Knit Night

I was looking forward to it far more than I wanted to admit. The first Knit Night at the Geek Bar.

The Geek Bar is a new pub on the west end of Duckworth Street in downtown St. John’s –  formerly (still?) known as the Rock House Pub. It’s a space for sci-fi enthusiasts, board game aficionados and avid crafters. If you are going to drink a pint and knit at the same time, this is the place to do it.

The excellent Katie Garibaldi, owner of Cast On Cast Off, organized it all as a way to celebrate her knitting shop’s new location, on the third floor of the Posie Row shopping complex further east on Duckworth.

She even had limited edition Cast On Cast Off beer glasses made for the occasion!

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The evening started early – at 6:30 p.m. My friend Sheila and I were dropped down there a few minutes early, knitting bags in hand. There was a lineup outside. In the rain.

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We joined the queue, and joked about the bad old days when we’d be standing out in the rain one street below us – on George Street – to get into a dance club or to see a band.

The doors were unlocked promptly at 6:30 and a bar staffer wearing a Stormtrooper helmet welcomed us in.

All the available seating was quickly filled by knitters and a few rogue crocheters.

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Projects on the go ranged from the big (a crocheted afghan) to the small (a figure of Eleven, the character from Stranger Things).

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There were some notable members of the St. John’s knitterati there, and lots of other people I’d never met before. Mostly women, and a few brave men. Sheila and I shared our table with an archaeology student from Ontario and one of Sheila’s former elementary school students. It was cool to meet younger knitters.

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There are a few knitting groups that meet around town, but this was, by far, the largest group of knitters I have seen assemble in St. John’s. Also the most diverse, in terms of people, projects and levels of ability.

All hands agreed that this Knit Night was a hit – and many of us suggested to Katie that she make this a regular thing. As many of us knit mostly at home, it’s a good way to get out of the house and still scratch that woolly itch.  

As Shirl the Purl said when we said our goodbyes at the end of the evening,  “May the knit be with you!”

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The knitting needle and the damage done

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Last weekend, the unthinkable happened. I ran out of yarn.

I finished a toque ahead of time, the rational part of my brain admired it and I put it with my finished knitted goods. No big deal, right?

Not a big deal until Sunday afternoon, when I got hit by a rogue wave of panic.

We were in the Costco parking lot, heaving a 50-pound box of cat litter into the car, when I mused aloud,

“I’m trying to resist the urge to go over to Michael’s and buy some crap yarn to get me through this evening, because the wool store opens at noon tomorrow, so I’m just wondering if I can hold off until then. What do you think?”

My husband stopped mid-cat litter lift and said, concerned, “Um, you’re thinking about this a lot, aren’t you?”

I didn’t go over to Michael’s to buy the crap yarn. I could wait it out.

That evening, we settled in for a bit of Sunday night telly. Netflix, not Knitflix. But my hands got fidgety. I tried working on a page of my Scenes of Paris adult colouring book, but it didn’t quite scratch that itch. I picked up the iPad, to look at knitting patterns online, but that just made me more twitchy.

I know, I thought. I’ll take photos of my completed knitting projects, just for my records.

So I did that. And then I just went to bed out of it. What was the point of staying up if there was no knitting to do?

The next day, I was at the wool shop at noon, and bought enough skeins to start a three-colour mitten project. Calm washed over me. The universe had righted itself.

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So yeah, maybe this is a bit of a problem.

But then again, I could pick worse things to be addicted to. With the standard vices, I’m a moderate kind of girl – although the idea of giving up coffee is as unthinkable to me as giving up wool.

In terms of money spent on my habit, I average about $30 every two weeks for knitting supplies. That’s reasonable, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t give up nights out or social time with friends to knit, although I do like to get a few stitches in after I get home and before I turn in for the evening.

I have this under control.

I won’t have time to knit tonight. I have tickets to an experimental music concert.

Should I take my knitting with me?

World Wide Knit in Public Day in NL

Saturday, June 18 was cold, wet and windy in Newfoundland – perfect conditions for World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP). 

It’s the largest knitter run event in the world, and it costs nothing to take part (except the cost of your own knitting supplies). Considering the crappy state of affairs in the world at the moment, we could all use a bit of warm, fuzzy fun.

There were a few official events happening in my neck of the woods, and a few unofficial ones.

A craft collective in Bonavista optimistically planned to set up an outdoor tent on the road to the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse. Due to the sideways rain, the group quickly decamped to the dry and cozy Mockbeggars’ Plantation. Here is the group, in a photo courtesy of Joan Kane.

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There were other cool events, including a “Purl with Pints” event at the Captain’s Pub at the Anchor Inn Hotel in Twillingate. That’s my kind of knitting event.

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Here in St. John’s, I had to work. But hey, my job is in public broadcasting, so I celebrated World Wide Knit in Public Day at work.

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Please note, WWKIP is the only day I knit on the job.

It’s a good thing WWKIP took place on that rainy Saturday, because since then, we’ve been experiencing several consecutive days of warm, sunny weather. As this is highly unusual around here in June, all indoor activities, such as knitting and blogging, have been suspended while we expose our pasty white limbs to the great outdoors.

The weather will turn miserable again soon enough, and then knitting will resume.