My knitting circle meets tonight. For those who don’t knit, or who knit but don’t belong to a group, that’s not a significant event. In fact, it’s an event that usually meets with a nod that implies “isn’t that cute.” I feel a little sorry for these people because, you see, they are missing the point. In this circle, it’s not the knitting that matters, it’s the fellowship that accompanies the clicking of needles and pulling of yarn. It’s the sharing, the caring for each other, and the camaraderie that brings us back to the table to do together what we could do alone at home.
In the knitting circle, many truths are spoken. We talk about hopes and dreams, successes and defeats. We talk about current events, and we talk about very sensitive personal issues. We know each other’s lives intimately, from our parenting challenges to our career successes, and even to our relationship issues. It’s an understanding gained over time – in some cases years – one hour at a time, one sweater at a time, one pair of socks at a time. It’s a place where we can be ourselves and be accepted for who we are.
Our group includes several people who tend to call things as they see them and aren’t afraid to point out bullshit when they see it. That’s good for the group. It keeps us honest, both with ourselves and with the others in the circle.
Don’t get me wrong, like any group, disagreements happen. But I think it’s a measure of character when the group members handle the disagreement tactfully, realizing that the strength of the friendship and the group is more important than any one issue.
You might think this was unique, that this particular group is something special that doesn’t exist anywhere else. That’s true to a certain degree, but I’ve experienced it in other knit groups too. I’ve also experienced it in churches, local community groups and a few other places.
I hope for you, my readers, that you have a group like this, whether you knit or not. Everyone needs those friends who will tell you that your new haircut looks bad but will also hold your hand while you cry over the lost job or the personal defeat, those who will call you out gently in your hypocracy and who will hold you accountable to the promises that you make to yourself.
If not, perhaps you should take up knitting and join us. You’ll find us in the coffee shop every Wednesday night.