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Knit With the Gathered Together Girls at Friendly Grounds

Help on patterns for needlework shared at bi-monthly meetings

has yet another group making their place a friendly one. A group of women meet the first and third Fridays of the month for parlaying and purling, chatting and chaining.  Gathered Together Girls sip their iced lattes and give each other tips on their needlework.

Whether it’s crochet, knitting, cross-stitch—any portable needlework-- these women love to share their handiwork along with the latest on their families.

“We all know each other’s families—and our crazy husbands,” Smail said.

The other women smiled, stitching in time.

From scarves to sweaters, booties to blankets, friends of Gathered Together work on their projects from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the coffee shop.

On the this third Friday, four of them met up. Sharon Smail was working on a soft, sparkly scarf  for her daughter; Jean Henderson, a hat for a soldier; Susie Robson, a bright blue scarf for an Hospital patient, and Sandie Fronda, a baby bunting.

"In other words, a cocoon, a wrap-around for a baby,” Fronda explained. “For my granddaughter.”

Sometimes the women do projects for themselves or family members, other times for groups such as Stitches From the Heart.

“We like the idea of doing every once in a while a common project, such as for the hospital,” Fronda said. 

“I started out was doing lap-ghans for cancer patients in the hospital,” Henderson said. “Lap-ghans are afghans for the lap. And the patients really love them.”

Henderson has been In Gathered Together a little over a year, Robson for two years.

“Jean and I met at a knitting class at Foothills adult school,” Robson said.

Smail is the unofficial leader of the group, having ‘inherited’ it, so to speak, from a woman who had started the group. From time to time, she’ll take crochet classes to learn a new pattern.

“Then we all help each other out when someone has a problem or question,” she said. “Our group is anywhere from four to about eight women that meet.”

“We share patterns,” Henderson said.

“Ideas, too,” Fronda said.

All of the four women meeting on that third Friday last week said they had learned to crochet or knit when quite young.

“It’s a lot of fun easy to do,” Smail said. “But it’s a dying art.”

“Handy, too,” Henderson said. “Whenever I go on a trip or even to the doctor’s office, I always get my bag ready to go with my project.”

“It’s just good friends, good coffee, and good times here,” Smail said.

“If you’re new to Santee, we’ll help you with your patterns, if you want us to, and share what we know about the community,” Henderson said.

Frondo leaned over to watch Robson. “I’m showing her how to do the continental stitch instead of the purl stitch,” Robson said.

“Knitting is harder than crochet,” Frondo said.

“We take yarn excursions sometimes, all of us getting together on a weekend,” Smail said. “We go up to Oceanside or San Marcos to yarn shops, then have lunch somewhere.”

“We’d love to have more people join,” she said, then leaned into Henderson to look at the progress of her crochet work.

Gathered Together is a free group which anyone can join, no need to RSVP. Just show up next meeting, which is 8:30 a.m. on Friday, September 2.

For more information, contact Sharon Smail at 619-562-8843.

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