Tuesday 16 January 2007

Tuesdays @ 7

Moda was packed tonight. I'm not sure why, but I'm pleased for the management - good for business.

As I made my way up to my usual seating area I glanced into the basement to see if the knitting club was there. My wife has recently started to knit and she wanted me to do a little recon to see if the club was running again after the Christmas break. It was.

As I said, Moda was packed and there were no seats available. Not even the last-resort-uncomfortable-chairs-at-the-small-table-in-the-corner seats. I had to go down to the basement.

The poster on the wall stated that the knitting club meets in the basement of Moda on Tuesdays @ 7pm. About a dozen women, and one pre-teen girl, took up about three-quarters of the basement. I squeezed into an empty sofa, but before I could even sit down, and being the only male in the room, I was offered a pair of needles by at least two knitters.

A few of the women glance over at me - a couple of times. I glance back and recognise a couple of them (though I doubt they recognise me) - one is a librarian from the Rathmines Library and the other is the mother of a kid who once did a mediocre job of washing my car. Fair play to car-washing mother, she seems very evangelical for the knitting cause. Not only did she offer me the chance to join in, but she seemed to engage with anyone who happened to walk past on their way to the toilets.

Eventually two other guys enter and sit at the sofa next to me to play some chess. They look suitably uncomfortable (having been "evangelised") and tell each other they won't stay long. (As it happens they outlast the lot of us and are left to play chess in solitude by the end of the evening.)

I try to read my book, but am strangely fascinated by this gaggle and I can't help wondering how many of them are wearing products of former Tuesday evenings. I watch them as they effortlessly knit and talk about Celebrity Big Brother and vegetarian cuisine. One woman passes around a recently acquired loop of yarn. People feel the quality and comment on the colour. Everyone seems suitably impressed.

Me too!

In fact, I almost want to move from my seat and join the circle just to be a part of this community and maybe even have a go! I don't. Though I do imagine the conversations that would, perhaps, continue for weeks to come as they remember the night "a man joined our group."

Instead I continue to peer over my book watching as one knitter asks an older knitter for some advice. (I liked that.) She seems to be working on a sock while using four needles! When I say needles, actually they were more like oversized cocktail sticks. I was pleased to see 'sock lady' in turn give helpful advice to a novice.

Eventually they pack up their needles and wander off leaving a little more space in the basement for 'the guys'. I also finish up my latte and leave.

On returning home I discover that my wife has spent the evening knitting a scarf for my birthday (on Friday). I shall proudly wear it to Moda on Tuesdays @ 7 and feel, in some way, a connection with the group.

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