and asked about this. The nun I spoke to (I started in German, but she switched to English) was very confused by my question. She wanted to know who had told me that the church did such a thing. After much explanation she said that no they do not have a knitting group. I should try the Protestants ... they do that sort of thing.
Well before I could go to Kreuzkirche (the big Protestant church in the center of town) I went into a different yarn store in town. This proprietress was very friendly. She responded to my attempts at speaking German by speaking very slow, simple, clear German herself. So I asked if she knew of a knitting group that I could join. She owns two stores and her store in Rheinbach (two towns over -- about 20 minutes by regional train) has a Strickentreffen (knitting meeting) every Thursday evening. I've gone twice now and it has been great. I get to listen and practice German ... but if I'm really confused they will clarify in English. It costs 5 Euro per week. I wish it didn't but if you think about it, I spent about 5 dollars each week buying a coffee in the cafe where I met up with my last group.
So now some postings of my latest projects:
Here is a scarf I made for my niece in California. It is based on the scribble scarf in Mason-Dixon Knitting. It is very lightweight and yet snuggly ... perfect for California. This was made with stash yarn. I think the blue is shine sport from Knitpicks and the white is boucle that I got in some super yarn sale Michael's had last summer.
I mentioned that I didn't like the washcloths here so I was knitting a few out of some cotton yarn I had in my stash. It washes nicely but after one use it is completely out of shape. I think I could get used to knitted washcloths, however, I like the feel on my face.
I finished Arlo's hat (Mütze auf deutsch) I like how the crown looks on his a little better than I like the look on mine. That's okay though since I won't see the crown of my hat when I'm wearing it. Although, I will be hard pressed to see the crown of Arlo's hat when he is wearing his.
Lastly, I finished my first knitted swap project. It is not due for mailing until December 1st ... won't my partner be surprised when she gets this in October. I knitted this 6 foot 2 inch scarf from the touch of whimsy pattern. I had never done an I-cord cast-on and cast-off. That combined with the double knit edging makes for a beautiful border.
I'm still working on the baby jacket for Isobel. I have the back and the two front pieces done. I'm working on the arms now. I would like to start a sweater for myself. I think I will go buy some more of the blue yarn that I used for the scarf. If I get truly bored, I could always knit one of these ... if only I knew a horse: