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Today was the last one of those Mondays that I particularly like: when members of the American International Women’s Club of Cologne get together for Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. I have to admit to having been a bit anxious beforehand, knowing I would be saying goodbye (for now) to many lovely people.

We knitted and cross-stitched and chatted. I only knitted a bit but helped a friend with a nifty trick for making a three-needle bind-off easier and chatted lots. I was very touched that one member came especially to have a coffee with us and say goodbye. I also got to unpack some lovely stripey sock wool and several sock patterns – perfect aeroplane knitting –  from a friend who knows how much I like to knit socks! Another friend flew into Germany from the US this morning, made a short stop at home, and came along to catch the tail-end of Stitch ‘n’ Bitch before we went to lunch.

My co-leader, M, and I had decided to have a bit of fun and so we both turned up in our Ravello jumpers. Mine is a roomy, winter version. M has knitted a fitted, all-season jumper in gorgeous colours of Holst Garn. It was quite amusing to see people’s reactions when they realised that, yes, we were wearing the same jumpers! We have even both done the Odd Sleeve Thing.*two women in similar striped sweaters

One of our cross-stitchers knew about the perfect place for lunch and after suitable refuelling (crafting is hungry work) and much laughter, I was very touched to be given an extremely generous gift voucher for the wool shop in Sydney, Morris and Sons. I already have a couple of ideas but will wait and see how things really are weather-wise. I’d like to make a garment and think of all my lovely friends in Cologne while I’m knitting it and every time I wear it.

Being part of an expatriate or itinerant community, means you’re saying goodbye to people on a fairly regular basis. It never gets any easier, regardless of whether you’re leaving or watching others go. In my unassuming way, I’m always slightly taken aback that my sorrow at leaving is matched by those I leave behind. Despite some tears, today ended on a bright note: one friend reminded me that exciting opportunities lie ahead and that she and others will still be in Cologne when we return. Watch this space! 🙂

*Ravelry is the perfect resource for ‘variations on a theme’ both for Ravello and other  delectable stripey garments!

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