Last June, a friend from California visited. She knits her own bags to hold tarot decks, so we made an excursion to a wool shop on Queen Street. While Mary wandered around the store to look at different types and colours of yarn, I stood back and observed what was happening in the space.
Several folks — female, male, older, younger — sat in a circle, knitting things for a good cause. Needles clicked and coloured strands gradually became wearable items as people chatted with their neighbours about who was ill and needed a visit, what donations were required for a community centre, how to do a certain stitch, or what could be done to lessen discrimination against single parents. Once in a while, someone would get everyone’s attention just to check in with how they were doing with their knitting project or if the group needed refreshments, then the clicking and chatting would resume.
It was a marvellous, down-to-earth, grassroots, homespun circle. The sense of shared purpose, the helpful conversations, and just the shape made it so. The informal group check-ins ensured that everyone was looked after. A banker, some housespouses, an artist, a personal trainer, a secretary, a caterer, and a stock broker were equals. Knitting and sharing, sharing and knitting. The greatest thing they knit that day was community.