There were a great many things I didn’t want to leave behind in Melbourne. Decent public transport, endless dumpling eatery options and a few of my favourite beer bars were among them. And on the list, fairly near the top, was the Richmond Knitters.
The Richmond Knitters, as the name suggests, are a group of knitters who meet at the Spread Eagle Hotel every Monday night. Seriously, every single Monday, you can count on at least three people being there, usually a great deal more. It was the most well-participated group I’ve ever been a part of. Every Monday, you could rest assured that if you turned up, somebody else would and you could discuss knitting or crocheting or sewing or (mostly) just life in general. It was a very welcoming, friendly group of people and I was very happy to be a part of it for three years and rather sad to leave.
Now the Richmond Knitters have a tradition. As a fairly metropolitan town, Melbourne has many people from overseas and many join the Richmond Knitters – and then, unfortunately, they hear the call of home and leave again. To ease the leaving, the Richmond Knitters knit the leavee a present, generally a blanket.
I’ve taken part in a couple of leaving blanket projects and yet when I decided to move back home, it never occurred to me that I would receive one – primarily because I had a pretty quick turn around from ‘deciding to leave the country’ to ‘getting on a plane’ (about five weeks) and because I knew I wouldn’t have any spare luggage allowance.
But the lovely Catherine circumnavigated both of these obstacles by arranging to have the blanket knitting project start at my farewell and then posting me the blanket.
Now, I’m not going to lie – when I opened up my parcel (covered in Australian iconography) and unfolded my blanket, I teared up a little. I don’t think I can really express it, so here’s some photos instead:
For those interested in the details, the yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 10 ply (which is becoming the traditional Richmond Knitters Farewell Project yarn) and the pattern is Knit Your Cables Afghan. Also, if you’d like to join the Richmond Knitters on a Monday knit, simply rock up to the Spread Eagle Hotel at 372 Bridge Rd, Richmond, look around for a group of knitters and introduce yourself. The staff can also point you in the right direction.
And again, a big thank you to the Richmond Knitters for my lovely blanket, which I’m sure will keep me nice and warm while studying this winter.