On Tuesday Jay, Selma and I left Takoma Park after a whirlwind of activity–mailing boxes of things that wouldn’t fit in our suitcases, lots of wonderful goodbyes and all of the stuff involved in getting out of a house. I’ve been so brain-dead, I haven’t been able to post, but I’ll try and recap now.

Tuesday July 1st was my birthday. The kids woke me with singing and kisses and I had a nice quiet day in the house we were house-sitting in, sitting on their screened-in porch and working on my computer. Miraculously, the seasonally humid Maryland weather had cleared and it was breezy and in the seventies.

Tuesday evening was my final visit to SSK–I had been looking forward to it for a week. I planned on taking lots of pictures and saying some fond goodbyes. When I got there, I was serenaded on entering with Happy Birthday started by Abraham and his parents Hannah and David:

and the party just continued. That’s Debbie in the foreground of the picture, above. She really does knit that fast!


Cici and Shelette–two knitting, blogging sisters that are not regulars at SSK, (but we love hanging out at events at my local yarn store, A Tangled Skein) made a special appearance to say goodbye (They promise they didn’t coordinate their outfits).

Johnson Sisters

and they brought a wonderful birthday gift:

magazine box

This cool box is made from recycled magazines and it’s filled with knitting goodies.

Jennifer had a great card and an address book that she got everyone to sign throughout the night.

address book

At about 7:30, Heidi and Emily arrived with a great, big, bag…

Somehow, without me finding out, Emily had spent the last couple of months coordinating a secret project: The SSK knitters had been making squares for an amazing afghan and Emily gathered them and assembled them (not to mention making a few of her own squares). The blanket is so beautiful, and such a wonderful way to remember all the amazing people I’ve come to know and love in the group. (Later that night, the blanket covered me while I slept, and felt the wonderful energy of everyone’s hands and hearts). Everyone put their own stamp on their squares–from Martha’s yellow square with a stranded Bicycle to Lisa’s Thrummed square to Carol’s crocheted grannies, to Teresa’s stripes and Debbie’s intarsia rainbows and cake (!!), and Barbara’s celtic designs, Heidi’s signature laces stitch (Abraham even learned to purl for his square!), and more.

opening blanket

blanket 2

I think Emily was happy with the result:


blanket 3

Other not-so-frequent visitors to SSK came by too, Lisa Anderson, Junko, Elizabeth–it was great so see everyone.


By the way, I taught Junko to knit when I first arrived in Takoma Park three years ago, look what she just finished:


(We WON’T talk about how this is the second time Junko knit this shawl because the first time, she left it, half-bound-off, on the DC metro. She’s still waiting for someone to turn it in to lost and found…)

Rebecca, who is waiting on pins and needles for the word that she can fly to Vietnam and finalize the adoption of her little boy spent the day spinning then knitting this neck warmer for me so I won’t get too cold in Alaska:

neck warmer

Barbara and I love to trade books, and she brought in Knit One, Kill Two that she had just finished. (Barbara, I gave Rebecca Back on Blossom Street to give to you next time she sees you!)


Martha flew back from LA then rushed up to Adega with her husband Bruce in order to be there for my last time. Martha started SSK, and I started going as soon as I arrived in MD–it was originally held in a Starbucks by the Silver Spring metro. Martha has nurtured the group, and it has grown and thrived, she’s an amazing group leader and a great friend–thanks Martha, I’ll miss you!


Heidi knitted me a birthday card!

As evidence of the breadth of knitting that goes on at SSK, Lorraine, was working on (or just finished?) a uterus she knitted for a friend:

Emily didn’t stop with her afghan project. Emily is a recently graduated social worker. When things calmed down a bit after she unveiled the afghan, she began explaining that in school she was taught that patients sometimes need “transitional objects” to help with a big change, and so, for the rest of the group, she made:

Yeah. It’s an amigurumi, of me! (Or an AMY-gurumi?). We were all pretty floored. The glasses and the hair flying out of the bun are awesome details. I gave her a crochet hook. Some ladies gave her some wine:

We don’t think it will be long before we start knitting for her. Emily, you rock–you’re so creative and funny and smart and fun!

It was such a fun party–and at the same time it was typical of how great SSK is in general–warm and welcoming to the unsuspecting new arrival who came for the first time that night. I have loved being part of this group so much over the last three years, and it’s hard to imagine not being with this amazing group of friends every Tuesday night.