Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Bowling Knitting League

I belong to the Tuesday Morning Ladies League. At age 55, when I first joined the group I was among the few youngins.  That was 8 years ago.   At that time the ages of the ladies ranged from forty-something to 80-something; with the average age being about sixty-something. 

We bowl at 9:30 on Tuesday mornings and our season goes from September to May.  We have four woman teams and bowl three games.  So we spend about 3 hours a week together.

When I first joined the group most of the ladies had already been bowling together for 15 years.  So, not only was I a youngin, but I was also a new comer and not a very good bowler to boot. 
It took a few years for even my own team members to warm up to me.   

About two years ago, the secretary of our league, Barbara, came up to me and asked if I had knitted the vest I was wearing.  "No," I said.  "Oh," she said, I am a knitter and that looks like a hand knitted vest."  I told her that I was newly knitting again.  She told me that she has been knitting since she was a child.  And low and behold, we had a bond.  

A group of the women always sit together and knit while they wait for their turn to bowl.  One day I got up the courage to go over and ask what they were working on.  And low and behold another bond with four more women.

That's when I decided I would take my knitting to bowling.

 A little while ago, the lanes we were bowling on were next to the lanes from another league.  The other league is a mixed male/female league.  I was, of course, knitting.  A guy from the other league said to me..."Hey, my wife knits".  "Come on, I want you to meet her."  "Honey," he called. "Come meet Lynda, she knits too."   

Now it seem that I am the go-to knitting person.  It's quite funny.  Even the non-knitters come up to me to see what my latest project is.   I think they would be disappointed if they didn't see me walk in with my old Vera Bradley knitting bag. 

There have been many changes in the last 8 years. The bowling averages of many of the original bowlers have dropped dramatically.  A lot of them have had to get lighter bowling balls.

Louise, age 81, and a member of my team, had to have open-heart surgery in October.  She refused to quit the league and hopes to come back in September.  Although Mae is 93, she still maintains one of the highest averages.  And even though her team members have to call Della every Tuesday to remind her to come to bowling, she too is still one of the best bowlers. 

Barbara suffered a mild stroke shortly after she had asked me about my vest.   She has made a remarkable recovery.  Her bowling style has changed, but,  she manages to maintain a decent average. She told me that seeing me with my knitting projects made her want to knit again.  Last week she showed me a picture of the beautiful cable stitch blanket that she made for her granddaughter.  It took her about a year to complete, and it is gorgeous.  

Now she is working on a lacy scarf.  Last week she told me that she was so frustrated because she made a mistake and had to rip the whole thing out.   I told her that I learned something very useful from my Ravelry friends.  I showed her the scarf I was working on with lifelines in it.  She was thrilled.
But, I think I was more thrilled to be able to show someone who has been knitting for 50 years a new trick. 

Yesterday, I bowled the worst three games I have bowled in a long time.  It may have had something to do with my preoccupation with trying to learn a new crochet pattern from one of my other "bowling" buddies the Reversible Shell Afghan.

The last 18 months have been pretty difficult for me.  I was pretty depressed last May and decided that I really wasn't interested in coming back in September to bowl.  But Erica, the president of our league, gently, well okay not so gently, convinced me that getting out of the house to bowl/knit would be the best medicine.   And "Besides," she said the league would miss you."  Yep, that's right I'm no longer a youngin or a new comer. 

My team, A Mirage of Treasure is currently in second place.  Not too bad for a bunch of old bowling knitters, huh?

Some of the member of my Bowling Knitting League