When I was in my early twenties I lived in New York. Brooklyn to be exact. I was the front desk girl at a fancy art gallery in midtown Manhattan and spent most of my nights hanging out with my roommates at Daddy’s, the hipster dive bar in the middle our Italian immigrant neighborhood. And when I wasn’t writing press releases at the gallery or flirting with boys at the bar, I was learning one of my most treasured skills: knit one, purl one.
Yeah, I moved to one of the most exciting cities in the world at the age of 21 and came back to Los Angeles two years later with sweaters and hats and even a handknit bikini in my suitcase. The hilarity of this is not lost on me. But not unlike how I feel about cooking and eating, knitting is best when done with friends and for me it has always been a social activity. In fact, one of my best friends and I discovered knitting together. Melissa (who was also my roommate in Williamsburg) and I were walking along Bedford Avenue when we stumbled upon a pretty little shop called The Yarn Tree. We walked in and quickly fell in love with the colorful selection of lush yarns and the promise each skein held. We were on the road to the satisfaction that comes from making something beautiful and useful.
Fast forward nearly a decade. I’m in LA and Melissa stayed in Brooklyn. Thankfully we see each other many times a year as family brings her west and work takes me east. During her last trip to LA, we stopped by a local yarn shop on the way to an afternoon at the Korean Spa, as I needed to pick up some more yarn for a project (the “neverending” cowl featured in the above pics). Within moments we were back in Brooklyn circa 2002, excitedly, almost frantically, browsing through pattern books, touching everything and plotting our next big knitting move. Ever since we knit our first stitch, Melissa and I have discussed knitting a throw. In fact, we started one around five years ago during one of my trips to New York, but it didn’t quite work out so we shelved the project.
While browsing through a new book put out by Purl, the chic knitting store in Soho, we stopped when we spotted the above left picture of the brightly-hued throw. We loved it and decided to buy the supplies and commit to weekly cross country skype sessions where we would knit together, check on our progress and catch up on life. We obviously never made it to the spa. We decided that it would be a better idea to go home, get comfortable on my couch, pour some chilled prosecco and launch right into our project.
And since then Mel and I have both been knitting like crazy. And talking a lot. We talk about needle size, yarn types and knitting theories (i.e. “always have a small project going so you don’t hit a wall with the big projects” – I like to apply this one to many different facets of life). We talk about everything else too. The throw is coming right along – we’ve knit around nine inches in length out of the total 50″. This whole cross country knitting exercise is a reminder that knitting, just like cooking and eating and crafting and visiting the Korean spa, is really just an excuse to connect. Hopefully we’ll get a warm and cozy blanket out of it too.