From little squares…

TunCroAlthough it may not look like much this square represents a few hours spent in the company of a group of amazing women that I’m privileged to call my friends. Wendy, Lucy H, Lucy W, Katie, Clare, myself and Louby (when she can make it) get together once a month for our ‘Stitch & Bitch’ sessions.

Now despite not being a great fan of the phrase stitch & bitch which to me conjures up negative images one alternative, Knit & Natter, is definitely far too tame for who we are and what we do. These women are my ‘bee-at-ches’ who were there for me when Sam & I we were at our lowest point just before my brain op in 2016. Together we form an incredible support network within which we talk about pretty much anything and everything accompanied by fantastic food oh yes…. and a bit of crafting. Some of us are accomplished knitters, some prefer to sew and sometimes if there’s been too much alcohol consumed we forget about being creative and just talk, talk, talk.

Last night my inspirational friend Jenny joined us for the first time and being an accomplished crochet designer (her work is regularly featured in Inside Crochet magazine) she introduced me to the basics of Tunisian crochet. It’s one of those techniques that’s been on ‘The List’ for a number of years now (along with top down knitting, a fair isle design etc etc) but with one thing and another I just hadn’t got round to it. So having ferreted through my loft I found a Tunisian crochet hook that I kept after closing my Edinburgh yarn shop all those years ago and a ball of DK yarn from my all too large stash. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the basic stitch really isn’t that taxing to learn even for my constantly furred up brain and I love both the feel and look of the fabric. It’s an intriguing mix of knit and crochet and it has a lovely firm feel that would be ideal for bags so no doubt I’ll experiment along those lines if ever I get the chance. What each chain, loop and stitch in this tiny square really does represent though is a precious few hours of catching up, problems shared and raucous laughter washed down with a few glasses of wine or in my case lychee juice and decaf tea. (Not in the same glass obviously).

So thanks to my bee-at-ches for another amazing night, Jenny – welcome to the group and  above all Katie thanks for the outstanding bowls of superfood salad that given our ages no doubt made us all flatulent for the rest of the evening. (Even so Wendy & I polished itoff when everyone else had the good grace to stop eating). Looking forward as ever to next month.

You can find out more about Jenny Reid’s work by following her on instagram where she’s millieroseuk or you can find her designs on Ravelry here

J x

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More stitch than bitch

31 Day Challenge Day 9

I have a confession to make. I’m a very late comer to the ‘Stitch & Bitch’ scene. It may well be the actual name ‘Stitch & Bitch’ as it can have really negative connotations and although it may not literally be the case the idea of sitting around in groups ‘bitching’ about ANYTHING does not, for me, sound appealing or positive. Or at least it didn’t…

Finally feeling settled in Brighton & Hove I now find myself part of what we call a stitch & bitch group but is actually a group of six really close friends. I have to admit though that we have a slight problem. We don’t actually stitch that much. It may be that only two of us knit (although we did help Lucy H complete her first small quilt last year) and whilst we don’t bitch (that much) we spend a lot of time eating, chatting, laughing & drinking wine. Now that’s all fine you may think but it’s the drinking of wine that presents the problem for as a wise head once said “stitches made when taking wine will be ripped out the following morn”. (Ok so no-one wise said it I just found out the hard way).

So this year we’ve pledged to use our time to stitch more, in fact much much more and happily this fits in with my hopes for a more creatively varied life.  Our first get together happens this evening when we will each be setting out our stitching plans for the coming year. There’s been talk of hand knitting blankets and coats for beloved pets (Clare & Wendy) as well as more machine sewn projects for both Lucy H and Katie. Lucy W will no doubt have another stunning piece of colour work on the pins and I will be kicking off my knitting year with a cabled hat promised to Sam in a knitting IOU (hurriedly written on Christmas Eve) to match fingerless gloves I made for him the Christmas before last.  I’m looking forward to this evening when we’ll be dusting off machines, looking for inspiration and getting down to work…..just don’t offer me a glass of wine.

J x