Moretta Bosley walked into the Panera restaurant in Owensboro, Ky., a few years ago wearing a sweater that she knitted. A group of women meeting there had a request for her, she said.
“They said, ‘You need to come knit with us.’ So I did,” Bosley said. That began her association with Chix with Stix, a group of knitters that began six years ago and continues to expand. From Oct. 20-22, 16 of them made their first knitting retreat at the Mount Saint Joseph Conference and Retreat Center.
“When we saw the rocking chairs, we thought ‘this is perfect,’” said Linda Knight, of Owensboro. “We took a walk along the grounds the first day. This is our first annual event, but we hope to do it every year.”
On the afternoon of Oct. 21, several of the knitters left Conference Room B at the Center and moved to the yard outside to enjoy the beautiful fall day. “We’re not like quilters, we don’t need electricity,” Knight said. “We’ve knit on the river, we’re very mobile.”
The beautiful day had already convinced the members they need to come in the spring and the fall, said Pam Knight, Linda Knight’s sister-in-law from Somerset, Ky.
“Linda taught me to knit when our mother-in-law had cancer,” Pam Knight said. “She’s one of the people who holds this group together. We would love to have more people join.”
There were three generations of knitters at the Center, including those from Tennessee and other cities in Kentucky, Linda Knight said.
“We started knitting at Panera and we added people through word of mouth,” she said. “People come up to us and ask, ‘What are you making?’”
On Oct. 21, she was making a throw and a scarf. A lot of the women brought unfinished projects.
“We decided to have a contest,” Linda Knight said. “If you finish a project you get a ticket to put in a pot. We all put in some money and whoever’s name is drawn will win about $120. We’re all working really hard to finish.”
Bosley is one of the veteran knitters who is happy to show others what she’s learned over 50 years at the craft.
“You know you’re an addicted knitter when you have yarn in every room in the house and even in the car,” Bosley said. “I like looking at what everyone else is making. They inspire you to make something new.”
The younger generation was represented by Sophie Hayes, 16, of Henderson, Ky., who came with her twin sister Anna to knit with the group for the first time. “I started knitting a couple of years ago,” she said. “I’m home schooled, so I don’t get a lot of socialization. This is fun. I will definitely do it again.”
She said she likes the repetition of knitting. “You can see it grow into something you envision in the final product,” Hayes said.
Abby Donahue made her first trip to the Retreat Center from Brentwood, Tenn. “I’ve known Linda (Knight) for 20 years, she taught me to knit six or seven years ago. When I get a new pattern, I take a picture and send it to Linda to teach me how to do it,” Donahue said.
“Knitting is a lost art. I’m 45, and I have no friends at home who knit, crochet or sew,” Donahue said. “This is the first time I’ve met with the group, I can learn from them. I have two teenagers at home, I don’t have time to sit and do it. Here, I can do it.”
Here are some pictures from their visit.