I have always wanted to learn how to knit. Growing up, I saw moms in Kenya crotcheting decorative cloths to put on couches or sofa sets. It was also common to see pregnant moms knitting their entire baby cloth collection during their baby’s nine-month gestation period.
My love for knitting was also reinforced with my mom being an expert knitter. In Kenya, schools have uniforms, and each school had a specific color for their sweaters. My mom would go to the school to see the colors to match them to the yarn. She would handknit sweaters for us instead of purchasing the sweaters from the school. So as you guessed, I was always the odd one out when it came to class pictures. You could always spot me in a chunky knitted sweater, surrounded by a sea of store-bought sweaters.
So at the tail end of 2019-2020 (pre-covid), I joined a knitting club as a volunteer. The funny thing is that I had no knitting skills whatsoever. I was somewhat intimidated when I saw the members come with elaborate projects and I was just there twiddling my thumbs. The next session, one older lady, insisted that I should learn, “There is no point of attending a knitting club if you can’t knit.” She handed me a loom, and within 5 minutes, I started knitting. I was thrilled, and I could feel butterflies in my stomach, “I can’t believe I am knitting.” After the 3-hour session was done, I had my first pair of red mittens. I was so happy.
After this, the members asked me to challenge myself and start with a more ambitious project. So I selected a blanket. Midway, I realized that I closed the loom’s end, and I couldn’t rectify the issue. So I decided to change it and make a hat instead! I was amazed at the camaraderie that I found in the knitting club. Everyone from all walks of life was present, and their main agenda was knitting, but through it all, problems were being solved, and suggestions were being made.
I became fond of the lady who taught me how to knit. I asked her secret because she had so much joy and patience. She advised that it was because of the “joy of the Lord.” As I worked on my ambitious project over the next few months, I sat and listened quietly to conversations about love, faith, resilience, and GOD. I felt so much at peace when I walked into the knitting club. I also met another retired engineer who stated that she quit her career to care for her kids and now her grandkids. It was amazing to see people from all walks of life, and almost all of them had the common thread of God and faith. It’s as if God had literally “knitted” the group together.
When the pandemic started, the knitting club ended (March 2020). I felt so sad to see them cancel the club. There was something about being in the same room with these individuals. Although I was sad for it to end, I am glad to say that I completed my project one week before the pandemic started! I have had people ask me to sell them this hat, but I can’t do that. It took me almost three months to complete- that’s HARD WORK. I will keep this hat as a reminder of the incredible people I met (and hope to meet again) in the Knitting club. I am also happy to report that I am now finally working on my long overdue blanket!