Here is my contribution to Day Three of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, organized by the adorable Eskimimi. Today’s theme is Your Knitting or Crochet Hero…
These lovely ladies are some of my personal heroes, knitting and otherwise.
They’re part of my beloved “Uptownknitmob” — an ever-changing group of knitters (and those who love them) that meets in uptown Waterloo every week to knit, eat, and generally hang out together.
Although the skill levels of the different members vary widely, every single person has impressed me with their knitting in one way or another. Sometimes it’s stunning lace, sometimes it’s ingenious design, sometimes it’s playful colour, sometimes it’s sheer determination, sometimes it’s unbelievable speed from cast-on to bind-off.
This group tends towards nerdiness, in the very best ways possible. If you want a really thoughtful debate over which cast-on is best for your project, we’re your people. If you want to talk about physics or Firefly or fabric, we have those discussions too.
There’s Erin, who sews robot pouches and works as a historical interpreter; there’s Suzanne, who is exactly the kind of thinky, loving, kickass mama I’d like to grow up to be. There’s Johanna, who managed to coordinate the knitting of some 80 pairs of keychain-holder socks as wedding favours, while also knitting her own stunning silk shawl. There’s Heather, who fights harder for her two daughters than anyone should ever have to, but who still manages to be generous and supportive of everyone around her, too.
In all, there are probably 15 or 20 “regular” knitmob knitters, and then there’s the whole “married to the mob” crew of husbands and boyfriends, and a rapidly-increasing gaggle of mobspawn.
Which brings me to the blankets.
When Meredith got pregnant — the first member to do so since we had first formed as a group — we knit her a blanket. She was jokingly planning to decorate the nursery with a zombie robot ninja ladybug theme, so Suzanne engineered a mosaic-knit square featuring each of those motifs, and the rest of us worked squares to accompany them.
Then, Lindsey — who dyes yarn and fibre as WaterlooWools, though she’s still on maternity leave at the moment — announced that she was expecting, so we did up another blanket. This one was worked in strips, in fingering weight; we even managed to work in some of her own yarns, and some from our other resident dyer, Johanna of Lofty Fibres.
We made another blanket for Stephi, our lovely German entomologist, too; I hope to have pictures of it soon with her little rosy daughter, though the finishing of the blanket got a little delayed.
Mandy, our religious-studies-scholar-slash-earth-mama, soon announced that she was having twins, and moving home to Winnipeg. That — of course! — meant not one, but two blankets, with different but coordinating tree-of-life motifs.
And then there’s Gina.
To the best of my knowledge (!), she’s not expecting a baby any time soon, but she IS moving away from the knitmob, to pursue a post-doc. She recently finished her doctorate in quantum computing, so now she’s forever Doctor G to us. She is one of the sweetest people I know, and has earned her Ravelry name (SweetG) many times over. She’s a big fan of the colour purple, so of course, her blanket had to feature every shade of purple we could get our hands on. We presented it to her just last week, and it was all many of us could do not to cry.
No sooner had we finished blocking Gina’s blanket (we hadn’t even presented it to her yet), but Teresa announced that she’s expecting her second child (her first post-mob child). It should come as no surprise that as soon as we knew, one of the first issues on our collective minds was what sort of blanket THIS knitmobber should get…
What makes this group of people my heroes — knitting and otherwise — is the way they accept me for who I am, and the way they support each other consistently and relentlessly. In the three-ish years since the first of us started meeting up, there have been births, deaths, miscarriages, a divorce, breakups, moves, graduations, more panic attacks and medical crises than anyone ought to have… and this group has been solidly supportive throughout. The group itself has changed — there are always new people joining, and other people drifting away — but somehow the ethos of support has been rock-solid.
I know that these are My People, and they have drawn me out of my own anxiety-ridden shell, challenged me, welcomed me, and cared for me. I know that I would not be the person I am today without these people.
So thank you, uptownknitmob. Thank you.