It started out as a simple way to pass time as my youngest child was recovering from surgery in the hospital. I figured it would be a good way to keep my hands occupied and my mind focused on something other than IV drips and antibiotics. I quickly realized you can't snack and knit at the same time. What a concept! I had visions of me eating chocolate bars and potato chips as my son underwent surgery. Instead my friend Rysia from Antwerp taught me the basic garter stitch on size 10 needles and some cheap acrylic yarn.

My knitting helped me through those long hours of waiting and watchingSomehow it just didn't seem feasible. How could I possibly create something wearable or usable out of an innocent ball of string? Rysia made the stitches look so simple as the yarn took on a life of its own. Her fingers rapidly became a blur as the needles clicked and clacked. Within minutes, a small strip of scarf began to emerge. My eyes opened wide as she quietly handed the nice neat ball of string and the very beginning of a scarf. How hard could this possibly be?

The women I had witnessed knitting in the bungalow colony had always made knitting seem effortless. Fingers flying, knitting needle clacking away, balancing a huge chunk of afghan or a half finished sweater on their knees while stirring a cup of coffee with one hand and writing a list of ingredients for a casserole with their other hand. They made it look rather easy, all those capable knitters, surrounded by various strands of multi-colored yarns. It was quite impressive, to say the least!

I watched closely as dozens of loose yarns were woven together to create something vibrant, fantastic and wearable. I can do this, I thought. I carefully held the ball of yarn and began my first feeble attempts at the garter stitch. Rysia lovingly urged me on as stitches seemed to jump off my needles. I slowly learned how to put the stitches back on my needles and continued knitting. My first scarf dragged on the floor and looked like it had survived a moth infestation. There were that many holes. My neighbors' teenage daughter loved this holey scarf and insisted on wearing it to school. She claimed it looked vintage.

I continued to make scarves as my son went in and out of the hospital. My fingers took on a life of their own as they effortlessly turned strands of loose yarn into scarves. I must have knit over fifty scarves. I gave some to other moms in the hospital, nurses, my mother-in-law, my sisters, my mom and any other poor innocent bystander who looked like they might need a scarf. I live in Southern California, so needless to say I still have a big plastic bin filled with assorted scarves.

My knitting helped me through those long hours of waiting and watching. It was a lot better than snacking my way through his recovery. Today, he is, thank G‑d, healthy but I continue to knit. I started visiting my local yarn store to invest in some pricier yarn. I have long since abandoned rough, scratchy acrylic for luscious alpaca and silk blends. My fingers love the feel of the luxury yarn. The owner of the store insisted it was time for me to move on from scarves to shrugs. I could feel a panic attack coming on... My heart was racing, my hands were clammy, my voice quivered as I asked her If she had any suggestions. Before I knew it I knit my very first shrug! I never actually wore it because I am not a "shrug" kind of girl but it is a beautiful shrug.

Since that moment, my knitting needles have a mind of their own. First of all, I began a collection of assorted needles. Circular needles, straight needles, double pointed needles... I was on a roll! I signed up for a class and my teacher, Anne, whom I renamed"The Knitting Guru," has lovingly guided me through sweaters, cardigans, hats, purses and more! I now have a regular knitting night! I meet several other women at the knitting store and we solve world problems as we knit. If only we could get some politicians to listen to our words of wisdom we could have solved world hunger and generated world peace months ago!

We join together to form a dynamic tapestry of humanityOur knitting group is eclectic. Our cultural backgrounds are as varied as the numerous yarns we knit with. We come from Armenia, Korea, Greece, Italy and yes, even Brooklyn, New York! Our career choices are diverse as well. Our group consists of an OB/GYN, a jewelry designer, a TV Producer, a lawyer and a kindergarten teacher (that's me!) We share our daily trials and tribulations and support each other through the highs and lows of day to day living. When Sylvia lost her dad, our little knitting group had trees planted in the Jerusalem Forest in his memory. When Jody was out of town we called her regularly to say hi and remind her that she was missed. Although we come from all walks of life we are a tight-knit (pun intended) group.

My knitting friends have assured me that my teenage and pre-teenage kids are perfectly normal and healthy. This was really a relief to me. I was beginning to doubt my parenting skills. I am so grateful for the simple joy and satisfaction knitting has brought into my life. Taking time out from my hectic day-to-day life helps to rejuvenate me for the rest of the week. I still make an effort to attend weekly Jewish classes to rejuvenate my soul, but knitting helps bring balance to my life. I get to sit and relax and knit. There is something so incredibly soothing about the constant clicking of the needles.

Time seems to stand still as our eclectic group of knitters sits in a circle around the table, needles clacking away. It is incredibly rewarding to see the assorted rainbow strands of loose yarns bind together to form a textured fabric. The garment grows slowly as I methodically stitch away. I sit with my knitting friends, women from all walks of life and for a few precious hours every Tuesday evening, we join together to form a dynamic tapestry of humanity. I always assumed the only thing two wooden sticks were used for was eating Chinese food… Now I know two wooden sticks can be used to create a multitude of things. All I need is some fine yarn, patience and good friends.