My knitting and I recently spent two weeks in Sete, in the south of France and Barcelona, Spain.
The south of France is known for its linen and other cloth textiles, but alas, I did not find any sign of local yarn. Most of the farmland I saw seemed to be devoted to grapevines, not sheep farming. Not that that’s a bad thing.
I thought about taking my knitting to the beach, then ruled it out. I’d get sand in the yarn.
So most of my knitting was done while we hung out under the hot sun on my friends’ balcony, drinking rose and listening to some music.
However, I did take out my sock-in-progress on our train ride between Sete and Barcelona.
Two freshly retired couples got on at Narbonne, and took a set of seats diagonally from us. One of the women in the groups said to the other, in English, “Look, she’s knitting.”
Then they took out their knitting – one woman was knitting an afghan, the other, a scarf.
So of course we got to talking.
They were from Brisbane, Australia, and the two couples were on a post-retirement, around the world travel binge. They had just spend a few months at a rental in the south of France, and then they were heading to Barcelona to take a cruise.
Why they were a) knitting in the 30-degree plus summer weather and b) why they knit in sub-tropical Brisbane, I have no idea. The love of knitting knows no climate-related barriers.
We admired each other’s works in progress, swapped pattern ideas, and even had some conversation in French with a neighbouring passenger. The French lady was a knitter, too. Pretty soon our section of the rail car turned into a mobile, bilingual knitting party.
As we pulled into Barcelona Sants, one of the Australian women mentioned the group was taking another cruise in the fall, this one in the North Atlantic, with a scheduled stop in St. John’s. Any must see knitting shops there?
It’s funny how knitting can overcome geography, language, and climate.
Perhaps the next G8 summit or world climate change talks should include knitting sessions. World leaders would probably get a lot more work done together.