Sunday, May 2, 2010

A walk down memory lane in knitting nirvana

I can't help but marvel at Ravelry, the online world's knitting mecca. This social networking site hooks up knitters and crocheters from around the world and provide the means to track stash, patterns, magazines, booklets, and books, all in one easy-to-search place. It is a wonder.

But my favorite thing about Ravelry is not its comprehensive features or online ecommerce platform. I love Ravelry because it's let me reconnect with my college roommate. On Labor Day weekend 33 years ago, Chris and I moved into Syracuse University's Boland Hall (doesn't look like a dorm, does it?). Neither of us actively knitted then; as I remember it, our main concern was boys, although Chris did get up every morning before dawn to go crew in the freezing Onondagan waters (!). She and I lived together freshman year and remained Christmas card friends over the decades.

Then email came along, making communication easier. Chris was the first person who ever told me about Ravelry. I signed up right away, loving it from day one, and particularly relishing the chance to reconnect with my dear old friend. We have been talking regularly about life in general and knitting in particular ever since.

I was thrilled when Chris said she was planning on driving down from Syracuse for this weekend's Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. She almost didn't come because her beloved lab, Spencer was hit by a car last weekend (grace of God, he's on the mend) and her daughter came back from a semester abroad, and let's face it! Life is complicated. But despite all that, she tromped down to Maryland anyway.

Last night, two old knitting friends met for a wonderful dinner. Can you imagine anything better? We brought our current projects, of course. Check out this absolutely gorgeous Work Day Shawl from Norwegian Handknits that Chris made in Cascade 220. I'm in LOVE with this pattern and have to make it. Chris did an amazing job. And isn't the color just perfect on her?

We exchanged also gifts. Chris snuck off to the show and bought me some gorgeous Tess' Raw Silk which is featured now in the most popular pattern on Ravelry, the Summit shawl from Knitty. It's a gorgeous raspberry shade that looks great with my fair skin and dark hair. She bought herself some in a pale pink, perfect for her fair skin and blonde hair.

My gift? Yellow lab stitch markers made by Jillian of WeeOnes. A few weeks ago, I bought the pug stitch markers and adore them, so I figured the yellow labs markers would be great, especially since Spencer's injury has been so traumatic for Chris' family.

What a wonderful night! My only regret: I wish Chris lived closer. How wonderful it would be to have a knitting friend, especially one who has known me for over 30 years, to play with on a regular basis. But instead of regrets, I will be grateful for old friends, email, cell phones, and most especially Ravelry which brought us back together to begin with.


  1. How wonderful it is to reconnect with old friends!