I spent a lovely lunch hour today with fellow crafty colleagues. There are ten of us in the group who meet every three weeks at a local cafe for our Knit & Natter session. Even though we all work for the same company we work in different departments so tend not to see each other on a day-to-day basis, and it's great to meet up with like-minded people for a coffee and a chat. Due to work commitments and holidays there were only seven of us today, but one of the girls bolstered numbers by bringing her sister and a friend along.
Today I showed off my bunting work-in-progress. Everyone loved the bright colours and all agreed that it would look really cheery on the stall and attract people's attention. The separate flags are curling up quite a lot though so I'm going to have to use iron-on interfacing or stitch some felt to the back to stablise the individual shapes. I'll try and take some photos over the weekend to let you see how they're looking.
So what about the others in the group?
Anna is a really prolific knitter and always has some new garment on her needles. She has even been known to knit in presentations at work as she is one of those clever knitters who doesn't need to look at her work as she's knitting! Today though she was teaching her friend how to knit with chunky needles and a gorgeous, soft blue/pink/cream mix yarn.
As well as knitting a few rows of my latest bunting flag, I helped Rebecca to take up knitting again today. She vaguely remembered the odd knitting lesson at school but hadn't done it since then, and her interest was sparked when she came to our last K&N session 'just for a look'. The memories were obviously waiting quietly in the filing cabinet drawer of the mind marked 'knitting' though, as she picked up the different basic stitches straight away - cable cast on, knit and purl stitches. She's going to spend the weekend experimenting with making stripes and ribbing by alternating the knit and purl stitches.
Sue has a habit of forgetting when our group meets so she rarely brings along anything on the day! She's been inspired to take up crochet again though. Her enthusiasm is infectious; she's so interested in other people and what they're doing, asking about different techniques and crafting materials.
Steph was knitting a Dalek today. We're all really impressed with Steph as she has only taken up knitting recently (after a brief furore with a baggy jumper in the distant past!) but being a beginner does not stand in her way. If she sees a pattern she likes, she'll go for it, no matter how hard it looks. Steph's first item was a gorgeous black cardigan with frilly edges for a friend's wedding (the deadline was too tight for the wedding but she perservered and DID finish it after a couple of problems). After the cardi, Steph turned back to her love of crochet to create a similar bag to one I did in the summer (but in lovely warm and muted colours) from Simply Knitting mag. She's now trying to have some fun with her knitting by making the Dalek. Even though the pattern calls for stitching in the round (a technique she's never tried) and knitting bobbles (a stitch she's never tried) Steph is knitting the Dalek for a birthday gift in two weeks time. No pressure then! I think Steph is such an inspiration, she's so enthusiastic and willing to give anything a go.
It's not just about knitting though; Emma spent her lunch hour working on her beautiful embroidered bookmark. It's a close-up of a forest with embroidered tree trunks and hundreds of beads making up the forest floor and the tree foliage. It was started a couple of years ago, then was put down and almost forgotten about; but Emma was inspired to pick it up again when our group started. It's going to be fabulous when it's finished!
Ruth didn't have anything with her today but she's usually working on some exquisite piece of embroidery too - often goldwork. I just found out today that she has a blog too. It's a really interesting technical 'how to' blog, detailing the fabulous commission from the Northumbrian Association that she's working on: to make a replica of a lost Medieval processional banner dedicated to St Cuthbert, for presentation to Durham Cathedral. Wow! As well as some smaller projects such as these fantastic goldwork dodecahedrons.
I find these K&N sessions to be so interesting: it gives you a chance to show off your latest project and to be inspired by what other people have on their needles; to ask for help with problems and to be able to help with ideas when someone else has a query; to look at magazines and books recommended by others; and above all to socialise with like-minded people, to take an interest in their lives as well as their craft interests - and it's fun!